Discussion relating to the past and present operations of CPR. Official web site can be found here: CPKCR.com. Includes Kansas City Southern. There is also a KCS sub-forum for prior operations: kansas-city-southern-and-affiliates-f153.html

Moderators: Komachi, Ken V

  by CN9634
... what led you to believe the port was ever 'inactive'?

CSX is years away from competitive speeds much less doublestack, so I wouldn't be too worried.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Mr. CN, I never held that the Port was inactive; but let's face it, it does not have a level of callings found at Halifax. I certainly respect your observations, just as I do Mr. NHV's reports on CP loadings, regarding the Port's activity.

But considering how Timmy let the Maine Central become "FRA <Class 1", Chessie is going to need a lot of Fancy Feast to get it anywhere "Competitive" again. Since cats are considered more "cunning" and hence more intelligent than dogs for whom "loving is what it's all about", she must have had a good idea of what it would cost to make the MEC a railroad again.
  by NHV 669
121 was into Greenville Jct. at 09:27 with 8856/9805, 27 wells/54 containers, 68 mixed freight (9 empty autoracks).

120 was into Greenville Jct. at 14:52 with 7036/8516?, 20 mixed freight ( one loaded autorack), 38 wells/71 containers, 46 empty wells.
Last edited by NHV 669 on Sat Sep 09, 2023 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by KuBand12
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Fri Sep 08, 2023 2:03 pm An encouraging report, Mr.K812.

Mr. NHV's reports of train car counts would lead me to believe that the Port is active and that rail gets their fair share of containers to handle.

Now what is of concern to me is when Chessie can represent to shippers and the maritime community that she has a viable routing (judging from the reports we have here from around Keag, she soon will), will she just be "snitching" away from CP's "base" or will more maritime companies realize that Saint John is competitive (with exceptions of Prince Rupert and Halifax, two roads making rates is the "standard") resulting in more vessels calling there - and more traffic for both roads.
Hello Mr Norman,

My biggest problem with predicting Chessie's actions is that this is a scenario that has not existed for about 150 years, and Chessie is holding their cards close.

The back story - Saint John started out prospering significantly by trading with New England. it made Saint John British North America's first incorporated city in 1785. Saint John was incorporated when British colonists were "imported" from the southern colonies that wanted to remain under the rule of the British monarchy. That lasted until Canada was pronounced a different type of jurisdiction by Queen Victoria in 1867. After that, political decisions made in faraway jurisdictions decided that Canada's economy would be promoted in what was then the western extremity of the country.

Chessie's advance to the Keag is an opportunity to return to the natural north-south trade that worked enormously well pre-1867. The port of Saint John has been classified as a foreign trade zone which helps grease the skids for shipping and receiving US shipments. It essentially moves the Maine border 60 miles further east for shipping. I believe that was pushed by DP World before signing their multi-decade contract to manage the intermodal business of the port.

I don't think Chessie is going to reduce anything when they start moving traffic through their new interchange at the Keag. CPKC and Chessie are pretty close in corporate culture. They are going to compete on the Saint John to Chicago routes. Other than that I think Chessie will build the eastern US (and beyond) business and CPKC will build the Canadian business. Part of that Canadian business will be to establish Saint John as the eastern Canadian deep water port for all those <6K TEU ships that are currently calling on Montreal. That business is going to have to move to a competitive port that can handle larger vessels. As is being reported, scrapping of smaller vessels is a huge growth industry in the quest for efficiency. Saint John is the ideal placement for that and to be diplomatic, might better have been tapped a long time ago due to it's advantages in depth and location. I can only guess that we were at one time able to afford the eccentricity of picking where to develop major supply chain links by some reason other than the best characteristics for long term usability, and overall efficiency. It looks like efficiency is forcing our hand, whether we like it or not.

CPKC and Chessie are getting closer over time. They have recently joined forces in the further development of hydrogen locomotives.

https://investor.cpkcr.com/news/press-r ... fault.aspx

Chessie and CPKC are creating their own interchange in Alabama using the Meridian & Bigbee Railroad. This should help both railroads reach larger markets in the US south and Mexico. Who would have thought a railroad based in Canada would be providing a US based railroad improved access to Mexico? They are both pushing their historic limits and are co-operating there.

https://investor.cpkcr.com/news/press-r ... fault.aspx

These are not small joint projects that are of little consequence. It would be interesting to be the mouse in the corner when Hinrichs and Creel talk shop. They have likely had many discussions about how to compete in Saint John so I am hopeful it will run well from the outset.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Mr. Kuband, now let's make sure Chessie doesn't make Lunch of that mouse :P :P

Even considering the tidal conditions at Saint John, the hope of these two, as you note, "culturally aligned" roads would be that the maritime companies will make Saint John their first and only calling, as distinct from earlier reports here that it is just a stop for "tramp steamers" to load or unload containers.
  by Shortline614
I'm curious as to what improvements CSX needs to make in order to start running intermodal trains up to Saint John. When CSX filed its application to acquire Pan Am Railways it said track that is currently 10 mph would be upgraded to 25 mph. Does this apply to the "mainline" up to Keag? Or is it already 25 mph? (In my mind for intermodal you would need at least 40 mph.)

