Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

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SecaucusJunction
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Post by SecaucusJunction » Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:51 pm

My job recently had me tour a few ports in the NJ/NY region and I saw some of the expansion going on as well as plans for what they will look like 5 years down the road. The expansion is major... not even accounting for Bayonne . I also got to speak with one of the heads of rail ops at one of them. I can't mention names, but he did not have the most pleasant things to say about either railroad. I also know that the Staten Island facility rail is doubling in size within approximately 3 years, so rail potential is there. NS has never really mentioned specifically the Tier as an overflow route of the Lehigh recently... but it could probably be done in an overflow situation down the road sometime. They could probably shove a few more trains on the Lehigh before that happened though. I do think within 10 years, they will probably make major improvements to the Lehigh and River Lines for potential traffic.

The Tier traffic mentioned seems to be headed to/from New England or Canada. Again, we'll see what happens. I'm just explaining how I see it. I'll stop talking now....
I think it may be possible that NJ Transit might not be the perfect, infallible organization that most people assume it is.

SemperFidelis
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Post by SemperFidelis » Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:40 pm

I'm pretty sure we (Secaucus Junction and I) have some of the same contacts out there, but sometimes being a little slow (too much vodka) I was wondering how traffic east of Binghamton could benefit from moves to New England.

I suppose NS could route trains east into Croxton Yard from the Lehigh Line and then send them back up to Binghamton via the Tier for another change in course back to Albany over CP, but they'd really have to be backed up on their other routes to do that. Harrisburg-Sunbury-Taylor-Bingo still has room for more trains, though some days it's a little rough. North of Sunbury, aside from some Nittany Bald Eagle interchange traffic and the healthy shale traffic bound for Lycoming Valley there is nothing but room for trains. Not the most direct route in the world, but I'd imagine somewhat more direct than the reverse move on the Tier.

Everything I'm hearing is pointing to long term planning (something railroads generally don't do...) for new container patterns, though I've been misinformed before.

We could always restart the Poughkeepsie Bridge re-opening rumor for some fun, right?

malfunctjct
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Post by malfunctjct » Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:25 pm

If we only knew for sure what was being planned....The CP south of Binghamton does have times when things get choked up. And when traffic is up, it isn't uncommon for CP's Binghamton Yard to jam up. Would NS take the train to Harrisburg and then north to Sunbury; or to Allentown and up the R&N?

If west of Port Jervis was mostly 40MPH, I would think it would be just as fast to run a train up the Delaware, stop at CP BD to change crews; take the connector across BD and head North on the CP. Croxton to Binghamton can easily be done in 8-10hrs with one crew. The other routings via Scranton would be atleast 2 crews, correct?

SecaucusJunction
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Post by SecaucusJunction » Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:42 pm

I don't think any traffic on the "Tier East" would originate from Allentown, Harrisburg or points south and west. I don't imagine they'd further congest the Lehigh Line into NJ, and you're right, the Sunbury/Scranton route would make a lot more sense for that. The traffic I am speaking of would be straight out of Port Newark, Elizabeth, NYCT, etc. With the Bergen Tunnels done, and expressrail completed into those places, they have a straight shot through (not to) Croxton and points North and West.
I think it may be possible that NJ Transit might not be the perfect, infallible organization that most people assume it is.

blockline4180
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Post by blockline4180 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:49 pm

SJ,

When will this "new" traffic out of Port Newark and/or Express Rail and NYCT materialize?? I mean I can't see this stuff magically appearing anytime soon, especially if it is going to Canada or Buffalo... Maybe by 2013 the earliest or whenever the Panama Canal widening is finished.
~Steve Pellettiere
Co-Moderator: DL&W/Erie/EL Forum
"Each of us makes his own weather, determines the color of the skies in the emotional universe which he inhabits."

SemperFidelis
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Post by SemperFidelis » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:20 pm

It might happen sooner than that if the shipping lines want to get patterns of service established or make an attempt to balance traffic before the completion of the canal project.

No one's saying the wheels are going to start turning tomorrow. It makes some sense to do the work now on a line that's nearly empty rather than try to do it after the traffic has materialized.

Very few companies spend this much money without a guaranteed return.

I wonder if Boston's port facilities can handle the post-Panamax vessels, or if either the old Quonset Point NAS in Rhode Island or Portsmouth Naval Base in Maine are capable of handling vessels of that size. I've never bothered to check out the facilities in the New England market.

century430
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Post by century430 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:27 pm

OK, back to the Bergen Tunnels work. Again, I do not know the lay of the land there. Who actually owns the trackage through that locale? Is it NS or Conrail Shared Assets? I ask because if its CRSA, isn't NS required to pay for part of any work on any CRSA line since they are part owner? I'm not trying to be a wet blanket here. I want to see the Tier actually resemble a mainline all the way from Croxton west, but I just thought of that scenario.

Speaking of the Bergen Tunnels and the POrts, what routing would a train coming out of Elizabethport or Port Newark or any NJNY port take from Jersey to get to the Bergen Tunnel and then the Tier? I don't see how this connects. PLease help me see the light!

