• CSX Track Upgrades & Infrastructure of Pan Am

  • 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 newpylong
 
Because the B&A's decreased transit time is not a big enough carrot alone, the double stack potential sealed the deal. They are both supposed to share the expense from what I've been told.
  by F74265A
 
In order to get NS to drop its objection to csx buying pan am, they cut a deal. NS could run 1 pair of intermodal trains daily over the B&A and Worcester main from VO to Ayer but I recall the filings indicating that NS has to pay for the clearance and connection improvements necessary to do so

If you have a free day, check out the stb filings
It is all in there and is fascinating
  by NHV 669
 
I saw the part of the agreement mentioning that stacks were part of it, must have overlooked the financial portion.
  by ST377
 
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but I believe there are two points (at least) that need double stack clearance from CP45 to Ayer. Clinton, at the Fitchburg Secondary and Hartwell Ave in West Boylston. I don't know about the Lincoln Square tunnel in Worcester or the truss bridge over the Nashua at Still River but those might be a candidates as well, the latter more likely than the former.
  by F74265A
 
I’ve never seen any mention of the still river thru truss or hartwell st in the discussions or stb filings as being clearance issues. (I’ve always been puzzled why that was a thru truss when every other bridge I know of on the wn&p is plate girder). However, I could have missed it and it is possible. There are a number of overhead bridges on the route. During the merger discussions the Lincoln sq tunnel was mentioned and I never got a clear picture. I recall that someone mentioned that 1 track in there was good but the other may not be. I believe there are 2 tracks up to the north entrance
  by jamoldover
 
According to the 2017 P&W ETT I have, anything taller than 19'4" is restricted/requires special authorization between MP 0 (Worcester) and MP 2.88 (Barbers). I don't know if that only applies to the P&W route through the Lincoln Square tunnel or to both the P&W route and the CSX route, or if one has higher clearance through the tunnel. I know that autoracks fit without issues on either route.
According to the 2021 update of the CSX Boston SD ETT, CSX requires that trains bound for the P&W or Pan Am at Worcester to be inspected if they trigger the 20'4" setting on the HCD at West Warren.
Unfortunately I don't have anything in my files that indicates the actual height limit in the Lincoln Square tunnel, but I wouldn't be surprised if it needed some undercutting to get full 20'2" clearance.
  by QB 52.32
 
I concur, from all indications sure looks like the Lincoln Square tunnel will have to be undercut to accomodate 2 high-cube containers doublestacked, whether they do one or both tracks. That would make sense since its existing improved clearance was done as part of the publicly-funded 1996 Massachusetts Seaport Improvement Bond Bill project which provided the 19'6" ATR clearance to participants Conrail and P&W (Guilford opted out because they believed it favored the P&W).
  by QB 52.32
 
Ed Sparks, CSX's Chief Engineer, Bridge Design & Construction, presenting at a UMaine symposium on New England railroads, reported that there are 172 obstructions between Worcester and Keag that have to be cleared to get to full high-cube doublestack capability in the corridor.

Order-of-magnitude comparison, the Heartland Corridor project cleared 52 obstructions, including 24 tunnels, for $400 million, and, the National Gateway project cleared 40 obstructions, including 11 tunnels, for $850 million.
  by johnpbarlow
 
It would be interesting to know how many of those 72 double stack clearance obstructions are tough challenges to remedy, eg tunnels, through truss bridges.

Having said that, if CSX thinks there’s a market for container traffic on this route, it could operate single stacked or TOFC trains as it currently does between New Jersey and Jax. And going a little OT, if CSX wants to pursue new east coast IM traffic, I’m guessing it might want to add an Atlanta - NJ service lane first that NS currently has all to itself.
  by newpylong
 
Considering the only tunnel is perhaps the one in Worcester I would assume the price tag to not be inconsequential but far lower per location.
  by QB 52.32
 
johnpbarlow wrote: Sun Feb 26, 2023 9:19 am It would be interesting to know how many of those 72 double stack clearance obstructions are tough challenges to remedy, eg tunnels, through truss bridges.
That is the $100's-million question when it comes to 172 obstructions. My understanding is that among the challenges, there might be issues requiring the taking of residential properties coming into play. And, of course, when it comes to funding, the potential challenges arising from spanning 3 separate states each with its own priorities and motivations.

In terms of the international market and the port of Saint John specifically, likely CSX will tap in to some degree with a single-stack product to places where they hold a solid competitive advantage, like central MA; upstate NY; the Ohio River Valley and Indianapolis, but, up against a 3-port, 3-Class 1 competitive landscape in this discretionary international container marketplace, find challenging difficulty into the MI, (Chicago) IL; and MN markets without full clearance.

In terms of the domestic marketplace, whether in the East-West or North-South lanes, given that they're operating under PSR principles and the "dog" of the market is south of the Maine "tail", single stack provides further challenging limitation short of a political quid pro quo to Maine, and including whether it's focused upon the existing Waterville operation or to a new Portland operation.
  by jamoldover
 
One option, depending on how much of a market there is, and how long it's likely to take to remove all of the obstructions, would be to use Worcester or West Springfield as a fillet/toupee location, and run full doubles west from there. It might add some time to the trip, but would enable things to get started sooner.
  by QB 52.32
 
Always a possibility though probably done in Worcester or Syracuse given terminal capacity and capabilities as well as train operations. More recently across multiple cases, practice has eschewed this type of operation.
  by CN9634
 
Toupet/Filet has proven to be a difficult operation in the domestic marketplace. It adds at least a day, sometimes more, as well as added complexities. It sounded great on paper to the railroads but didn't work for servicing customers.
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