• CSX to acquire Pan Am Railways

  • Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.
Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

Moderator: MEC407

  by CPF66
 
I wonder how much it would cost to create a new bore. Look at all the issues that cannot be fixed, such as the center of the tunnel is lower than the ends, making drainage difficult, the soft soil composition, etc... Contruction techniques have come a long way since the 1800's. IF there was a major need to get the tunnel double stack cleared, as well as in a suitable state to allow for 100+ more years of operation, it would still have a continuing list of problems. I imagine no matter if they fix it, or if they were to build a new tunnel, that the taxpayers will end up footing the bill. So, if they plan on spending that kind of money, why not build something that will last longer with less maintenance?
  by codasd
 
Reading a history of the tunnel it states it was built with a grade to the center. This was to allow drainage without pumps. That said we now have electric pumps that could be used if there is a drainage issue. Would poor culvert maintenance be an issue with drainage?
I never heard the center was lower than the ends. All I remember from my two trips through the tunnel was it was dark.
  by jamoldover
 
CPF66 wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 4:58 pm ...the center of the tunnel is lower than the ends, making drainage difficult...
I'm not sure where you would have gotten the idea that the center is lower than the ends - it's deeper underground, yes, but that's because of the mountain on top.

According to the B&M track chart from the 1960's I have in my collection, the elevation at the center of the tunnel is 842.2 ft above sea level. The elevation at the east portal is 782 ft above sea level. The elevation at the west portal is also 782 ft above sea level. There's a fairly constant 0.5% grade from each portal UP to the center.

If the center was at the deepest point, the tunnel would have filled up with water a long time ago unless there was a bottomless cave under that center point for water to drain into....
  by CPF66
 
I heard that years ago, but haven't had a need to investigate it further, thank you for clarifying that.
  by newpylong
 
Yes it's uphill to middle from both sides. You cannot see the other portal until you crest center shaft then the "pinprick of light" is visible. If you're not prepared it looks like an oncoming train :smile:

To build a new tunnel alongside what's there today? A billion $+‽
  by CN9634
 
Did we cover already CP's support of the deal now? There is a whole redacted section as part of their agreement (on the STB site), so keep that one open to the imagination but another entity in opposition has been eliminated.
  by newpylong
 
That's the first I've heard of it. CP must have been compelled to sit down with the 3 other parties post hearing. That's good.
  by johnpbarlow
 
Here's the filing in question:
https://dcms-external.s3.amazonaws.com/ ... 303576.pdf

And here's CP's agreement to withdraw its requested conditions given the agreement forged with CSX/NS/G&W:
https://dcms-external.s3.amazonaws.com/ ... 303573.pdf

Excerpts:
WHEREAS CP, CSX, PAS, NS and G&W agree to the following terms and conditions to maintain the incentives that exist today for PAS to remain a competitively viable route for traffic to/from New England (between upstate New York and Boston and between Vermont and Connecticut), for the benefit of shippers and the public interest.
CSX, both on its own behalf and (contingent upon CSX’s consummation of the CSX/Pan Am Transaction) as the parent of Boston and Maine Corporation as a joint owner of PAS, and NS, both on its own behalf and as the joint owner of PAS, and PAS agree that they (along with G&W as the current designated operator of PAS, or any future designated operator of PAS, to which the obligations of this Settlement Agreement shall be assigned) will, and will cause PAS, for so long as CSX holds any interest in PAS, directly or indirectly, as owner, joint venture, or in any capacity or manner whatsoever to perform the following:

(a) Keep the Mechanicville gateway open to interline service with CP by maintaining efficient interchange operations at Mechanicville and by offering commercially reasonable rates and terms capable of supporting the continued movement of traffic via the Mechanicville gateway. This open gateway commitment applies to all traffic to/from PAS as well as traffic moving via PAS to/from the lines of Pan Am Railway (“PAR”) being acquired by CSX, including routes on PAS and through PAS to an interchange with PAR.

(b) Paragraph redacted
  by PBMcGinnis
 
CP likely withdrew their objections since it was going to create a situation where CSX could retaliate with objections to CP-KCS.
Their merger carries far more implications and money than the Pan Am sale.

Plus as others stated, CP literally interchanges less than 100 cars a week at Mechanicville/Mohawk. The sale wasn't going to negatively impact that interchange at all.

