• Port of Politics

  • Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.
Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.

Moderator: MBTA F40PH-2C 1050

  by crazy_nip
ACLfan wrote:With the construction activities mentioned in the above posts, CSX decided to "steer" all of their intermodal business in Southeast Florida to the FEC, with the intermodal cars being turned over to CSX in Jacksonville, FL for the "long haul", and the reverse for intermodal traffic to Southeast Florida from the CSX.
this was also about the same time they abandoned coleman to auburndale, they didnt need that extra bit of speed to get to Miami. Without the intermodal, there was really just amtrak, a couple coal trains and an autorack or 2

  by Gilbert B Norman
To continue with the impact of the proposed Dubai Ports World franchise on railroad transportation, what other reasonable and practical routings, if any, would be available if paranoia prevails and shipments consigned from any DPW operated port are embargoed from a routing via Wash DC?

Ideally, since we gather here to discuss CSX matters, the routings should favor CSX but as near as I can tell any traffic to/from the Southeast routed CSX will involve a Washington routing.

NS can route traffic via Hagerstown (PRR-N&W), but what of Chessie?

Enquiring mind wants to know.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

  by Noel Weaver
In my opinion, CSX does not really care about the business that they have
in the West Palm Beach- Fort Lauderdale-Miami area. They run one or
two trains each way daily plus a local out of Fort Lauderdale that does the
sidings to the north and south as well as local switching. In addition to
what "Nip" stateed, they also carry some rock or whatever from the Miami
area to destinations north.
CSX also has traffice on the Homestead Branch or as they call it the
"Homestead Subdivision".
Most nights I hear enough activity to indicate that they are running more
than one train each way but their volumne is only a small fraction of what
the Florida East Coast is running day and night.
Noel Weaver

  by Gilbert B Norman
It would appear, save one more "whupping" of a "President on the ropes" and who still has more than half a term to try and govern, this matter is "moot".

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/09/polit ... ports.html

  by crazy_nip
most deserving

  by badneighbor
in brief... what responsibilities go with "running a port"? aren't there US Government officials still on hand to check what comes in and out? I know they don't check each box, but what are the responsibilities of the "port operator"?
  by Gilbert B Norman
From Hilton Miami Downtown--

From the room, I can observe that one half the cranes are "skyward" i.e. no ship.
  by Gilbert B Norman
From Hilton Miami Downtown--

Looks like ALL cranes are "skyward" at present. but looks like about six Love Tubs.

From what I read, the backlog of vessels awaiting berths, has now "normalized". Hope this does not portend badly for the Port.

And for that matter, the Mexican interests that acquired the FEC.
  by RandallW
There is a reason Brightline wants to build an extension to the port (or at least upgrade the FEC tracks to run passenger trains). If I understand correctly FEC was bought by a conglomerate that is primarily in the cement business. For all we know they are running it as a cheap way to get their materials around Florida with an added of bonus of other revenue.
  by Gilbert B Norman
From Hilton Miami Downtown

Never in all the years I've been coming down to hear The Cleveland Orchestra (and paying dearly extra for a high floor Port view) have I seen anything running over the bridge to Dodge Island.

The bridge. along with the cranes. are all, as I write. "skyward".

One must wonder if the Mexican interests are wondering "why". I still hold, and this trip down here this year only fortifies my thought. that the "most party in interest" is the State. They (and the Feds) have poured $$$ into these ports. I know if Mr. Cowford is reading, he will agree, but shippers and maritime companies want to have two roads available. Every other East and West Coast, except in Florida, there are the two roads to make rates. JAX would have to be deemed "open" and I think everyone's interest is served by that.

Would FEC participate in the Line Haul division, or would they get a long reciprocal switch, I leave to others.
  by QB 52.32
FEC does provide access to two Class 1's for the South Florida intermodal business, including the international container trade. Their financial relationship with both NS and CSX and across the various "bill-to" parties likely has some variety across the range.

Port of Miami container volume has been up at least into FY21, half of it S. American trade venturing that, in general terms, their market beyond FL is the Southeastern US with Atlanta a good part of that. To the extent of the port's participation in the South Florida rail intermodal market as 1 of 2 container ports, besides likely generating some movement of containers they are also likely generating backhaul truckload and less-than-truckload volumes transloaded into trailers and domestic containers that would otherwise move empty.

Consequently, given the port's probable role in the rail market and mix of equipment serving the market, I suspect it makes more sense to better utilize capacity within blocks and trains to serve the port via the FEC ramp, at least to a greater extent.

As an aside to the role of ports, the transportation demand they generate, how that transportation demand is met, and all within supply chains, as imports via rail have evolved from exclusively moving in international containers to then transloading into domestic containers to fill empty backhaul capacity as well, with the rise of e-commerce we now also have direct-to-consumer retailers, often located near ports, using small-shipment providers to reach their markets. In South Florida, that port/e-commerce dynamic goes to furniture (flat-pack) and tile.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Mr. QB, it is indeed satisfying to know that someone as insightful as are you regarding transportation industry affairs concurs with my thoughts that all interests are served by JAX remaining an open gateway. The thought of either Chessie or Topper acquiring FEC would have had those South Florida ports belonging exclusively to the Love Tubs.

Even though my Sunday and Monday AM observations from a hotel room might hold me to think otherwise, your report of increased port activity to something in the league of pre-COVID levels, is also satisfying to learn.
  by nomis
Gil, It may of been just the week (or weekend for that matter), but there are/were 5 container vessels showing in Port of Miami as of this posting @ https://www.vesselfinder.com/?p=USMIA001 (look for the yellow dots or zoom in for exact locations.

Back in 2018 & 2019, I remember it being an mid-day move south and an evening move north to/from the island. Below is a grab-shot from Bayside Marketplace of a loco and some mostly empty wells leaving the port. April 4, 2018. To note, that bridge was still high minutes before the train rolled through.
  by QB 52.32
Thanks for your generous comment, Mr. Norman, particularly in light of my misunderstanding your point about the Jacksonville rail gateway providing necessary competitive access to 2 Class 1's into the South Florida intermodal marketplace.

With apologies for missing your point and in regard to the necessity of an open Jacksonville FEC gateway, in a fundamental way without regard to the cost v. benefit for NS or FEC's owner in a move to purchase, how such a move would be viewed in today's regulatory and political environment, and, in light of CSX's market dominance in FL, looking backwards CSX did provide intermodal service into the So. FL market via a Miami terminal until the 1980's and does have the necessary doublestack capability to potentially compete once again without use of FEC. So, keeping Jacksonville an open gateway might go less to necessity and more toward practicality.

Noteworthy in FEC's position serving 2 Class 1's within the So FL intermodal market is their choice to not just sit back as a wholesaler waiting for business to come to them, but instead to also pull demand with their own retail product as far north as Atlanta and Charlotte.