Mechanicville expansion

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: Mechanicville expansion

Postby gokeefe » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:39 am

I think there are two possibilities. Imagine for a moment that they are planning on something bigger, like running Poland Springs water intermodal trains through Mechanicville for delivery and interchange onward to NS. That is where there appears to be some serious growth right now. Pan Am is a relatively small railroad in some senses and right now the big "growth" (in terms of carloads) seems to be coming from Poland Spring. In my mind that makes the relationships between their actions and reactions relatively linear. There's one input (new volume building multiple new freight routes) and one output (new power acquisitions and physical plant improvements at terminals).

Here's the Poland Spring Warehouse for New York. It's in Jersey City. Who's got the freight rights in that area? Conrail Shared Assets. I don't know what the volume for Poland Springs looks like to New York City but I would imagine it could be in excess of 50 containers a day. They have another facility in Brooklyn as well and of course I'm sure there are other major foodservice warehouses that take delivery directly from the bottling plants. You can imagine at that point that number of trucks they must have on the road at any given time headed for New York. It's an absolutely astronomical figure.

Notice also the proximity of the Tropicana facility. Who cares right? Well keep in mind that the Transportation Director at Poland Springs who has been making all of these changes came from Tropicana, ran their Juice Trains and would be intimately familiar with the transportation challenges in that area. I'm just making a guess. For all we know this could just be the execution of planned capital spending that has been developing over the long term. But if you're going to move large quantities of Poland Spring water to New York City by container I think Mechanicville, NY and then Jersey City, NJ makes more sense than Plainville, CT. Crazy to imagine that this water would cross the Hudson twice before arriving at its final destination but stranger things have happened and that's the power of bulk volume movements in freight transportation.
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Re: Mechanicville expansion

Postby Rockingham Racer » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:29 pm

I think WAAY would become WASE and take it all right to Selkirk, and down the Hudson from there. Less time consumed, better rail [after you get off the Worcester Main!], and less interchanging.
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Re: Mechanicville expansion

Postby gokeefe » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:30 pm

Yes but also less line haul for Pan Am. One interchange only at Mechanicville if it runs through on NS to CSAO as I believe NS has trackage rights on Conrail Shared Assets.
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Re: Mechanicville expansion

Postby newpylong » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:36 pm

Power purchase has zero correlation to any future service tracks at XO. Also why the talk about moving interchange points?
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Re: Mechanicville expansion

Postby KSmitty » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:55 pm

gokeefe wrote:Yes but also less line haul for Pan Am. One interchange only at Mechanicville if it runs through on NS to CSAO as I believe NS has trackage rights on Conrail Shared Assets.

CSX owns the intermodal market in NYC. The service times would be better into the NYC market using CSX. Intermodal is all about service and price. ST->Barbers->CSX is almost certainly the best route for intermodal coming out of Maine.
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Re: Mechanicville expansion

Postby rr503 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:10 pm

Weren't there plans for the trains to go to Cedar Hill or Plainville?
Aside from the derilect Harlem River Intermodal Yard, their only other option is CSX as mentioned. NS *could* run water trains to bingo and then down the Southern Tier, but that's more of a foamer dream than anything I've heard before.
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Re: Mechanicville expansion

Postby gokeefe » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:54 pm

I think Binghamton is not entirely out of the question. I agree CSX is the more sensible option but if you want line haul, unit trains and minimal interchange that's the way it should be done.
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Re: Mechanicville expansion

Postby markyk » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:08 pm

[quote="gokeefe"]I think there are two possibilities. Imagine for a moment that they are planning on something bigger, like running Poland Springs water intermodal trains through Mechanicville for delivery and interchange onward to NS. That is where there appears to be some serious growth right now. Pan Am is a relatively small railroad in some senses and right now the big "growth" (in terms of carloads) seems to be coming from Poland Spring. In my mind that makes the relationships between their actions and reactions relatively linear. There's one input (new volume building multiple new freight routes) and one output (new power acquisitions and physical plant improvements at terminals).

Here's the Poland Spring Warehouse[/url] for New York. It's in Jersey City. Who's got the freight rights in that area? Conrail Shared Assets. I don't know what the volume for Poland Springs looks like to New York City but I would imagine it could be in excess of 50 containers a day. They have another facility in Brooklyn as well and of course I'm sure there are other major foodservice warehouses that take delivery directly from the bottling plants. You can imagine at that point that number of trucks they must have on the road at any given time headed for New York. It's an absolutely astronomical figure.