The Irving side of the equation seems to be fine since they've been running intermodal trains for CP(KC) for 2ish years now. Any issues "down south?" (IE: south of Portland?)

  by NHV 669
Shortline614 wrote: Sat Sep 09, 2023 5:43 pm When CSX filed its application to acquire Pan Am Railways it said track that is currently 10 mph would be upgraded to 25 mph. Does this apply to the "mainline" up to Keag? Or is it already 25 mph?
If it was good for 25, it wouldn't still be OOS, waiting on work to finish.
  by NHV 669
121 was into Greenville Jct. at 06:50 with 8518, 6 mixed freight, 62 wells/118 containers, 7036 (DPU), 67 wells/124 containers.
  by F74265A
South of portland there are lots and lots of clearance issues to resolve before an DS could move. Outside of passenger areas, the railroad is mix of 25 and 10 mph. I recall the stb filings saying ultimately a class 2 track RR except for passenger areas. Nmj to keag still functionally OOS, but a lot of 136lb cwr is going in. I think csx has big long term hopes for the keag gateway. I now think development will be incremental over a long time horizon. Csx is I believe extremely limited on the volume of traffic they can move through Ayer to Worcester until the hill yard is reconfigured- work that has not started as we stand at the end of the 2d track work season under csx ownership. And crews are scarce. So I do not think there will be im to SJ for the foreseeable, mid-term future. There is so much work to do given how run down the place was and that csx has actual high standards for their track work and engineering.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Additionally Mr. F7, while I defer to our "local knowledge" within the region, I somehow suspect that where the passenger train agencies, MBTA and NNEPRA, have taken taxpayer $$$$ to build and maintain FRA Class 4 track (F60mph, P79), they have placed restrictions upon Chessie as to when and how large, length and tonnage, a train she may operate over their rails.

Obviously Chessie thinks with a railroad having physical plant sufficient to handle containers, and maybe even auto racks loaded with Bennies and Bimmers, she can be in the game - and without "snitching" traffic from, as both Mr. Kuband and TRAINS note, "culturally aligned CPKC".
  by QB 52.32
Despite the mid/longer-term lack of overhead clearance and higher speeds, as well as likely shorter-term labor issues, I can see CSX relatively soon at least offering service for Port Saint John traffic single stack in mixed carload trains at least as far as Worcester via Keag to/from new places in total-transit-time competition with the Port of NY/NJ but not necessarily competing head-to-head with CP and hubbed for volume density to existing terminals such as in Worcester, MA, Cincinnati and N. Baltimore (Toledo), OH, and Syracuse, NY, as examples.

If they're willing to take on the costs of filleting/toupeeing in Worcester or Syracuse, perhaps full-on competition against CP to larger-volume Chicago/beyond?

In terms of that mouse in the corner for a Creel and Hinrichs conversation, I'm thinking it might likely be a lawyer ready to roar should the conversation turn to competition.

Reflected in the CP numbers Mr. NHV generously reports, this summer Irving-originated/CSX-destined "low-hanging fruit" freight traffic has been diverted to the NMJ soon-to-be Keag gateway eliminating CP's overhead role.
  by NHV 669
121 was into Greenville Jct. at 08:06 with 8654, 4 mixed freight, 50 wells/96 containers, KCS 4864 (DPU), 57 mixed freight (17 empty autoracks).

[Edited at 16:45]

120 was into Greenville Jct. at 12:16 with 8835/CN 3949, 31 wells/63 containers, 3 empty wells, 31 mixed freight.

I missed yesterday's 120, which was this morning's 121 power through Greenville Jct. at 14:41 with 76 total cars.
  by NHV 669
121 was into Greenville Jct. at 07:29 with CN 3949/8835, 71 wells/152 containers, 19 mixed freight.

120 was into Greenville Jct. at 16:30 with 8759/KCS 4556/KCS 4027, 31 mixed freight, 11 empty wells, 10 wells/20 containers.
Last edited by NHV 669 on Tue Sep 12, 2023 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by Gilbert B Norman
QB 52.32 wrote: Mon Sep 11, 2023 5:15 am Reflected in the CP numbers Mr. NHV generously reports, this summer Irving-originated/CSX-destined "low-hanging fruit" freight traffic has been diverted to the NMJ soon-to-be Keag gateway eliminating CP's overhead role.
Mr. QB, if "culturally aligned" Chessie and CPKC want more Saint John callings so they both win, why don't their Salesmen get on Big Bird (probably Coach) together and "get on over to hit on" the likes of CGM(French Line), Maersk, and Mediterranean Shipping Company and sell that "we're together because we can help you...together".

Maybe Messrs. Creel and Hinrichs will hop on their "Privates" and get on over to help out the troops.

Now with all this said, lest we not forget that Chessie has a "conflict" in that she serves all the major East Coast ports (those in FL by way of "open gateway JAX") while CPKC only serves New Orleans. Perhaps someone has an idea how to resolve that conflict.
  by QB 52.32
A bit too much competition vs. cooperation in the dynamic between the two within the derived demand of Port Saint John's interests, but perhaps represented among a wider entourage, including inviting CN, spearheaded by the port itself from my experience, Mr. Norman, might be more appropriate.

No more "conflict" for CP or CSX amongst ports and gateways where CP likes Vancouver and CSX the U.S. west coast ports as well, where they seek the longest haul and highest volume among ports whose various advantages are framed most by markets and container line economics. For Port Saint John, while CP has Toronto, perhaps CSX will have Ohio and both will compete in Detroit and Chicago with neither ever having a shot at Atlanta no matter how attractive that is.
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