But they will see a decline in traffic from Saint John down the East Coast since most of that manifest traffic terminates on CSX. They will be left to slug it out with CN for all the intermodal and manifest traffic to Montreal and points further west in Canada.
  by CN9634
 
Actually most of CP’s SJ traffic is mostly on their network… the Saratoga block is decent but not as big as you all make it out to be. AIM, paper, pulp, containers, LPG, acid, E85, chemicals, autos and some lumber…. All CP Bourne traffic. The molten sulfur, asphalt and building materials pose the largest risk, even so that traffic has been way down for CP anyhow gauging 251/142 as of late. I’m sure CP has readjust pricing from SJ to Saratoga to reflect a better margin (as opposed to CMQ pricing which used it to subsidize costs of other movements). Don’t forget all the waterbourne traffic (breakbulk, liquid bulk, localized container) out of SJ that scoots down the east coast… and up the rivers (think Albany)

And again…. CP wouldn’t buy CMQ to pick up the SJ to Saratoga moves….
  by BobbyT
 
CN, in addition to the building and refined petroleum products, there's also significant pulp and paper that CP hauls out of SJ and ME that goes into CSX territory, that will be lost. In terms of their Maine LPG business based around the Bangor area, there is already a large new LPG terminal going in at Waterville (Fabian Oil) that is surely going to cut into that traffic (Fabian now gets much of their LPG from Bangor) and in my opinion it is only a matter of time before another terminal gets built in the Bangor area on CSX. At the end of the day, CP's real achilles heel is that CSX sourced LPG is more competitive than what CP can move into the area and eventually CSX will surely take full advantage of those economics. Nobody is saying that CP is going to go bankrupt because of CSX gaining access to Maine and the Maritimes, but it is certainly going to take a big chunk out of their current manifest traffic base.
  by CPF66
 
Fabian had been getting the bulk of their product from Auburn. Although Fabian is building the facility at Waterville, I imagine their location in Hermon will continue to buy LPG from Maine Energy considering that rail terminal is less than 1/4 mile away. Waterville will likely be used to sell to western Maine companies which previously had to travel to either Auburn or Hermon to fill up.
  by NHV 669
 
Auburn would be served by the tanks that come in on SLR 394, correct?
  by BobbyT
 
With their own rail terminal now, Fabian is going to push as many of their gallons as possible through Waterville, even if an existing operation, like Hermon, is in much closer proximity to someone else's rail facility. I also believe that their primary market out of Waterville is more going to be the central and mid-coast part of the state, as Western Maine has more competition in already having access to 3 facilities in Auburn and one each in Westbrook, Portland, Biddeford, Newington, Rochester and North Stratford.
  by CN9634
 
BobbyT wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 2:37 pm CN, in addition to the building and refined petroleum products, there's also significant pulp and paper that CP hauls out of SJ and ME that goes into CSX territory, that will be lost. In terms of their Maine LPG business based around the Bangor area, there is already a large new LPG terminal going in at Waterville (Fabian Oil) that is surely going to cut into that traffic (Fabian now gets much of their LPG from Bangor) and in my opinion it is only a matter of time before another terminal gets built in the Bangor area on CSX. At the end of the day, CP's real achilles heel is that CSX sourced LPG is more competitive than what CP can move into the area and eventually CSX will surely take full advantage of those economics. Nobody is saying that CP is going to go bankrupt because of CSX gaining access to Maine and the Maritimes, but it is certainly going to take a big chunk out of their current manifest traffic base.
For a few years I shipped paper for a living… a lot of it flows to the Midwest because there used to be a lot of mills there (just like here) and it’s centrally located for distribution for rapid deployment...for example you should look up Quad Sussex (Waukesha, Pewaukee too but they aren’t rail service presently) or LSC communications. The northern paper is known for durability (tear strength) and quality due to our species mix in wood basket that stretches from Maine, across Canada and up into Wisconsin and Minnesota. Also remember, there has historically been traffic for a long time on this line going out the western gateway…. CDAC, MMA and CMQ relied on that backbone traffic.

Right now CP has secured a lot of inbound pulp moves out of Toronto and western Canada (you’ll see them moving in their own cars), which is either supplement to Irving’s production plants (SJ or Lake Utopia) or for export via breakbulk or stuffed in containers (I’ve done both via SJ). Also Pixelle in Maine grabs some spot market pulp that can come in via the Moosehead or Saratoga (I’ve seen both routings) to ST. Remember the origin/destination points are important… also people tend to forget that 7 of the top 10 customers on the CMQ lines are in Canada…. Once 251 works Sherbrooke and Farnham it can easily add 40, 50 or 60 cars. Add that onto the traffic out of Maine and NB… they are well over 100 cars most trips, which isn’t as bad on the line west of Sherbrooke.

The LPG demand in Maine is growing… the home fuel mix is changing and there is a lot of new construction. LPG hot water heaters, boilers, stoves and fireplaces are all popular as they are more efficient than old oil burners, and a good alternative if you don’t have natural gas off the street.
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