Official New England Southern Thread (NEGS)

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BowdoinStation
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Re: Official New England Southern Thread (NEGS)

Post by BowdoinStation » Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:24 pm

When they were still running the NH Main on outsource contract from Pan Am they moved their transload spot from the interchange in downtown Concord out to here, and expanded what was just a passing siding into a mini-yard with 2 new side tracks. Almost immediately after that expansion, PAR booted them from the NH Main and moved the transload spot back to Concord where their own set-offs 3 exits down handle the same exact function.

This quote is false in many ways.. In journalism, you always want to check your facts.. NEGS didn't get booted from Pan Am because NEGS built a transload facility up at Exit 18, NEGS built the transload facility AS A RESULT OF Pan Am ending NEGS lease to operate on the Pan Am rails from Concord to Manchester. This was quite the legal battle, and sadly NEGS came up short.

IMHO, Pan Am's commitment should only be getting cars into Nashua, after that let a shortline like NEGS, that's hungry for business, has a proven track record of both growing carloads and providing great service, take care of business on the tracks to Concord, and also on the third world track condition Hillbilly Branch. Maybe let Pan Am cherry pick a couple of accounts to keep and service.

Dick H
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Re: Official New England Southern Thread (NEGS)

Post by Dick H » Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:41 pm

Down the road a bit, when and if PAR sells the New Hampshire route, and the unit
coal trains go away, if Bow is shut down or converted to gas, a new owner might
to sell the line north of Nashua, along with the Hillsboro Branch to a shortline
operator. And, of course, the "proposed" commuter rail service to Nashua, and
later to Manchester and Concord might figure in the picture. But, I just don't
see that happening in the near future, if ever. Too many NH politicos and the
Manchester Union Leader always go bananas at even the mention of commuter
rail. Even if new Governor takes over in January and supported the program,
getting any appreciable funding out of the Legislature would be unlikely.

F-line to Dudley via Park
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Re: Official New England Southern Thread (NEGS)

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:29 pm

Dick H wrote:Down the road a bit, when and if PAR sells the New Hampshire route, and the unit
coal trains go away, if Bow is shut down or converted to gas, a new owner might
to sell the line north of Nashua, along with the Hillsboro Branch to a shortline
operator. And, of course, the "proposed" commuter rail service to Nashua, and
later to Manchester and Concord might figure in the picture. But, I just don't
see that happening in the near future, if ever. Too many NH politicos and the
Manchester Union Leader always go bananas at even the mention of commuter
rail. Even if new Governor takes over in January and supported the program,
getting any appreciable funding out of the Legislature would be unlikely.
I very much doubt it. The NH Main has so much abutting industrial property that Guilford indifference threw away. Moreso in MA on the Billerica-Winchester stretch, but plenty of industrial density to be had around Manchester too. A new owner only has to lure a couple dead sidings back and get a couple steady transload customers to suddenly start making some decent margins off the NA-# jobs. And one of these days NHDOT is going to build a spankin' new commuter railroad beneath their feet at no charge to them. It's shootin' free throws to give a modicum of effort to rebuilding shattered customer service, then holding steady until the eventual trackage rights pay for themselves. The NH Main doesn't have to have sky-high growth potential to be an asset for a Class II buyer. It can be what it is--good location, convenient running distance/time, middling revenue potential--and still be a net-gain for the carrier that judiciously seeks out new biz instead of chasing it away and burning all bridges behind it. There aren't many spots in Division 2 or Division 1 that have actual on-line properties with a snowball's chance of signing on new rail tenants. Except the NH Main, Billerica-Winchester and Nashua-Concord. That's a significant selling point for a buyer, not a terminally diseased limb that needs to be lopped off like a Madison Branch or Bucksport Branch.

The NEGS outsource never would've happened if it was anyone but Guilford at its worst doing the deed. Guilford overtly tanked the on-line business so it could kill off territory that was always mainline-grade. If it had any intent on rehabilitating it, it wouldn't have chosen the smallest gnat of a shortline to administer it. They wanted NEGS to play the role of Bay Colony in Massachusetts when they got gifted impressive quantities of ex-Conrail branchlines: bite off more than they could chew, over-promise, under-deliver, and abandon those miles almost as quickly as they came. To NEGS's credit, they were way smarter than BCLR and increased business. Enough that PAR felt the need to stab them in the back and re-absorb the territory. That doesn't mean a "bug" became a "feature" wherein the NH Main suddenly became right-sized for a mom-and-pop operating out of a storage shed on a dirt lot. It means Class II Guilford was committing gross negligence trying to destroy near- mainline-grade freight territory, full-stop. It never should've come to the point in the first place where the gnat had to be brought in to rescue the sloth.

