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).
Last edited by MEC407 on Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: unnecessary quoting
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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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