• CSX Boston and Albany Line

  • Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.
Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.

Moderator: MBTA F40PH-2C 1050

  by taracer
It's back, but not more than 2 days a week
  by QB 52.32
From a Meredith Slesinger, MA DOT Rail & Transit Administrator, 5/16/23 East-West Passenger Rail presentation including South Station expansion and adding a 3rd main CP-11 to CP-21 is this slide about first-step Worcester-Springfield and G&U interchange improvements supporting 2 additional Inland Route passenger train pairs. It's a $135m project for which MA DOT has applied to 2 grants anticipated to be announced Aug-Sept and Nov-Dec.
E-W WO-SP 1st round.PNG
Noteworthy is extension of double main track CP-48 out ~2.4 miles to around Webster Jct. QB 50.7 likely indicating continuing use of Worcester as a hub to mix & match traffic using main track west of CP-45 and instead of possibly adding track along the Worcester Main Line south of Barbers as has been pondered over on the Pan Am threads. Additionally, double main track will be re-installed from CP-83 to CP-92.

The slide also shows construction of passing sidings west of Rochdale ~QB 54 to CP-64 and CP-79 to CP-83. The former might indicate within that mileage, amongst what's being planned, a signaled siding 3rd track around the E.Brookfield/S.Spencer auto site while the latter a signaled siding in addition to 2 main tracks west from CP-79 accommodating a planned Palmer passenger station.
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Last edited by QB 52.32 on Fri Jun 09, 2023 6:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by johnpbarlow
This may seem like a fantasy but before the New Haven RR was absorbed into the Penn Central in 1969, decent sized New Haven freights used to operate between the Lowell connection to the B&M and Readville/Boston/Providence. Whatever of this Maine/New Brunswick traffic remains today (Irving lumber? Maritime sheetrock? Paper?) takes a 250 mile or sodetour to/from Selkirk Yard perhaps adding a day or so to transit time. I wonder given that CSX now owns the whole PAR shebang, if CSX is thinking of running this Maine/Maritime traffic more directly handling blocks between Framingham/Westborough and RIgby Yard via M426/M427 on the Worcester Main? If so, an extra track or 2 around Worcester could come in handy for set-outs and pick-ups.
  by type 7 3704
Looks like the reactivated M437 is now a daily train, and the manifest freight originating from Framingham now get its own westbound train again instead of being coupled to the back of I115 like it was in the past. It also looks like I115 is no longer running daily as a result.
  by johnpbarlow
On the Westfield/Chester live cam train log, it is indicated that I115 operates Sunday & Monday only, presumably as substitute for I019 that operates Tuesday through Saturdays. And the daily train log observations confirm that I115 passed the Westfield cam around 0730 -0745 on Sunday 6/11/23 and Monday 6/12/23 but did not appear on other days. Apparently M437 runs daily and may handle the steamship containers out of Stackbridge Worcester/P&W as there is a comment that M437 sets out intermodals at W Springfield.

Update: at 0521 Wednesday 6/14/23, what looks to be M437 passed the Springfield live cam with 5 wells head out loaded with international containers. The rest of the train looked like P&W content as there were auto racks further back. And at 0645, M437 passed the Westfield cam with the 5 container wells removed.

The train log link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... id=7269389
  by QB 52.32
Those P&W containers forwarded by 437 are now included in 019's West Springfield pickup and a straight shot out to Syracuse. 437 originates in Worcester, so net is no new train pairs with Worcester continuing in its mixing and matching role. They did run an extra Worcester-Selkirk X437/X426 turn over the past week with Framinghams/Westboroughs west, P&W's east.

On the more-recent B&A traffic fronts, auto traffic has been solid reflecting overall rise in this business, intermodal pretty much holding its own despite overall drop in business, Westboro municipal solid waste traffic growing, and the G&U dirty-dirt business quiet despite a reported 4-year contract anticipated with a Spring start.

For a couple of weeks in May things began bogging down reminiscent of last August/Sept, though with a quick recovery and CSX's CEO generally anticipating more crew shortage issues during the summer vacation season.

