• Intermodal to Saint John

  • Discussion relating to the past and present operations of CPR. Official web site can be found here: CPR.CA. Includes Kansas City Southern.
Discussion relating to the past and present operations of CPR. Official web site can be found here: CPR.CA. Includes Kansas City Southern.

Moderators: Komachi, Ken V

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Thanks for the very informative posting,, Mr.. CN9634.

It appears that Compagnie Générale Transatlantique has committed to the CPKC System with their offer of long term incentive rates and that Mediterranean Shipping Corporation seems to follow Gordon Lightfoot sailing "up the Saint Lawrence and down to Gaspe' ".

So this means "that darned cat" thinks she can get her Traffic Department (whoops, Marketing in newspeak) busy and get more maritime companies to have their vessels call at Saint John.

I like to think "she ain't dumb" (feelines are considered more intelligent- and ask me, conniving - than are canines; our Administrator knows first hand how much I love the latter) and as she rebuilds her now broken down road, she is going to capture enough traffic to make her venture into Maine, and by extension the Maritimes, pay.
  by NHV 669
 
CP(KC) has apparently picked up additional auto traffic in addition to the current Kia/Honda moves east, with a possibility of export moves as well.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
I'd like to think that once Chessie gets her road in shape (Class 2 minimun) that she will not be clawing CPKC's existing traffic, but rather developing new traffic to/fm Saint John and from which she will have a worthwhile line haul.

Again, as I noted earlier, perhaps her Traffic Dept. can pass out enough cigars and other assorted "bling" (whoops, Marketing does not do those kind of things anymore) to have more maritime companies call at Saint John.
  by RandallW
 
Looking at the container services through Saint John, it's Canada-Mexico, Canada-Caribbean, and Canada-Mediterranean. The Canada-Mexico services are MSC (the one service not partnered with CPKC that I can see). The Mediterranean services offload at Saint John and then proceed up the St Lawrence Seaway (I understand there is a CPKC traffic imbalance servicing this port, and this would explain it). I don't see CSX attempting to move containers bound for the Caribbean to Saint John, since CSX's value proposition would be that any other port they serve with Caribbean sailings reduces the time the container is on ship.
  by CN9634
 
Creel talked at Port Days about the next step being a direct Asia call via Suez. They can now take the bigger ships too, so this is a mimic of what Halifax is doing. MSC has planted a firm flag with CN and Halifax, adding its 5th service this past week. They are running their second intermodal pair as traffic and crews permit.

I think the future growth may lie more in the CMA/Maersk side of the house, but that's just a personal hunch. Hapag still seems interested and is just now retiring the ice class ships that pioneered the St Lawrence seaway 25-30 years ago. They've said they plan to retire small ships in favor of bigger ones.

Lastly, CPKC has mentioned that it sees by end of 2025 PSJ at its 800,000 TEU per year throughput. That would mean 4 dedicated intermodal trains daily (no manifest) to sustain at that rate.

The last thing to remember is, steamship line contracts swap hands every decade or so. That's the nature of the business, swap contracts, raise rates 3% a year, and eventually musical chairs occurs. My point here is that the PSJ of the next few years probably won't be the PSJ we'll know in 10 years. The Hapag / CP relationship has managed to outlast this cycle, probably due to the tight bond of the CP Ships sale to Hapag 20 years ago.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Randall W, while Mr. CN9634 paints a picture of a solid CPKC business plan,, you paint a picture that has me wondering why Chessie ever got involved with picking up Timmy's 1:1 Lionel set that he had done a good job of breaking up over the years he destroyed it.

What else could be all about than developing new traffic along the MEC in Maine and by extension the Maritime Provinces? She already had the superior E-W X-Mass line (the B&A). N-S on the B&M along the CTRiver and the trackage rights over the P&W and Amtrak? Is there enough there to be excited over?

So nobody ever said "that dumb cat", she must have in mind developing new traffic from industries not yet built (thinking of the big push the New Haven made to industrialize around New Milford CT during the '50's) along the MEC and additional maritime traffic from Saint John.
  by RandallW
 
If Hapag is looking to replace its ships capable of serving Montreal with ones that are too large to transit the St Lawrence Seaway, it makes sense to ensure the Port of Saint John is built up enough to handle larger ships by starting small, which would improve the traffic balance for CPKC, but today's traffic patterns don't suggest serving Atlantic states from Saint John would be attractive to any railroad.

