Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

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: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby KSmitty » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:39 pm

Arlington wrote:^ I forget what was it steak and which side I was rooting for. Could you refresh my memory? Should I consider this good news?

It basically boiled down to NECR trying to control PAS's trackage rights/interchange with WACR through dispatching policies and trackage rights/maintenance fees. PAS would like to route traffic via WACR to CM&Q, and NECR wants a cut. They've been battling over who has what rights.

As to good news or bad news, I've not read the decision, so I can't help you there.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby newpylong » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:47 pm

PAS will now pay market value car mile fees but not be burdened by any of the proposed BS operating restrictions.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby johnpbarlow » Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:49 am

newpylong wrote:PAS will now pay market value car mile fees but not be burdened by any of the proposed BS operating restrictions.


A succinct summary of the 58 page STB decision (to be effective November 30, 2017)!

https://www.stb.gov/decisions/readingroom.nsf/UNID/6DF654E4486B6FB3852581CA00453B49/$file/45970.pdf

If I read the decision correctly, the trackage rights fee will increase over 5X from $0.20 per car mile (empty or loaded) of the CV days to a more competitive $1.06 per car mile with no escalator if PAS carloads exceed 32,500 annually (terms of former B&M and CV agreement - that's almost 100 carloads per day and I'm guessing PAS' current traffic between E Northfield and WRJ doesn't approach that threshold).

And as indicated above, after lengthy debate, STB says the new PAS-NECR agreement will not preclude PAS haulage of freight for 3rd parties.

However, as discussed above, it appears that the current TO has allowed haulage traffic for decades [e.g., for NS], without dispute until the last few years. PAS also claims
that haulage has resulted in more options for shippers, thereby encouraging greater use of rail over truck, and that by now restricting haulage, PAS could be left at a competitive disadvantage.
(PAS Reply, V.S. Bostwick 3-4.) Because NECR has not demonstrated a sufficient basis to disrupt this long-standing, workable arrangement, the Board will continue to permit PAS to carry
haulage traffic under the new TO.


There was quite a bit of back and forth discussion between the parties re: Assignment of PAS trackage rights to either "affiliates" (not sure what this term means - NS? PAR?) or non-affiliates (?). Here's how the CV agreement's language was modified wrt Assignment:

9.8 Assignment. This Agreement shall bind and inure to the benefit of the parties and their respective legal representatives, successors and assigns. PAS shall have the right to assign any
or all of PAS's rights and obligations under this Agreement to any affiliate of PAS, following consultation with NECR and the receipt of any required regulatory or other approvals. PAS shall
have the right to assign any or all of PAS's rights and obligations under this Agreement to any other person with NECR's prior consent, which shall not be withheld unreasonably, and following the receipt of any required regulatory or other approvals.


I'm probably reading too much into this but my interpretation is NS or PAR (or Watco or other party) could operate under this agreement down the road as long as STB approved.

Idle question: what role if any did NECR parent G&W play in resolving this dispute that pre-dated G&W's arrival on the scene? I could see a scenario where NS consumes PAS (at long last) and G&W takes PAR, connecting its P&W/CSOR/NECR/SLA properties with interchange to the NBS/EMR and the maritimes at Mattawamkeag.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby 690 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:10 am

No way the STB would approve G&W taking over Pan Am without shedding a few of their other NE properties first.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:00 pm

NECR would be the one that would have to go up for sale in a divestiture to square anti-competitive concerns. Too many Canadian lanes under one roof, and CMQR + VRS in particular would have strong counter-claims if traffic got routed away from them. Fairer distribution if D2 + P&W + SLR were the allowed merger (well...unless you're in D1 watching all the CMQR interchange traffic empty out to go Rigby-Sherbrooke on a 286K/double-stack corridor instead). There's no shortage of other holding companies who'd pay good money for a well-maintained NECR corridor that's half paid for by passenger traffic. For that reason I'd expect G&W to bid with their usual aggressiveness (whether or not they'd be favored is something only Mellon can answer).
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby johnpbarlow » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:00 am

MassDOT has just released a draft Massachusett Freight Plan prepared by Cambridge Systematics, Inc:

PDF version: https://camsys.egnyte.com/dl/Z3SZdBf4jZ
Interactive on-line version (Discussion of "The Rail System" has an interactive map that can be zoomed for details (many incorrect!)):
http://massdot.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=780dabf51cab48b9907a5984a3a39726

Technical Memo #1: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/Portals/17/docs/freightplan/TM1Background_Jan17.pdf
Technical Memo #2: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/Portals/17/docs/freightplan/TM2_17.pdf

Freight Plan high level assessment of the state of freight rail transport in Massachusetts:
Freight Rail System
Rail accounts for less than five percent of overall market share in the region, but is critical as it transports and distributes several major commodities, including transportation equipment, paper, and wood products. Machinery, including transportation equipment, is one of the fastest growing commodities in global trade. According to the 2010 Rail Plan, about 40 percent of the rail network in Massachusetts is owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) and MassDOT. Also, about 40 percent of track is used for both freight and passenger operations. Ownership and operation of the Commonwealth’s rail network is shared between private and public entities. Because MassDOT has purchased several rail lines since the last Freight Plan and Rail Plan, the 2017 Massachusetts Freight Plan should touch on the mechanisms by which MassDOT buys lines. It also should coordinate with the current Rail Plan to determine future freight rail trends in Massachusetts.