Results specific to auto traffic has been a 2-combined-trains 139-car M264; a 120-car M264; and 35 P&W racks on an M426 over the past few weeks.
  by johnpbarlow
Those international containers originating at Stackbridge on M437 may be taken directly from W Springfield to Syracuse by I019 but according to the CSX intermodal schedule published on the corporate website, their destination is either Elizabeth Marine Terminal or Port Newark with 37 hours from Stackbridge cutoff to Elizabeth availability (via I162) and ~50 hrs to Port Newark availability (via I010). Three touches per container en route and obviously not time sensitive traffic (note: that in the reverse direction, NJ cutoff to Stackbridge availability is ~44 hrs).
  by QB 52.32
That's right, Mr. Barlow, they're blocked for Syracuse along with traffic moving in the non-Chicago lane and as part of Syracuse functioning as a hub mixing and matching intermodal traffic. As you note, speed's not the factor in this short-haul market, but price competing in a relatively high-priced truck market.

Perhaps once the I-95 corridor is fully-cleared we might see direct service once again in/out of New England and with this particular lane sped up as well as possibly serving the same market demand via Port Saint John in an effort to increase their share of the overall business.
  by taracer
Trains are regularly outlawing now due to the 437 having to set off the P&W intermodals in West Springfield for the 019. It creates another bottleneck in West Springfield. Recrews basically every day since they started doing this.

So Selkirk crews are being wasted, used on recrew service. It's just another self-inflected crew shortage, being blamed on T&E again.
  by QB 52.32
Who's blaming T&E, lol? It'll be interesting to see the response.

Edit: My interest in a response was not directed toward the immediate question, though certainly could be read that way, it's in how CSX will respond, if at all, to the outlawing in the light of 437 setting out in W. Springfield.
Last edited by QB 52.32 on Fri Jun 16, 2023 11:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
  by taracer
QB 52.32 wrote: Fri Jun 16, 2023 6:49 am Who's blaming T&E, lol? It'll be interesting to see the response.
You just tried to by bringing up summer vacations. That was the same excuse for their mismanagement that they used last year. Not local management, but Jacksonville.
  by QB 52.32
Unfortunately, this is just you yet again attempting to take the opportunity to blame management and the folks making the decisions. While I understand your frustration you might want to look in the mirror, especially before you wrongly accuse me of anything. That was Mr. Hinrichs who brought it up and it is legitimate - if you have a problem, perhaps you should bring it up with him.

Having fewer people around because they are taking vacation, especially during a time of tight labor supply, that in turn leads to disruption is reality, not blame, and not just in railroading. And, it's been around for a long time in the railroad business including the "good 'ole days".

I don't blame T&E just like I don't blame my dental hygienist for having a tough time getting an appointment this summer, the waitstaff for slow restaurant service, and the ferry crew for the limited reservations getting over to Nantucket. But, I also know better that you shouldn't be blaming management as the simple go-to and especially for the things you're not qualified to judge.
  by johnpbarlow
Might the acute M437 outlaw problem be exacerbated by the current MoW track curfews in the W Springfield area? If so, according to Amtrak alerts, that’s supposed to end by the end of June.
  by QB 52.32
With my compliments, yet again you're asking a good question, Mr. Barlow. These complex network decisions are amongst my favorite coming from my own training and experience and especially as management tools have advanced. As always, it's the 80% bigger picture "dog" that'll drive the 20% anecdotal "tail" in the decision-making, including focus on bobbing that tail.

Of course, interestingly enough, with this traffic at least superficially at the focus of the consternation it's certainly not valuable enough to drive alternative big decisions on its own though, to CSX's credit, a short-haul intermodal market continuing to be served amidst all the anti-PSR rhetoric.

With what appears to be targeted west-out 019 placement among the other traffic that won't be going to Chicago, the 437 W. Springfield setout of the P&W stacks might otherwise save an additional 019 pickup move at West Springfield if the stacks came out of Worcester on 019 in light of the potentials there. Interestingly enough, as I'm sure you've seen, 437 ran last night without P&W's instead.

I'll continue to be interested in what, if anything, CSX does. Pretty sure anything eating crews, first and foremost at this time, and power is on their radar.
  by taracer
johnpbarlow wrote: Fri Jun 16, 2023 11:05 am Might the acute M437 outlaw problem be exacerbated by the current MoW track curfews in the W Springfield area? If so, according to Amtrak alerts, that’s supposed to end by the end of June.
It's not because of the curfew, but even if it was, wouldn't that be bad management in and of itself? I mean why would you make major operating changes during this time. Youd want to keep the status quo until the trackwork was over.

The reality is that they wanted to make the DeWitt long pool work. That's a management decision that was handed down from Jacksonville.
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