PAS Intermodal Prospects

Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

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Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby johnpbarlow » Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:27 am

There's an interesting (to me) tidbit in the "Boxcars Still Matter" article in this month's (ie, April) issue of Trains Magazine. The gist of the article is shortlines and regionals use lots of boxcars to serve their on-line customers while the Class Ones prefer to use intermodal equipment. As an anecdotal example, the article says there are three Maine paper mills that use Pan Am's no-dray shuttle service to load 50' plate F boxcars with paper rolls for a 48 hour transit time 200 mile haul to a warehouse at Ayer. At Ayer, the paper rolls are transloaded as needed to containers for the long haul to Chicago presumably on NS/PAS 23K. The mills also use boxcars for long haul service - one Maine mill says 50% of its 5,000 yearly boxcar shipments are shuttled to Ayer and the rest are longer hauls, presumably mostly via CSX POSE as I don't see many paper box cars on POED. But NS is getting a bigger chunk of the Maine paper business than I thought.

And the boxcars used in shuttle service turn fast enough to earn a decent return. Article quote: " Pan Am says this is a steady, unexciting business that provides a regular cash-flow stream that is likely to continue unabated."

As long as Maine paper mills continue to operate, that is.
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Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby BM6569 » Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:45 am

If this water service becomes steady then I wonder if you may see the rolls being shipped out in containers from Warerville. Then you wouldn't need to transfer the loads to containers at Ayer.
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Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby BostonUrbEx » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:55 pm

They rolls are warehoused in Ayer for a period of time before they're sent out "just in time." There may be some level of use, though.
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Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby newpylong » Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:03 pm

Been doing this for a long time nonetheless it is very interesting. GMX gets about 10-15 loaded boxcars a night. Always been a high priority switch.
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Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby riffian » Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:06 pm

I also found this tidbit most interesting. I follow Pan Am closely (albeit primarily through the internet) and had never heard of this operation. 5,000 carloads a year is a substantial number from one industry for any road, even though half of those are of the short-haul, transload at Ayer variety. I presume the mill in reference is Sappi. Does anyone know for sure?
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Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby newpylong » Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:50 pm

That's right we used to stuff them with 12 cars a night highest priority move even over the piggies. But that was 10 years ago... it is a transload though so all kinds of customers use it. Run by Pan Am...
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Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby atholrail » Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:51 am

At least 3 eimskip containers on 28N this morning out of Mickey...
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Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby BostonUrbEx » Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:59 am

Are they testing water to places other than Ayer now?
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Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby CN9634 » Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:28 pm

Eimskips have moved over Ayer to western gateways before (even last year some went)... the question is were they drayed or railed.

Also, this might align with some of the other stuff I was talking about in another thread if it becomes more prominent.
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Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby atholrail » Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:06 pm

Those Eimskips were a mistake. 23K accidentally took them out of Ayer a couple days ago. Just returning them.
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Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby CN9634 » Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:48 am

Ahhhhh yeso the old misroute... class 1s do it all the time so I wouldn't feel bad for Pan Am.
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Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby johnpbarlow » Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:55 am

Mass DOT has awarded ~$464K to PAS for Ayer Intermodal Facility pad expansion:

Pan Am Southern, LLC Intermodal Facility Pad Enhancement in Ayer: $464,172.
Pan Am plans to expand its intermodal facility to handle 29,500 additional containers each year that would otherwise move by truck over the region's roadways.


29,500 additional annual containers is a bit less than 100 daily containers. I wonder if this expansion is to support new intermodal traffic with NS or new traffic to/from Maine?

Article listing other state grants to MA RRs:
http://www.masslive.com/business-news/index.ssf/2016/09/pioneer_valley_railroad_gets_grant_to_ex.html
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Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby jaymac » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:20 am

Assuming the actual traffic does materialize and over 365 days, it's probably a little closer on average to 80 or so in and -- sooner or later -- out daily. Single-high in wells -- until or unless the Hoosac is full double-high -- that's a mile or so more a day, meaning a second train-pair is more likely than a super-long 22/23K, especially if 28N/287 remains healthy. It's quite possible that a wink and a nod is being done to prepare for PAR/S IM for Maine. In another couple of years, the Brook and Lowell Branch portions of the FML should be the only remaining choke-points. Mebbe even funding work beyond Brunswick will start to look attractive.
NH might resent the loss of I-95 tolls but the Mass. and Maine DOTs probably would view the decreased congestion and decreased costs of wear and tear very favorably. By the time the work gets done, there probably be some more sine-wave manifestations in the economy, but at least things will be in place.
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Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby newpylong » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:15 am

From what I hear this is only for parking as that is the big issue right now. They can load/load about 8,000 feet in 4 hrs now but without a place to put them?
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Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby johnpbarlow » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:21 am

And Pan Am does demonstrate expertise in the parking of transport vehicles! :wink:
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