A couple of observations:
- Focus of plan is very truck-centric (perhaps reflecting Cambridge Sustematics' highway industry oriented management) with emphasis on leveraging "connected vehicle technology" (eg, "tracks can be grouped into "convoys", with automated vehicles following a human-controlled lead vehicle"). Reference slide 5-76.
- Slide 2-16 shows PAS freight main NYS to Ayer at 286K pound track rating (CSX still wins the match with 315K rating in addition to having full double stack clearance as well as faster track speed).
- MassDOT must upgrade its own lines to accommodate 286K cars.

Net: expect more highway construction, trucks (and rest areas) on Mass highways and don't be surprised if the cab is empty. As for freight RRs in Massaschusetts, 286K everywhere is the simplistic recommendation for going forward.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby bostontrainguy » Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:31 pm

Can anyone please explain to me why freight trains have to back into the Ayer yard? Since there is a west wye, why don't they just pull in that way?

Also, they do use the west wye to leave, right? I have never heard of trains backing out.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby johnpbarlow » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:26 am

For the typically mile plus long inbound 22K intermodal trains, which need to double/triple off to two/three tracks, it's quicker for PAS to use the switches at the north end of Hill yard because they're closer to the container loading/unloading pad. If 22K pulled into the yard on the west wye, with the current south end (west end?) switch arrangement between the IM tracks, the train would need to pull about a mile into Harvard to set-off off its 2nd or 3rd shove back into the IM track area.

Check out the Google Maps aerial photos for details of Hill Yard track arrangement:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ayer,+MA/@42.5491416,-71.5924209,1288m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x89e395318d7f52ab:0x6ab31675ea33c40f!8m2!3d42.5611947!4d-71.5899054
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby jaymac » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:18 pm

This matter was under discussion 3 years and 7 months ago, also by johnpbarlow, as a trip back to page 70 of this discussion will reveal. newpylong had also offered a bit back that doing series of East Wye moves saves Form Ds that would be needed to enter the Worcester Main at MPX25. Of course, the Worcester Main has already been truncated by moving its official start from Shay -- MPX 3.3 -- to Burncoat -- MPX 4.6 -- to reduce Form Ds for PAR/CSX swaps. To a mere mortal civilian, it seems similarly possible to move the Worcester Main from MPX 25 to MPX 23, Harvard, a sometimes recrew point being MPX 23.19. If 22K got to use West Wye, that would increase availability of the #2 for Keolis IBs and reduce slow-speed blockage of 1 or more crossings in Ayer, making Ayer a bit less of a choke-point.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby CPF363 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:05 pm

The DCS limits on the Worcester line ran from Shay, MP 3.3 to Harvard, 25.7 or so in the 1990s. Later, the yard limits were extended on each end that reduced the DCS to between Burncoat to MP 25 which is west of Harvard station near Route 2. MP 23.19 is Still River station, the first at grade public crossing west of the Hill Yard. The big problem is the yard is just not configured to handle the number of freight moves between the through trains from Worcester, the locals and the container and auto moves. When CP Rail was running here in the 1990s, the container yard was on the western side of the yard, or to the right when looking from the the wye, leaving tracks 1, 2 and 3 as running tracks. These three are the longest tracks in the yard. However, those are now set aside as the intermodal tracks. The other tracks (tracks 6-11) are switch tracks used for the various locals and set-offs by road trains. So there is not much of a "through" track between the wye and Harvard. It is too bad the Guilford did not purchase much of the land on both sides of the yard, but most especially the flat land on the right which was Fort Devens until 1993. That would have allowed for the construction several long intermodal tracks with paved pads between them and the installation of a running track running from the wye switch to near the Harvard switch. Since the the interlocking at Camp was installed by the T, trains could have then pulled up the west wye, run down the running track and made their set-offs from the Harvard end. They could also used tracks 1, 2, and 3 for parking long trans awaiting re-crews and moves through the yard for the SEPO/POSE ad local trains while not bothering the intermodal operations. Only the wye switch would have been the common point.
Last edited by MEC407 on Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby BostonUrbEx » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:57 am

If the MBTA takes back their dispatching rights (which they would be forced to if NS pulls the trigger and dispatches out of Atlanta, or anywhere out of state), I guarantee they'll be forcing 22K down the West Wye and let them deal with yarding off the mainline. A single crossover between 1 and 2 near the Tighe switch would make it a non-issue, really. There's also a long-term plan to connect the Camp Track and South Track as a mainline Track 4, and I think it has been considered to go all the way to CPF WL, which would take the Pepsi switches and Old Ford Yard off of the mainline, as well. That could theoretically be used as a giant switching lead as well, but I think the former is more likely to be seen in the short term.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby bostontrainguy » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:00 pm

Haven't heard a thing about the Hoosac project. Has anyone heard anything? Is the consultant report done? It's been a while.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby johnpbarlow » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:50 pm

Looks like it derailed on a siding which i’m Guessing is PAS responsibility to maintain?
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:24 pm

Shouldn't happen at all but it could have been worse ...
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