• Speculation on the future of Southern & Freehold Secondaries - C&D/D&D

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New Jersey
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New Jersey

Moderator: David

  by Ken W2KB
 
R&DB wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 1:12 pm CR7876, I didn't know the target date was Jan 1 2022. I infer from that statement the operation change--over will occur then and it has nothing to do with the construction.
Perhaps they are related. Theoretically, the STB could deny the change over and thus C&D would lose its investment to date in the construction were the construction to have commenced, so would not want to commence activity, other than perhaps planning & design and seeking contractor bids, until that approval. Speculation in the speculation thread. :wink:
  by CR7876
 
Just being reasonable, some sort of change over date would probably be either the 1st of the month, 1st of a quarter or first of the year. I doubt it would be just a random day, but it could be. I doubt anyone here would miss it and be totally surprised.

Its looking like C&D wanted the grant money in place for when the change over takes place. They know how long its going to take to rebuild the Freehold. They also know how interchange is going to probably work on the two sides and its not ideal to them. I don't think they thought it would take this long, but it has. C&D can't put out bids or work on something that isn't theirs (yet). Conrail doesn't seem willing to do any work for something that won't benefit them (...it would). We're all left here talking about something only a handful of people really, really know what's going on. I only kind of sorta know what is going on, and can read between the lines. I've probably already said too much.
  by R&DB
 
JohnFromJersey wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:09 pm Why does Conrail neglect this line? That is something I've always wondered.
Return on investment. They don't make enough money on these lines. The next question is will D&D be able to make enough money to maintain the lines?

As of 11/24/2021 1:40PM no filing with the STB.

Now a question as to how D&D plans to operate these two lines once Freehold and Farmingdale are connected. Since the Southern has customers both North and South of the junction with the FIT, will they install a wye and /or run-around at Farmingdale? Or possibly will they run with an engine at each end of the consist? (SRNJ does this on the NJT Atlantic City Line.)
Last edited by R&DB on Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by Bracdude181
 
@JohnFromJersey On Freehold they don’t make much but the Southern is way batter off due to Woodhaven. Conrail neglects areas like this because they simply don’t care and can’t be bothered to do almost any sort of improvement, and NJTs nonsense doesn’t help either.

In the early 2000s Conrail filed with the STB to shut down a line they lost $4700 on annually despite the income for the line being 2.1 million annually. If they get rid of it, then that’s less crews needed, less engines needed, etc. Cheaping out is all they care about, even if it costs them revenue.
  by R&DB
 
#1585476 by Bracdude181
Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:11 pm
CSAO is in business to make money, not entertain us railfans. A $4700 loss on $2.1M is a loss, ie: Not making money. I am not a fan of CSAO but I have owned a business. I have also owned several RR stocks over the years. The ones that didn't make the money I thought they should I sold. The object is to make money, not lose it.
The advent of D&D was CSAO's idea. They probably feel it will improve the financial performance of the Freehold and Southern.
  by Bracdude181
 
@R&DB I know, but at the same isn’t that going a little too far? I would imagine an annual income of 2.1 million and a loss of $4700 means that line breaks even? And if they keep doing stuff like this and drive away customers then wouldn’t they also be losing money that way?

And this isn’t the only confusing thing Conrail North Jersey has done in the past. Like Ziegler Chemical in Piscataway. Conrail put a whole bunch of ties in that track not too long ago for a customer that only sees 1-2 cars a week a most, but the Southern Secondary which sees FAR more traffic than that has barely been touched for almost 20 years now. Wouldn’t it make more sense to fix a track that sees more cars?
  by CR7876
 
Bracdude181 wrote:@R&DB I know, but at the same isn’t that going a little too far? I would imagine an annual income of 2.1 million and a loss of $4700 means that line breaks even? And if they keep doing stuff like this and drive away customers then wouldn’t they also be losing money that way?
May I ask what line this is in reference too.
  by jdh823
 
Bracdude181 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:25 am @R&DB I know, but at the same isn’t that going a little too far? I would imagine an annual income of 2.1 million and a loss of $4700 means that line breaks even? And if they keep doing stuff like this and drive away customers then wouldn’t they also be losing money that way?

And this isn’t the only confusing thing Conrail North Jersey has done in the past. Like Ziegler Chemical in Piscataway. Conrail put a whole bunch of ties in that track not too long ago for a customer that only sees 1-2 cars a week a most, but the Southern Secondary which sees FAR more traffic than that has barely been touched for almost 20 years now. Wouldn’t it make more sense to fix a track that sees more cars?
Well for one, Ziegler chemical isn't 20 miles of ROW unlike the southern. So it's cheaper to maintain that.

You're basically saying the southern has alot of traffic (which it really doesnt). One day a week and not able to break 20 cars at times for that stretch of track may not be making much money on that at all
  by JohnFromJersey
 
A loss of $4700 out of $2.1M revenue is still a loss. That's not a whole lot of revenue to begin with for a line I feel like.

I'm pretty sure the siding in Piscataway got an upgrade for light use because it's in a very busy industrial vicinity with many many different customers.

In addition, modern "Conrail" is ran by two Class I's, CSX and NS. Class I's are not very big fans of small traffic, and utilize PSR that values longer haul larger trains vs. shorter haul smaller trains. It's just not the effort in their current business model to give much attention to a line that doesn't get 100 cars a week, they'd be spending a nickel to earn a dime. Woodhaven is the only thing keeping the SOUS alive, in my opinion.

Enter C&D/D&D. They are much smaller and therefore will value individual smaller, more local customers.
  by R&DB
 
The existing customer base on these lines will probably remain about the same for the forseeable future.Since CSAO has decided to hire a subcontractor to do the work, they have decided to make money by not using their own equipment and labor. C&D/D&D can do the work cheaper than CSX/NS can do it. Maybe not for the customers but for CSX/NS.C&D/D&D's labor costs (salaries and benefits) have got to be way lower than a Class 1's. CSAO will gain the use of 2 locos 2 days a week and the use of at least 1 crew.

On another question, once they get the FIT open to Farmingdale, where wil the interchange take place? Browns? Jamesburg? And where will D&D be based?
  by CharlieL
 
It seems to me it would make the most sense to have the interchange take place at Brown's. Otherwise cars would be dropped at Brown's by CRSA, then again at Jamesburg by CRSA. More handling, crew work, and power usage required. And if it turns out to be Browns, then it makes sense that the Hightstown track also be serviced by D&D. Are there facilities at Jamesburg to allow for a transfer of 10 to 20 cars (Southern and FIT combined)?
  by R&DB
 
CharlieL wrote:
And if it turns out to be Browns, then it makes sense that the Hightstown track also be serviced by D&D.
What about the Dayton Branch, CSAO Browns hauls a lot of cars to the warehouses over there? If they turned over all of these to C&D/D&D all CSAO would have left is North of Jamesburg.
My guess is the Freehold and Southern branches are their least profitable and they are trying to reduce the cost to service the customers on those branches.
  by CharlieL
 
Of course, I neglected the Dayton branch. Duh ! I'm slipping here, so no surprise. Would certainly sweeten the pot for D&D, Depends if CRSA is really trying to get out of the business. As far as the grant goes, it only covers the FIT to the southern, with phase 2 (not funded) covering repairs / upgrades to the southern.