• Finger Lakes Railway (FGLK) Discussion

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  • 545 posts
  • 1
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 37
  by Matt Langworthy
 
sd80mac wrote:
Matt Langworthy wrote:The train length comes from my notes of H06, as observed from 2010 to 2013. Most of the runs had 50+ cars. There are some photos over at railfan.net to back my observations, too. Of course, train lengths can and do change based on the needs of FGLK customers.

Clarify... I am not questioning you about H06. I was asking what train was it that I saw? I would ASSUME that is NOT H06.... I am not familiar with locals coming out of Gang Mills.

thanks.
Ooops... I'm sorry. I misunderstood you.

And yes, poppyl is correct. Either you saw H06 going to Geneva or the Gang Mills yard job (H77?) doing a quick drop at Baker Street.
  by sd80mac
 
Matt Langworthy wrote:And yes, poppyl is correct. Either you saw H06 going to Geneva or the Gang Mills yard job (H77?) doing a quick drop at Baker Street.
Matt and poppyl - thanks..
  by nessman
 
Matt Langworthy wrote:Other than interchange traffic, NS has no customers on the line north of Corning. Lidestri Foods moved from Dundee to Rochester a year or two ago, and the AES plant has closed down, too.
AES will never receive another carload of coal again - unless there is some major energy crisis in the state (i.e., price of natural gas skyrockets... nuclear fuel shipments stop... Great Lakes dry up, etc...) and the state has no choice but to waive requirements and take the idled coal plants out of mothballs. But as of October, only 2% of the state's electricity was generated by coal - and that number will continue to drop as plants go off-line due to more stringent environmental regulations and cost of coal continues to rise and natural gas falls. When/if Fuhrer Cuomo ever allows fracking in NY - you can kiss coal energy production in NY goodbye for good.

So with nothing between Himrod Jct and Corning - and nothing between Geneva and Lyons... that opens up some possibilities / speculation as a single but large customer may not be worth the expense of running NS crews up and down the Corning Secondary:
  • * NS sells the entire Corning Secondary to the FGLK - they interchange with CSX in Lyons and Solvay, and NS in Corning - and opens the possibilities to industrial development along the line (I know... I know... this is NY - but we can all dream).
    * NS abandons Lyons to Geneva - FGLK maintains interchange with NS at Geneva and CSX at Solvay
    * NS abandons Himrod to Corning - FGLK maintains interchange with CSX at Solvay / possibly Lyons as well if that segment also survives
    * NS abandons entire Corning Secondary and sells Geneva to Himrod Jct - FGLK maintains interchange with CSX in Solvay.
Whatever happens - there will surely be state money to go along with whatever piece of the Corning Secondary that FGLK acquires - along with funds down the road for overhaul and repair.

The big picture here is cost of operating and maintaining the Corning Secondary - NS costs are higher due to union crews (unsure if FGLK is a union shop or not), work rules, higher wages, OT, etc. In theory, it should be cheaper to run trains with FGLK engines and crew from Geneva to Corning. There's also a sizable high bridge over Glen Creek in Watkins Glen that can be a major financial headache for a shortline operator should it be deemed unsafe or fail.
  by BR&P
 
Good points, Les.

Personally, I would expect that having an NS connection is important enough to FGLK that if they HAD to, they would take over to Corning rather than have it abandoned. But since we're being hypothetical here, allow me to comment on your option #4 - "NS abandons entire Corning Secondary and sells Geneva to Himrod Jct".

If for whatever reason the Himrod to Corning portion were to be abandoned, your scenario would have FGLK owning Geneva to Himrod to access the former PRR line they already operate. BUT - at that point you are getting into a lot of miles of track to maintain and operate for relatively few cars. I don't have car counts or revenue numbers but the Penn Yan end is pretty light. While there are two salt customers in Watkins Glen, it's already a lot of miles from Himrod. Add in the cost of maintaining to Geneva and it could possibly be a money losing proposition. And given the wineries, cottages and tourism on that lower end, there's not much chance any significant industry is going to appear in that area. There HAS been discussion of storing gas in the underground salt layers but I'm not aware of it being close to a reality. I DO know it would not break the hearts of the Watkins Glen tourist industry to have those nasty old train tracks gone from the waterfront. :wink:

Stay tuned! And if you're into photography, get your pictures now because who knows what changes the future will bring!
  by scharnhorst
 
This might be a little far fetched and it would never happen but if NS wants out of this operation then why has no one ever thought about selling from Himrod to Geneva and Geneva to Lyons to FGLK. Install 2 long passing sidings at Himrod and just have NS and FGLK interchange there. Finger Lakes could take there Cars down and set them off on one siding for NS to pick up while NS drops cars off on the other siding.
  by BR&P
 
That does not sound far fetched to me - could make sense if all the right things came together. Less miles and cost for NS, freedom to run to and from Himrod when FGLK wanted, not subject to NS delays. Who knows?
  by Matt Langworthy
 
BR&P wrote:I DO know it would not break the hearts of the Watkins Glen tourist industry to have those nasty old train tracks gone from the waterfront. :wink:

Stay tuned! And if you're into photography, get your pictures now because who knows what changes the future will bring!
Agreed. I grew up in Hammondsport, and know fully the pressure developers can bring to RR tracks on the waterfront. Thankfully, Cargill seems to be doing well right now, which is good news for FGLK fans. However, the the one constant in business is change. Maybe there will be more salt traffic in Watkins Glen 50 years from now or maybe it will be gone. Who knows?

