• 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 J.D. Lang
And what amount of traffic would be needed to have NS seriously consider buying out CSX's half of PAS? Would CXS sell its half for bargain prices to get NS's support in its merger and remove the competition issue?
That would be great for keeping the competition in NE and I'm sure would be looked at favorably by the STB but it won't happen. For one the Hoosac tunnel is a big liability that I don't think that they would want to take on by themselves. Two NS is in PSR shrink mode. Three they are in what seems to be a service meltdown presently in the NE with a lot of crew shortages. They have come out in favor of the CSX-Pan Am merger because they get to run their Intermodel and Autoracks on the B&A once the connection is made at VO.
No one wants the Fitchburg Route. Lack of traffic, facilites and the death blow HOOSAC are the reasons why. B&A is already a premium corridor with no cost to run the soon to be added traffic.

The Fitchburg can't be sold as one. It will be sold off in two chunks due to V&M not being fully owned by Systems. B&M later Guilford never bothered buying out the last 10% of the stock. Perhaps intentionally. The lines change hands at Greenfield M.A
The state can get all the way to there and no further west. VRS would be a logical fit to run west of Hoosic Jct BUT there are several problematic drifting bridges all the way out. You can thank the B&M for keeping the low quality bridges and slpit ROW from the Boston & Troy RR *they knew for decades*.

This is in VRSs best interest with CP wanting to leave the slower Whitehall connection.
Going back to point, it would be good for the Mass Dot to get the Fitch to Greenfield. If they're so bent on North Adams they can rehab the branch from Pittsfield. They CANNOT have it all.
  by pbj123
I went back on this thread because it's the line where I first hired out, many, many years ago.
1. It's NEVINS Yard, more probable than not named after a prominent family in Framingham and Methuen.
2. The train master someone on this thread speculated the yard may ave been named after? There was a TM named Dick Nevell when I worked there but, he was a New Haven guy, so, the yard most certainly was not named after HIM.
Those yards in Framingham Sure are funny. I'm sure at one point there was a plan to build one large yard to consolidate them.
  by QB 52.32
Nevins and North work quite well together serving as receiving/departure and classification yards, respectively, tied together with the west wye serving as the lead into North yard.. The CP yard has always provided a specific function serving GM's now closed Framingham Assembly plant and an inbound auto ramp last used to handle Ford traffic. If any specific planning occurred after 1968's combination of predecessor owners, it likely would have involved some day folding North, maybe Nevins, into Beacon Park's planned replacement in Westborough. Other than that, the regional planning council presented a plan within the past 10 years to consolidate North and Nevins into the CP yard to make way for re-development.
GTIKING wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 5:57 pm No one wants the Fitchburg Route. Lack of traffic, facilites and the death blow HOOSAC are the reasons why. B&A is already a premium corridor with no cost to run the soon to be added traffic.
Probably too soon and too many moving parts at this point to make that judgement. No doubt NS, MA DOT, and CSX are thinking in terms of at least the next 25 years, not just today or tomorrow.

Next up 5-10 years, NS will be restricted to 1@ 9,000-foot intermodal/auto train pair per day on the B&A.. Beyond that they are tied to the Fitchburg for what has been only growth since they implemented PSR and to their strategic ends. CSX will be restricted to 2 train pairs through Ayer each day to their strategic ends. East-West passenger rail will be implemented on the B&A with powerful political interests wanting to develop the B&A into a high-speed, high-density passenger corridor between Worcester and Springfield and advocating an option of moving freight traffic off the B&A and onto the Fitchburg to make that happen. There's been an on-going re-development of rail and rail-served facilities trend occurring with CSX's franchise as Boston metro population has increased with the rise in passenger rail and transit-oriented development. So, with strategic issues yet in play, at this point I can't imagine the planners at NS, CSX and MA DOT don't recognize this landscape and the pathways on the long-term chessboard, including what the potential use of the Fitchburg presents.
taracer wrote:They lost Stellantis, so Chrysler Ram and Jeep among others, to NS awhile ago. That took more than half of the traffic of Q264. That train went from being a regular 100 to 120 car train to less than 50, and this was before the chip shortage. Now it is down to about 25 cars.