Under their next owner...this is an asset, not a burden. Because Div. 2 will be pretty lean-and-mean with just a mainline and the 'cross' through the middle spanning Concord to Boston. They'll be all-in on the NH Main, letting better customer service shoot a couple free throws earning modest on-line gains, and playing the long game waiting for the passenger upgrades under their feet. It's an asset for the Class II, not a burden.

Jackinbox1
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Re: Official New England Southern Thread (NEGS)

Post by Jackinbox1 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:27 pm

Dick H wrote:and the unit coal trains go away, if Bow is shut down or converted to gas...
If Bow is ever converted to gas, couldn't they send tankers up that way?
That might be tough, though, I know NIMBYs don't exactly like that.
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doublebell
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Re: Official New England Southern Thread (NEGS)

Post by doublebell » Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:25 am

LNG is not shipped by rail.

Jackinbox1
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Re: Official New England Southern Thread (NEGS)

Post by Jackinbox1 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:17 am

Huh. Thought it was.
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MEC407
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Re: Official New England Southern Thread (NEGS)

Post by MEC407 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:30 am

Never say never:

Reuters: After oil, natural gas may be next on North American rails
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-r ... D620140616" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

E&E: Shipping LNG by rail? Alaska railroad wants to make it happen
http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060014956" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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F-line to Dudley via Park
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Re: Official New England Southern Thread (NEGS)

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:53 pm

Jackinbox1 wrote:Huh. Thought it was.
You're thinking propane. Entirely different animal chemically from natural gas. Liquid propane is "LPG" while liquid natural gas is "LNG". LPG compresses very efficiently into small space, which is why it's used so much for small-scale consumer installations like gas grills and home heating and why little mom-and-pop dealers can inexpensively transport it in tanker trucks or load from a couple railcars on a spur. The 'last-mile' economics are pretty good for propane, which is why there are so many propane companies with rail sidings. Not a lot of those sidings are in-use today because yard transloads are little more lucrative, but it's a modestly growing market for local freights.

LNG is used much heavier industrial applications, and transport tends to be much higher-capacity over much longer-distance. Right now most popular mode of transport is gigantic ocean vessels with enormous storage capacity going to big LNG terminals with coastal tank farms many acres in size. It's getting more popular with rail as tanker car storage gets technologically more efficient, but because transport still mainly goes to those giant tank farms it's overwhelmingly going to skew to Class I traffic. Not a whole lot of shortlines with gigantic tanker farms on them, because the Class I's and II's never would've given up that trackage in the first place if they were sitting on future LNG traffic considerations. In New England there's not a whole lot of LNG rail potential at all because coastal terminals are so much more convenient and we've got an abundance of underutilized ports for bringing in those gigantic ocean vessels. There's no reason anyone would spend money building an inland LNG terminal on a rail line when port land is so readily available at way better bang-for-buck. If there's any LNG rail traffic here it's most likely to go straight through New England "flyover country" on a PAR + PAS or CSX routing in lieu of CN or CP in Canada. And that's pretty doubtful for any appreciable LNG carloads given how many carriers would have to interchange to get across New England vs. sticking 100% to a Canadian Class I.

johnpbarlow
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Re: Official New England Southern Thread (NEGS)

Post by johnpbarlow » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:08 am

15 month bump...

Good article about New England Southern's 35th birthday in the Concord Monitor:

http://www.concordmonitor.com/railroad- ... h-11240900

Heads up:
A gathering to celebrate the 35th anniversary of freight operations on New England Southern will be held Sunday, Oct. 15, at the railroad’s headquarters on 157 West Road in Canterbury. It will include locomotive tours, rides in railroad motorcars, and a signing of the first volume of the company history. The event will be open to all from noon to 3 p.m. Copies of the book can be purchased at Blurb.com for the signing.

b&m 1566
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Re: Official New England Southern Thread (NEGS)

Post by b&m 1566 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:10 pm

I would love to know more about the western MA operations that fell through. I always wondered why the name of New England Southern was chosen for an operation in New Hampshire and now I know.

