• Pan Am Worcester Main Line

  • 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 taracer
 
40 MPH vs. 25 MPH for basically half the line makes a huge difference. The actual true average speed is much higher now. When it was 25 MAS in this section you would run at 20 or less in many spots for train handling due to the grades. Remember, there is no leeway for going over speed now, and the trains are far too long to power brake on the undulating grade in this area without ripping the train apart. The brakes won't release fast enough. At 40 MPH MAS, it's just like the B&A proper now. You can actually throttle modulate and maintain 35 MPH and kiss the 40 MAS in some spots.

It's 40 MPH from MP WOR 1 to WOR 12. WOR 12 is right on the steep grade going railroad west out of Clinton towards Worcester. So, you'd be down to 25 MPH anyway since the westbound 427 is routinely 8000+ tons. Alot of the time it is over tonnage for the B&A proper and needs to set out cars at West Springfield. It works perfectly in either direction though.

I thought they were going to be limited to 25 through the watershed area no matter what.

The next thing is to eliminate the P&W bottleneck. The issue with parking trains at CP45 is being addressed with Selkirk crews most likely returning to Framingham.
  by newpylong
 
When 427 sets out cars in West Spring, who picks them up to go west? Any westbound that has capacity?

Agreed 100% on the P&W, that is a serious bottleneck. Is that at least TWC now or is it still a Running Track?
  by jamoldover
 
newpylong wrote: Tue May 28, 2024 3:32 pm Agreed 100% on the P&W, that is a serious bottleneck. Is that at least TWC now or is it still a Running Track?
Neither. It's part of the yard, so it's restricted speed the whole way down.
  by newpylong
 
As it also be if it were a Running Track, thanks. That's gotta change for sure...
  by jamoldover
 
Not quite - it's Rule 6.13 territory in GCOR. There's no such thing as a Running Track in GCOR - that's a NORAC invention. As far as whether or not the P&W will upgrade that section of track, I doubt it - it's too useful to them as a flexible area to use when switching the yard, or as needed to stage cars out of the way, etc. Besides, with the increase in speed between Burncoat and Harvard, the total running time for CP45 - CPF-AY (including the moves at restricted speed through the yards on each end) is down to about 1:45. Raising the speed to 25 on the P&W would only save about 10 minutes - and I don't think either CSX or G&W will consider it worth the cost. You're never going to get much above a crawl at the station due to the sharp curve, anyway.
Last edited by jamoldover on Tue May 28, 2024 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by newpylong
 
While I appreciate accuracy and that you can read a timetable and rulebook, I was qualified and operated in both GCOR and NORAC territory, so you can save the lessons.

Restricted speed is the key point we're talking about here.
  by bostontrainguy
 
There is room to add a separate track for CSX if the parties can agree. Maybe it depends on how problematic the current situation becomes for CSX.
  by markhb
 
mrj1981 wrote: Tue May 28, 2024 9:44 am Am I incorrect in thinking that outlawing trains, which was such a feature of the Mellon days, is pretty much gone on the former PAR properties today?
Anecdotally, and with no way to definitively state that the practice was due to outlawing (I've felt that lack of available space in Rigby due to unplowed snow might have also played a factor in winter), I can say that the number of trains tied down for days between PLD 6 and PLD 9 (the old CPF 192/194) has been drastically reduced. It still happens, but far less than it used to.
  by taracer
 
jamoldover wrote: Tue May 28, 2024 8:14 pm Not quite - it's Rule 6.13 territory in GCOR. There's no such thing as a Running Track in GCOR - that's a NORAC invention. As far as whether or not the P&W will upgrade that section of track, I doubt it - it's too useful to them as a flexible area to use when switching the yard, or as needed to stage cars out of the way, etc. Besides, with the increase in speed between Burncoat and Harvard, the total running time for CP45 - CPF-AY (including the moves at restricted speed through the yards on each end) is down to about 1:45. Raising the speed to 25 on the P&W would only save about 10 minutes - and I don't think either CSX or G&W will consider it worth the cost. You're never going to get much above a crawl at the station due to the sharp curve, anyway.
The track speed is not really the problem on the P&W section, it's the operating method and having to deal with the P&W dispatcher, who can be hard to make contact with. It's not just getting the permission to operate on that section, you also have to call clear. Most times you have to stop the train to deal with them in both directions, it's just not a seamless junction, with a rinky dink railroad throttling movement.

