• PMC Polymers In Stockertown

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania

Moderator: bwparker1

  by Railfan1588
I will be heading to Stockertown, PA in about a week to visity some family. I was wondering how often PMC Polymers (Located on the Former LV E&N Branch) is switched by NS? In the 10 or so years I have been railfanning there, I have never seen NS switch that customer. Also, has Hercules been shipping cement recently by rail?
  by SemperFidelis
Hercules, and most of the other cement mills in the area, have been shipping more and more material by rail as the export market for the material has been very strong. Other countries, those with growing economies like China, who are investing heavily in infrastructure and industrial development were actually causing cement shortages in the United States due to the price they were willing to pay for the material.

It's pretty incredible how much track Hercules has in and around its facility.
  by IRN750
PMC Poly only gets service a few times a month. If they get switched it would most likely be a Tues. or Thurs. on days when the crew vans out to Stockertown.
  by Railfan1588
I am glad to hear rail shipments from local cement plants are starting to increase. I had heard from a friend recently that several of the cement mills were thinking about reinstating coal shipments by rail.
Nick Marakovits
  by SemperFidelis
I'd heard the same thing about the coal.

If all goes as hoped, we're going to start shipping some of our byproduct materials by rail to the cement mills as well.

Cement is another industry that got a very bad taste in its mouth from railroad service several decades ago. It's takes a lot to convince the owner of a business that you've changed your ways.
  by carajul
As I've noted on other discussion boards, the RRs lost 100% of bagged cement biz and at least 60% of liquid cement biz to trucks. I talked/emailed several of the still-existing cement mills who told me they only use rail for long haul nowadays. They told me the RRs wanted 3 times the $$$ trucks wanted and their customer service sucked. Take a look at the arials from as late as the 1970s each mill had a yard out front with 50-60 cars spotted. Now each mill has a single spur with 5 cars spotted on it. Tadmor yard and Bath yard gone. The NS cement job only running once a day no longer three times a day.
  by SemperFidelis
And, as I've mentioned in other forums, the last time I requested a rail vs. truck rate for a cement haul it was $9.50/ton by truck and $14.30 (or so) by rail.

Slower service AND higher costs? Why not ship by rail?