Both it and its westbound counterpart Q205 carry a freight block now, added and removed at Selkirk. Q205 takes overflow freight out of Worcester that the I115 or Q427 can't handle since they cut the Q437. Q264 adds the Housatonic traffic that used to be on Q424. The Selkirk and East Brookfield auto sites are ghost towns now compared to what they used to be pre 2017.

PSR works great when you lose all the business. This allowed them not to add a train, but they lost a huge customer in that deal.
Q264 volume Sat. 12/11- Thu.12/23, give or take a car: 93; 58; 55; 38; 40; 47; 33; 9; 34; 51; 27; 39; 30. Certainly trended upward since July with one other 90+ car train since then, but also showing continued volatility. NS appears to be having the same swings over on PAS with possible bunching related to their service issues. I would guess that the new contracts and lost business have not yet fully materialized.

But, pulling out to a wider vantage point, the trends that would reduce CSX's B&A auto traffic pre-date PSR. For a lucrative line-of-business, it was only a matter of time coming from the CR split and NS' PAS investment that Conrail's and first-decade-CSX's finished auto traffic dominance in New England would be diminished, becoming more subject to each carrier's finished vehicle market, network and on-going location of new production onto those networks. It would appear that we're heading for a ~50/50 market share split.
  by NHV 669
51 racks on Q264 this morning through the Palmer cam a little bit ago.
  by taracer
Like I said a huge drop for a train that was at least 100 racks everyday for years. It got so big that a special instruction had to be put out limiting to no more than 120 loaded racks., and changing the shove move rules so you could yard the things.

You can spin PSR all you want but business has been lost. Of course you can combine trains and cut crews by running fewer trains when your losing your customers.

Wall street seems to think that is a good thing.
  by ExCon90
From Wall Street's point of view it probably is a good thing as long as you stay alert and sell in time ...
  by NHV 669
41 racks today on Q264, that had to wait for a 140 car Q436 to finish working Palmer to head east. Freshly painted SD70MAC 4533 served as DPU.
  by NHV 669
The first Q264 of 2022 cleared the Palmer diamond at 1228 with 58 racks.
Csx can run whatever they want. I'm not sure why you guys are using non contractual documents as the end all for CSX/NS over the Boston line. We all know NS will run everything once the upgrades are done. Everyone is in bed with eachother. Both parties will benefit from this. Believe me.
  by QB 52.32
Trackage rights, which will govern NS' access to CSX's B&A at this point, are contractual documents regulated by the STB. But sure, always possible CSX and NS could work toward the goal of shifting more traffic besides the 9,000' auto/intermodal train pair off PAS and onto the B&A, not in dispute. You're convinced, obviously. From my perspective I'm not, but certainly open to it within a range of possibilities and looking forward to seeing what happens over the long run, though recognizing there are other strategic issues and interested parties out there that factor into that play as well.
Last edited by QB 52.32 on Tue Jan 04, 2022 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by NHV 669
GTIKING wrote: Mon Jan 03, 2022 11:36 pm We all know NS will run everything once the upgrades are done.
Lol, they can't even move the trains they're running now.
  by BandA
Doesn't Stelantis have pretty small market share compared to GM, Ford, or Toyota?
  by Knucklehead
Spencer MA fire reporting "Train vs train collision on the CSX main line by Gauthier Rd. W entrapment. Total of 3 victims transported to UMASS with non life threatening injuries." It appears as if the collision is between CSXT 3144 and a Loram Rail Grinder. Unsure of exact location but may be in the area of CP-60 on the B&A main line. I hope the crews are OK and make a full recovery! Photo courtesy of Spencer, MA Twitter
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