It's restricted speed with a hand thrown switch right next to CP45, it's a huge operational bottleneck.

Speed wise it could easily be 25 MPH, the power switch at CP45 from CSX to the P&W is good for 30 MPH and the curve flows with it. You get a medium clear going westbound, but we are bottlenecked at 10 MPH.

As I've stated before, a multi-billion-dollar class one railroad does not spend over 500 million to be controlled by another railroad just to reach the territory they purchased.

The current method of operation will not stand.
Last edited by taracer on Wed May 29, 2024 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by taracer
 
newpylong wrote: Tue May 28, 2024 8:24 pm While I appreciate accuracy and that you can read a timetable and rulebook, I was qualified and operated in both GCOR and NORAC territory, so you can save the lessons.

Restricted speed is the key point we're talking about here.
Yep, and people don't understand what restricted speed really means. If you are out there in a blizzard, it could mean going 1 MPH, or about 3 hours from CP45 just to Barber.

If T&E violates restricted speed, we are fired instantly, and that is one of the first things they look for.
  by F74265A
 
How was the p&w segment managed when conrail was moving large volumes via barbers? Back then p&w was independent and the dispatch I believe was local and not in VT as it is now under G&W.
  by taracer
 
F74265A wrote: Wed May 29, 2024 3:57 pm How was the p&w segment managed when conrail was moving large volumes via barbers? Back then p&w was independent and the dispatch I believe was local and not in VT as it is now under G&W.
Ok I see people keep bringing this up, and I'll answer but with some rebuttal. The independent P&W dispatcher was located in the building right next to the overpass of the B&A mainline, right up to the G&W buyout.

As for the volume Conrail handled, it was a totally different time back then, predating me and I've got 20 years. It was the wild west and I hired out just at the tail end of it.

A couple of huge differences is that they had crews everywhere, so if anything happened a recrew was no problem. Trains were much lighter and shorter, and more frequent. They would run small extra trains which you don't see today.

The rule compliance was way more relaxed, you could go 10 over, violate restricted speed and not get in trouble. So while MAS may have been 25 or 40 or whatever it was back then, you can be sure that they were regularly doing 5 over the MAS at least. 5 MPH over today and you are fired, 10 over you are decertified. The engines wouldn't automatically download back then. I can go on and on with this but I think the point is made.

You can't compare the way it was run over 20 years ago to today and I will say that most of those old heads that were around when I hired out would not be able to handle it now.
Last edited by taracer on Wed May 29, 2024 4:52 pm, edited 4 times in total.
  by b&m 1566
 
taracer wrote: Wed May 29, 2024 2:33 pm
The current method of operation will not stand.
Ever since it was announced that CSX was purchasing Pan Am, this was one of the first thoughts that crossed my mind. How long will it take before CSX builds their own track beside the P&W, it just makes sense. Has CSX made any indication that they are heading in the direction with doing that?
  by F74265A
 
Thank you Tarcar
That’s exactly the information and perspective i was looking for.
  by F74265A
 
b&m 1566 wrote: Wed May 29, 2024 4:46 pm
taracer wrote: Wed May 29, 2024 2:33 pm
The current method of operation will not stand.
Ever since it was announced that CSX was purchasing Pan Am, this was one of the first thoughts that crossed my mind. How long will it take before CSX builds their own track beside the P&W, it just makes sense. Has CSX made any indication that they are heading in the direction with doing that?
Where does p&w territory start for csx? I always thought it was where the 2 main tracks converged near garden st. But tarcar suggests that maybe it is much earlier just past cp 45. If P&W controls both tracks through the tunnels, no easy way to avoid p&w dispatch even if csx builds a 2d track garden st to barbers
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