Nestle Water (Poland Spring) currently does not have their own facility in Jersey City to handle the Retail Bulk Pack Water business that currently ships from Maine. Probably what is seen here is a terminal where 5 Gallon product and other office product may be stored locally. However it wouldn't take much to lease a 3rd party distribution center in the North Jersey Area to become a staging area for Intermodal shipments from Maine...
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Re: Mechanicville expansion

Postby gokeefe » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:12 pm

Wow. Thanks for the clarification!
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Re: Mechanicville expansion

Postby rr503 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:00 pm

FWIW, if they do extend the service to NJ, I think it'd be easier to use boxcars. There are a bunch of warehouses in the Port Jersey Complex that have massive numbers of loading docks to unload cars from, which would allow them to avoid draying from either Croxton or S. Kearny, and thereby avoid the draconian NJ truck scene.
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Re: Mechanicville expansion

Postby KSmitty » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:58 pm

rr503 wrote:FWIW, if they do extend the service to NJ, I think it'd be easier to use boxcars. There are a bunch of warehouses in the Port Jersey Complex that have massive numbers of loading docks to unload cars from, which would allow them to avoid draying from either Croxton or S. Kearny, and thereby avoid the draconian NJ truck scene.

Except there is potential for +/-100 containers/day to the NY market. Thats 50 box cars a day, where are you going to load that volume in central Maine? Waterville can load about 5000' of intermodal per switch. No place in the state can load even 2500' of box cars in one switch. And then you've still gotta dray from bottling plant to warehouse, reload, rail to distribution center, reload, sort and reload again on departure to destination.

The sheer traffic potential for water makes intermodal the only logical solution. Reduces handling, dwell, and increases service performance.
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Re: Mechanicville expansion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:06 pm

KSmitty wrote:
rr503 wrote:FWIW, if they do extend the service to NJ, I think it'd be easier to use boxcars. There are a bunch of warehouses in the Port Jersey Complex that have massive numbers of loading docks to unload cars from, which would allow them to avoid draying from either Croxton or S. Kearny, and thereby avoid the draconian NJ truck scene.

Except there is potential for +/-100 containers/day to the NY market. Thats 50 box cars a day, where are you going to load that volume in central Maine? Waterville can load about 5000' of intermodal per switch. No place in the state can load even 2500' of box cars in one switch. And then you've still gotta dray from bottling plant to warehouse, reload, rail to distribution center, reload, sort and reload again on departure to destination.

The sheer traffic potential for water makes intermodal the only logical solution. Reduces handling, dwell, and increases service performance.


What's NS's latest angle for trying to worm its way into Port of Albany? I know they had some 'longing gaze'-level interest in the SMS Rail Lines branch off the D&H South + the CP-abandoned segment east of Voorheesville to the port. I know that never had more than 0.011%'s chance because of the county-owned ROW and trail plan. They in any sort of dealmaking mode for trackage rights that are somehow lucrative enough to overcome CSX's and CP's protectionism over port access?
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Re: Mechanicville expansion

Postby rr503 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:41 pm

KSmitty wrote:
rr503 wrote:FWIW, if they do extend the service to NJ, I think it'd be easier to use boxcars. There are a bunch of warehouses in the Port Jersey Complex that have massive numbers of loading docks to unload cars from, which would allow them to avoid draying from either Croxton or S. Kearny, and thereby avoid the draconian NJ truck scene.

Except there is potential for +/-100 containers/day to the NY market. Thats 50 box cars a day, where are you going to load that volume in central Maine? Waterville can load about 5000' of intermodal per switch. No place in the state can load even 2500' of box cars in one switch. And then you've still gotta dray from bottling plant to warehouse, reload, rail to distribution center, reload, sort and reload again on departure to destination.

The sheer traffic potential for water makes intermodal the only logical solution. Reduces handling, dwell, and increases service performance.


Going off of my limited knowledge of containers, 1 263k box = ~ 3 40' containers. I totally agree that intermodal is cleaner logistically, but economies of scale + the NY/NJ trucking scene may change the equation.
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Re: Mechanicville expansion

Postby gokeefe » Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:45 pm

Watch what happens if Pan Am moves the whole operation over to 53' domestics in wells.
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Re: Mechanicville expansion

Postby 690 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:09 pm

Keep dreaming.
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