Jim Rowland
JJR

chief
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Post by chief » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:44 pm

The NYS&W is still doing track work on the tier. As of today the stone train (BH-1) was dropping stone between MP-115 & MP-112. They will be working Thursday from MP-112 to MP-110 Lackawaxen. They have done from Sparrow to Shohola.
This is just a thought not fact, If NS were to run any freight on the tier east do you think they would put up with NJT & Metro North holding up there trains i think not. I think they would use the NYS&W all they way to Croxton. or KW to go through the Bergen tunnel to Kearny,Oak Island or Greenville. I would bet the NYS&W becomes a major player.
Just a thought.
Steve-a-k-a Chief

malfunctjct
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Post by malfunctjct » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:05 pm

There is no reason freight can't be run between Croxton and Port Jervis. Trying to get a junk freight through in the middle of rush hour obviously isn't going to happen; but they can run there. It might mean another siding or an extension of siding(s) but NS could run trains amongst NJT (it is done elsewhere and is also done in other areas of the country). Wether NS is going to do it is yet to be seen....

SecaucusJunction
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Post by SecaucusJunction » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:03 pm

I do love the NYSW route through NJ as I used to live right next to it, but nothing I've heard or read would suggest a routing down that way through NJ. I think the route is too far out of the way for what seems to be very time sensative traffic when they have a direct route from Campbell Hall straight to Croxton by continuing down the Tier. The worst passenger interference would probably be to the west of Hudson Junction and the Hudson Sec lease to MNJ/East Penn indicates they are not eyeing that route. If I know anything about NS, I know that they don't like to have any other railroads touch their profitable business.

My guess would be that this trackwork east of Binghamton is being done with state money or NS money with NS calling the shots in this region. IF it is NYSW footing part of the bill, they are probably assured of an NS reimbursement in the near futue. There is no reason to be doing this work for 6 low priority trains a week. Again, that is just my guess.

I, again, welcome comments....
I think it may be possible that NJ Transit might not be the perfect, infallible organization that most people assume it is.

K4Pacific
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Post by K4Pacific » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:37 am

The passion on this thread is intense. The inland port model with NS shows dramatic results in Virginia and goes right out that new Heartland Corridor. Buffalo Bison Yard is slated to become an inland "port". Many CN Intermodal trailers are seen daily on I86 with their cool cabs. CRST Cabs and trailers are seen daily on I86 which if old timers may recall were on NY-100, 2NY-100, and CX-99 back in the EL day. Canadian truck traffic is huge on I86.

CP failed in its attempt on the Toronto - Philadelphia 553/554 in the 90s due to "wrong paint" on the majority of its routing so it wasn't at all cost effective, plus operationally inefficient. The NS hub and spoke model and 450 mile "short haul" trains were a highlite even at the 1998 hearings in Elmira. That was the plan back then. 12 years later, it likely becomes a reality.

Target date 2011. Implementation will be gradual, just as 22K/23K 205/206 were implemented gradually and the Mechanicville facility is not fully operational yet.

I'm heading over to Gang Mills Yard this morning and Elmira Yard this afternoon and see if David Adsit can shed some light through his Southern Tier Line budget on his spread sheet. Nothing will be done Willy Nilly.
Proficient on the Southern Tier Line, The former PRR Elmira Branch, A little LV, A lot of EL, And of course, the Corning Secondary. Someone always knows more than me. Remember the Binghamton yardmaster that routinely said in a high voice, "No! No! No! That's not what I told you to do!"?

oibu
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Post by oibu » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:06 am

Re: current tier trackwork, keep in mind there are stipulations in the contract for NYS&W returning the property in as good of shape "as they found it" as well as I believe interim minimum maintenance standards spelled out. Also, NYS&W does run trains ya know- so some level of periodic maintenance would be required no matter what just to keep the track structure from reverting to dirt and forest. SOme ties and ballast isn't exactly a capital rehab project. I highly doubt there is any NYS money involved in this work.

century430
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Post by century430 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:46 pm

With inland ports becoming more important, its a shame nothing has been done at a place like Maybrook.

Jim
JJR

SemperFidelis
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Post by SemperFidelis » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:43 pm

You know, I have always wondered why Maybrook didn't end up a Roadrailer or other intermodal terminal. It's a reasonable location for a day's (truck) work to the markets of NYC, Northern New Jersey, Albany/Upstate Cities, Connecticut and a good portion of Massachusettes as well. I think the point was debated on the old RR.net.

To me, and I work with railroads every day, this looks to me to be more than periodic maintenance. There was a long way to go before the Tier started looking like a forest and the work they are doing appears to be disproportionate to the needs of the present day services. Just my opinion, though.

SecaucusJunction
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Post by SecaucusJunction » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:22 pm

I would agree with you. The NYSW is definitely not doing this for themselves and their 6 trains per week. At worst, NS finally called them on the lease terms and is making them bring the line to 40mph without any intentions of their own. At best, NS is calling the shots and is going to follow through with what they've been saying and get moving traffic out of PANYNJ. I just don't have any reason right now to believe they would lie about their agreement with Port Authority. Maybe that will change.

K4, any new info?
I think it may be possible that NJ Transit might not be the perfect, infallible organization that most people assume it is.

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