I think CSX's play was that by simply providing better service than PAR, they can grow traffic coming off PAR (including the Port of Portland) and divert traffic in New England from NS, although maybe all they really wanted to prevent someone else from getting PAR. (PAR was put up for sale about 6 months before CSX announced that it had agreed to purchase the railroad.)
  by johnpbarlow
 
I hope the crew shortage problem CSX/PAR/PAS is currently experiencing is quickly resolved as, at the moment, CSX service over PAR is no better (and perhaps worse given the need to spend time and manpower combining the CSX and PAS freight consists north of Ayer). It appears that there are many relatively attractive engineer/conductor positions available for engineers and conductors at neighboring Amtrak and MBTA operations that are hiring from PAR/Springfield Terminal.
  by QB 52.32
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Sat Jun 17, 2023 7:10 pm What else could this be all about than developing new traffic along the MEC in Maine and by extension the Maritime Provinces? She already had the superior E-W X-Mass line (the B&A). N-S on the B&M along the CTRiver and the trackage rights over the P&W and Amtrak? Is there enough there to be excited over?
What else might she be interested in besides the low-hanging fruit of converting interline received traffic to a better gateway or her own fancy feast, new or diverted container traffic, new interline-forwarded or overhead traffic, new energy or products of the forest traffic, and defense from another carrier, including CN?

Using the B&M to continue directly serving a large growing population, including from new manufacturing coming on line in the South, with increasing passenger rail and redevelopment on half of that "superior E-W X-Mass line (the B&A)" and certainly on the eastern quarter.
  by NHV 669
 
120 was into Greenville Jct. at 14:17 with 9816, 48 wells/99 containers, 8616 (DPU), 60 mixed freight.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Well Mr. NHV, I certainly acknowledge your immediate reflects, even if only "one a day", a mighty healthy train!

But, as Mr. QB notes, it seems as if there are limitations as to how far the Port of Saint John can grow. I've noted here the extreme tidal conditions in the Bay of Fundy which places severe limitations as to when vessels can dock or sail.

Now how much new industrial development can be attracted to Southern Maine (where the MEC serves) that can use rail transport? Of course "Products of Forests" need such - and Maine has plenty of raw materials for such at hand - and they are renewable.

So maybe Chessie - now that it appears she will again be the CSX mascot - thinks that will be enough to make all the Fancy Feast she is putting on the table to pay.

Maybe she accepts that Halifax - "owned" by CN - is and will be the dominant port in The Maritimes, but "owning" the Water Level Route means she is the best player on which to move traffic to the Midwest.
  by QB 52.32
 
Mr. Norman, my point is more directed to Chessie's fancy feast coming from the Medleys line of products, combining a variety of benefits that go to new and existing traffic over Keag, MEC, and B&M, and, in agreement with Mr. RandallW, defending herself as well. Among the different flavors there's different nutritional value, for example in new vs. existing or container vs. carload traffic that to some degree transcends volume but in combination will keep her claws strong and fur healthy.
  by NHV 669
 
121 was into Greenville Jct. at 07:03 with 8616, 65 wells/126 containers, 9816 (DPU), 46 wells/105 containers, 6 mixed freight.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. NHV, it is certainly encouraging that you are now able to report observations of some rather "healthy" trains over the CP-M.

Now to reconcile Mr. QB's points that Chessie acquiring "Blue meatball" (Pan Am) was not necessarily "all about Saint John", but rather with good rail service (or at least better than what Timmy could provide with his "excuse for a railroad") will attract new industry to Southern Maine - and if those industries are "Products of Forests" (that is an AAR classification, BTW) related, rail is certainly "in the game".

I guess time will tell; maybe come five years from now, one will be able to evaluate did Chessie make a good deal (and I can read about it in the Old Veteran's Home)?
  by NHV 669
 
Mr. Norman, it appears these containers may be the first batch off the Surabaya, which has already departed Saint John for NYC. They must have made quick work of the Don Giovanni, as the Surabaya was not scheduled to come in until last night. While this was a good size train, it's also two days worth of cars, as 121 didn't run out of Brownville Jct. yesterday.

Barcelona Express is due this Thursday, with the Livorno Express scheduled as part of the first double booking next Thursday.
Last edited by NHV 669 on Mon Jun 19, 2023 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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