Potential PAR/PAS Traffic Growth

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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Potential PAR/PAS Traffic Growth

Postby MaineCentral252 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:46 am

Given the current state of affairs at PAR, including loss of major shippers (Bucksport, etc.), new intermodal business/Poland Spring, and speculation about sale of PAR/MEC/B&M, I think this is worthy of its own thread. What possibilities exist for new traffic/customers on PAR, realistic or not? What is out there in D1 or D2 if, hypothetically, a new owner were to go up and down the line knocking on doors to solicit business? What would/could traffic look like on, for example, a G&W-owned Maine Central in, say, 10 years?
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Re: Potential PAR/PAS Traffic Growth

Postby atholrail » Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:42 pm

Today's RJED has some new traffic on it, trash containers on spine cars. Thinking maybe for CT but not sure.
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Re: Potential PAR/PAS Traffic Growth

Postby BostonUrbEx » Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:56 pm

MaineCentral252 wrote:What possibilities exist for new traffic/customers on PAR, realistic or not? What is out there in D1 or D2 if, hypothetically, a new owner were to go up and down the line knocking on doors to solicit business?


I think business on MBTA trackage has much more potential, and all without any fees for using well-maintained track!

Oil-related products in East Boston/Everett/Chelsea/Revere should be looked into as high volumes may be possible. Moderate volumes of materials for Necco in Revere may be feasible -- it seems glaring obvious as an observer to add a customer track off the Eastern Route. There surely must be some low- or moderate-volume business with GE in Lynn despite the shrinking facility. Durkee Mower in Lynn (famous for marshmallow fluff) is right along the Eastern Route with a forlorn siding -- this would likely be low-volume inbound products. Historically there used to be a track off the Eastern Route to the adjacent gravel pit, and there might be moderate levels of outbound gravel. I can easily see a non-time sensitive transload operation revitalizing the Castle Hill Yard in Salem, serving the North Shore and Cape Anne -- perhaps some home heating oil or propane specifically. There's potential for Marketing to make some low-volume magic happen around Centennial Drive in Peabody along the South Reading Industrial Track.

I think the sale of North Point wasn't handled well and a sliver of land for transloading should have been retained for transloading. I'm particularly thinking food products like cooking oils, flours, grains, etc to feed the core of the region and building materials for all the construction. I don't know where the bulk food stuffs suppliers are, though. Need someone to receive the transload and then dole it out to smaller businesses. The Mystic Wharf should not be squandered so readily. Anything to preserve the possibility of autorack traffic should anyone decide to pony up the money for clearances. The Western Route is pretty well dried up, although I'd like to see more business to the MBTA's Charlestown shop and Wellington shop if possible. The Medford Industrial Track ain't dead yet, and has potential, particularly if clearances with the Fellsway are resolved. The Fitchburg Route is also pretty dried out except the area around Alewife which is rapidly churning over into condos, apartments, and corporate offices.

There's plenty of potential along the Lowell Line, notable in Winchester, Woburn, and Wilmington, but I'll leave it to someone else to pick apart all of the possibilities there.
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Re: Potential PAR/PAS Traffic Growth

Postby newpylong » Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:08 pm

A more appropriate question might be, "what potential traffic opportunities exist for another railroad besides PAR?" One must remember a lot of these track side consignees have been around for a very long time. If not in the same name, the same people involved in management. If they aren't completely turned off by rail, they are turned off by Pan Am. I think I told this list the story about Pan Am Marketing trying to get into Erving paper again, they were told they were told don't ever step foot on our property. That distaste goes back to the strikes and the same holds true for many ex-customers.

Pan Am honestly does have an active marketing department, but what you see if who is willing to take a stab at using them as a carrier. The rest rather pay more to make sure their products shows up.

Until they take a paradigm shift in doing business - faster track, adequate power and crews, it's never going to change.
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Re: Potential PAR/PAS Traffic Growth

Postby GP40MC1118 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:46 am

The only new traffic PAR could get (and it would be temporary) is the dirty dirt from the Wynn
Casino Project in Everett. They did get Ciment Cement in Everett, but anything else is pretty
much gone forever (US Plastics/West Lynn closed, California Oil/CastleHill closed, GE/nothing
in ages, etc.).

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the track situation is Somerville due to the Green
Line project really limits what PAR can do now.

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Re: Potential PAR/PAS Traffic Growth

Postby BostonUrbEx » Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:40 am

GP40MC1118 wrote:At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the track situation is Somerville due to the Green
Line project really limits what PAR can do now.


Even if you do sound like a broken record, it is worth repeating over and over. The impending loss of Yard 8 and the reworking of Swift is a huge blow to PAR and Keolis. It makes no sense.
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Re: Potential PAR/PAS Traffic Growth

Postby newpylong » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:51 pm

Couldn't find a worthy thread newer than this.

While riding the Berkshire Scenic today I did a double take because there was a new track built and a fairly long one at that behind Holland Chemical in Adams. The switch is on the 2 track right where the old switch for the Lane was and follows that path for a bit but then curves up towards the back of Holland and a fairly stiff grade. Could not see what was at the end of the track. No idea what it's about.
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Re: Potential PAR/PAS Traffic Growth

Postby atholrail » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:12 pm

In keeping with the thread..

Omnova in West Fitchburg is "supposed" to be getting a spur built. Frog is in on the station track @ Wachusett, but that's it. Supposed to be getting tanks.
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Re: Potential PAR/PAS Traffic Growth

Postby johnpbarlow » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:57 am

It will be interesting to see a freight local (FI-1?) operate on the Wachusett station track to service Omnova (I'm guessing it might be at night, though).

And, speaking of West Fitchburg freight customers, on the other side of the tracks at Wachusett is Caraustar generating any business for PAS?
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Re: Potential PAR/PAS Traffic Growth

Postby newpylong » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:43 am

Is that the ex-Newark plant? The one they spent a bundle on to only use a couple times?
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Re: Potential PAR/PAS Traffic Growth

Postby johnpbarlow » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:34 am

Yes, apparently Caraustar bought the Newark Group in early 2015. This plant is the last operating paper mill in Fitchburg given Crocker Technical Papers closed in late 2015.
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