And yes- get those pictures while you can. At least one B23-7 previously assigned to the Watkins Glen Division of FGLK now sits OOS at Geneva. Even if the salt traffic continues, operations could change someday. HW2 could become a night time turn. FGLK could be sold and the engines repainted into a non-NYC/LV/CR scheme. I have a deep regret for only photographing the original B&H just a few times, but I feel good about catching shots of FGLK at Wakins Glen in all 4 seasons since 2007.
  by poppyl
 
Heard through the grapevine yesterday PM that a garbage truck collided with a southbound FGLK freight yesterday AM in the Dresden area. Source said that there no injuries to either the loco or truck crew and no derailment. Train was bound for Himrod with empties. Looking for an official news source to confirm information and verify location.

Poppyl
  by poppyl
 
Matt Langworthy wrote:
BR&P wrote:I DO know it would not break the hearts of the Watkins Glen tourist industry to have those nasty old train tracks gone from the waterfront. :wink:

Stay tuned! And if you're into photography, get your pictures now because who knows what changes the future will bring!
Agreed. I grew up in Hammondsport, and know fully the pressure developers can bring to RR tracks on the waterfront. Thankfully, Cargill seems to be doing well right now, which is good news for FGLK fans. However, the the one constant in business is change. Maybe there will be more salt traffic in Watkins Glen 50 years from now or maybe it will be gone. Who knows?

And yes- get those pictures while you can. At least one B23-7 previously assigned to the Watkins Glen Division of FGLK now sits OOS at Geneva. Even if the salt traffic continues, operations could change someday. HW2 could become a night time turn. FGLK could be sold and the engines repainted into a non-NYC/LV/CR scheme. I have a deep regret for only photographing the original B&H just a few times, but I feel good about catching shots of FGLK at Wakins Glen in all 4 seasons since 2007.
Just a couple of comments on the Watkins Glen waterfront situation. Maybe Matt has better (or more precise?) information, but it is my impression that the majority of the WG salt traffic is generated by US Salt which would not be affected by the waterfront situation. Secondly, the locals are attempting to resurrect tourist trains leaving from the waterfront area so I do not know how anxious they are to pull up the tracks at this moment. Perhaps a former poster here who has ties to the local C of C will see this and weigh in.

Poppyl
  by BR&P
 
Glad to hear nobody was hurt at the grade crossing incident!

As for WG most likely there are different factions, some who would like the tracks there for tourist trains and others who would like them removed. One point regarding that is for whatever reason, FGLK has not been aggressive at pursuing the passenger market lately. It would take more than one or two trips a year to get the locals firmly on board (no pun intended).
  by Matt Langworthy
 
poppyl wrote:Just a couple of comments on the Watkins Glen waterfront situation. Maybe Matt has better (or more precise?) information, but it is my impression that the majority of the WG salt traffic is generated by US Salt which would not be affected by the waterfront situation. Secondly, the locals are attempting to resurrect tourist trains leaving from the waterfront area so I do not know how anxious they are to pull up the tracks at this moment. Perhaps a former poster here who has ties to the local C of C will see this and weigh in.
Fair points, poppyl. US Salt generates more traffic than Cargill. That being said, Cargill is a pretty steady shipper at this time... based on my observations and photos taken by other railfans. I am hopeful for their future, but one can't predict unforeseen circumstances that could occur years down the road.

I refrained from commenting about the excursion trains returning to Watkins Glen because A. I have no recent information about the groups sponsoring them, and B. excursion trains are a secondary concern. I don't think FGLK would keep a section of track solely for excursion purposes, if the freight traffic dries up. Thankfully, the salt traffic is there... and the anti-rail faction will have to live with it.

Do you think the excursion trains will return to Watkins Glen this year? I would love to ride that line again.
  by dj_paige
 
I don't think FGLK would keep a section of track solely for excursion purposes ...
Just out of curiosity, I hope someone can enlighten me, why does FGLK keep the track from Geneva to Kendaia?
  by BR&P
 
dj_paige wrote:Just out of curiosity, I hope someone can enlighten me, why does FGLK keep the track from Geneva to Kendaia?
At one time they had over 1000 cars stored there, which generated nice income. While that is not the big deal it was a few years ago, they have - last I heard - one or more customers in the Base which use rail service.
  by dj_paige
 
I would love to see a train in the Kendaia-Geneva segment.

I don't suppose they have any sort of regular schedule there, do they?
  • 1
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 37