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shadyjay
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Re: Official New England Southern Thread (NEGS)

Post by shadyjay » Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:43 pm

Hmmm.... interesting. The name didn't even spark any confusion for me until it was mentioned. But come to think of it, it's on par with the geographically out-of-place New Hampshire Central Railroad running in the far northern reaches of the state. Perhaps they (NEGS) wanted their hands on the now-MassCentral trackage out of Palmer? That's the only one I can think of, off the top of my head. Pioneer Valley was already established by that time (early 80s), outside of that, no other lines in the western Mass area that were "up for grabs".

Wonder who they're in talks with for buying out the railroad, as the article states? Doubt Pan-Am would want to run any further north than Concord. Then again, who'd thought they'd reclaim their Manchester-Concord customers.

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Re: Official New England Southern Thread (NEGS)

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:32 pm

shadyjay wrote:Hmmm.... interesting. The name didn't even spark any confusion for me until it was mentioned. But come to think of it, it's on par with the geographically out-of-place New Hampshire Central Railroad running in the far northern reaches of the state. Perhaps they (NEGS) wanted their hands on the now-MassCentral trackage out of Palmer? That's the only one I can think of, off the top of my head. Pioneer Valley was already established by that time (early 80s), outside of that, no other lines in the western Mass area that were "up for grabs".

Wonder who they're in talks with for buying out the railroad, as the article states? Doubt Pan-Am would want to run any further north than Concord. Then again, who'd thought they'd reclaim their Manchester-Concord customers.
Mass Central's even older than PVRR, having begun operations in 1975. The only possible candidate line would've had to have been the Berkshire if they had picked up Pittsfield-North Caanan or North Adams-Pittsfield-North Caanan from Conrail instead of B&M in 1982. That was the only territory that would've been in-play when Dearness was getting started.


As for selling the RR? I can't imagine anyone would want them right now with 3M being an extremely intermittent sole customer and Canterbury transload being stillborn after years of trying to drum up business. It would be even worse business for PAR to add Tilton to its territory than trying to squash Milford & Bennington; at least the Hillbilly Branch conveyor belt is a daily operation. The only party that makes sense is cashing out to Hobo's owners...where they would gain the operating territory straight into downtown Concord that's valuable for the passenger service, gain some NEGS equipment, and gain Canterbury yard. Absorbing the 3M freight haul and any common-carrier obligations might be a little cumbersome, but since Hobo's already divided into two reporting marks they could conceivably keep NEGS as a third mark and try their luck at keeping the tourist roads artfully cropped without bleed-thru. If it ends up being worth more to them having the rights secured into Concord for future passenger considerations, it might be a gamble worth taking. After all, NEGS already pretty much costs $0 to operate the weeks it's idle. Hobo's a much fuller-time operation than that, so absorbing such a sporadically part-time mark shouldn't really add much burden to them if they can keep the FRA paperwork sorted with the split reporting marks.

b&m 1566
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Re: Official New England Southern Thread (NEGS)

Post by b&m 1566 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:45 am

If the Clark family were to purchase NEGS, I think they would have to keep the railroad separate. I don't believe the Hobo and Winnipesaukee (Plymouth and Lincoln Railroad) is a common carrier, putting NEGS under the Plymouth and Lincoln name wouldn't that force the railroad to become a common carrier?

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Re: Official New England Southern Thread (NEGS)

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:54 am

That's what fun with reporting marks segregation would accomplish. Same ownership, same assets, different reporting marks for freight and passenger. Exactly how Cape Rail separates Cape Cod Central from Mass Coastal even though the dinner train and trash train literally use the same MC-painted locomotives.
Last edited by MEC407 on Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: unnecessary quoting

Jedijk88
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Re: Official New England Southern Thread (NEGS)

Post by Jedijk88 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:35 am

I would love to know more about the western MA operations that fell through. I always wondered why the name of New England Southern was chosen for an operation in New Hampshire and now I know.
I vaguely remember New England Southern operating in Chicopee MA in the 1980's, on the three mile "Chicopee Falls Branch" between the Conn River line and the former Uniroyal plant in Chicopee. I'd be interested to know more about that short lived operation.

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