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 [email protected]
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.