Vermont Activity and Sightings

Discussion of present-day CM&Q operations, as well as discussion of predecessors Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR).

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ericofmaine
Posts: 139
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:10 am
Location: Southern Maine

Re: Vermont Activity and Sightings

Post by ericofmaine » Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:10 pm

I believe they did. $750k seems to ring a bell.

Eric
470 Club Trustee and "Webmaster"
Unless otherwise stated, the opinions I post are mine and are not the opinion of the 470 Railroad Club.

CN9634
Posts: 2310
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:50 pm

Re: Vermont Activity and Sightings

Post by CN9634 » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:12 pm

Bad news.... CMQ won Regional Railway of the year...

https://issuu.com/railwayage/docs/march ... 2F33986515" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

csx2039
Posts: 125
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Re: Vermont Activity and Sightings

Post by csx2039 » Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:59 am

I knew that one was coming... Your gleeful support of a railroad that is hurting vermont customers and connections just shows of the ignorance of your posts... I will turn around what was told me earlier, We could care less what happens in maine or the rest of the system for that matter. Right now cmq is hurting the economy in northern vermont by a complete ignorance of the actual issues they are creating, And rosey bought and paid for endorsement doesn't change that.

CN9634
Posts: 2310
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:50 pm

Re: Vermont Activity and Sightings

Post by CN9634 » Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:48 pm

If you build the supply chain right you don't have to always provide daily service to customers... I doubt your bit about the Vermont economy suffering because of CMQ, there are always options with other railways/transloads/trucking. I am sorry they don't run trains as often as you like and I thought there was going to be a huge uptick, but that is the way business works and they are in fact, in the business to make money. Perhaps a solution will come out down the road that satisfies even you...but you do have to recognize their hard work overall for the ENTIRE system

fogg1703
Posts: 707
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:55 pm

Re: Vermont Activity and Sightings

Post by fogg1703 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:51 am

csx2039 wrote:Vermont railways marketing team has been trying very hard to build traffic to and from cmq, unfortunately they are not getting a whole lot of cooperation from cmq at all... Cmq just doesn't care
Im not sure its a matter of CMQ not caring, just not profitable at this time to run anything more than 2-3 days/week service now that the route has been marginalized by the Class I's. Without overhead traffic to pay the freight and CMQ not having the luxury of running on state maintained rails, they have found their economic break even point. Service will and has suffered because of this for Richford and Newport customers beholden to CMQ for movement (I'm sure the Newport switching agreement has all traffic captive to CMQ), but my question is has VRS approached CP and/or NS about rates for routing cars from Whitehall or N Bennington instead of relying on CMQ to get them from Farnham to Newport? Correct me if I'm wrong but most cars interchanged between the WACR to CMQ are CP cars, so are the rates that unfavorable to run the cars to Whitehall instead? The CMQ Newport/Richford customers are in a bind for sure and probably don't have any option, but as you say Mr CSX2039 if the entire Northern Vt economy is suffering because of poor service from Canada, why not move the cars south to the same interchange partners?

csx2039
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:27 pm

Re: Vermont Activity and Sightings

Post by csx2039 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:39 pm

Cmq slaps such a high charge on local cars from the "south" that it doesn't make sense and they are forced to route from the "north" giving cmq a better line haul. Customers are so sick of their crappy service that they choose more expensive truck instead of waiting for cars that sit in farnham. Cmq is sending a good chunk of potential through traffic from maine to cp for forwarding to csx/ns. Vtr and Necr have given cmq a very competitive rate as well as greatly improved service but cmq wants to get to St Luc again so have turned thier noses to the conn river to buddy up to Harrison... like said in an earlier post, the only hope for this line is cmq relinquishing the Newport sub to vtr with trackage rights to farnham or the best case a good rate to montreal, only then will you see growth...

fogg1703
Posts: 707
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:55 pm

Re: Vermont Activity and Sightings

Post by fogg1703 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:39 pm

csx2039 wrote:Cmq slaps such a high charge on local cars from the "south" that it doesn't make sense and they are forced to route from the "north" giving cmq a better line haul. Customers are so sick of their crappy service that they choose more expensive truck instead of waiting for cars that sit in farnham.
VRS customers? As I stated the Newport CMQ customers are in the bind, but what of the WACR customers like CTI. VRS competitive rates must favor a Whitehall routing, no?
csx2039 wrote: Cmq is sending a good chunk of potential through traffic from maine to cp for forwarding to csx/ns. Vtr and Necr have given cmq a very competitive rate as well as greatly improved service but cmq wants to get to St Luc again so have turned thier noses to the conn river to buddy up to Harrison...
CP has the better rates, thats what doomed the Conn River through traffic. As I said the line has been marginalized by Class I competition. They are an unfortunate pawn. Nothing malicious on CMQ's part about "hating to run to Newport" as someone said earlier. Maritime overhead traffic has been going PAR to CSX (monster SEPO'S). NS cars are either going PAR or CMQ/CP/NS. Giles has gone on record numerous times to state he wants nothing to do with going to St Luc. "Let CP do the work instead of CMQ" I believe was one of the quotes.
csx2039 wrote:like said in an earlier post, the only hope for this line is cmq relinquishing the Newport sub to vtr with trackage rights to farnham or the best case a good rate to montreal, only then will you see growth...
I agree this may be the best scenario for the line but its an uphill battle. I would be very surprised if VTrans would entertain buying the US side. VRS might have to pony up and buy the line outright for a change.

csx2039
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:27 pm

Re: Vermont Activity and Sightings

Post by csx2039 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:55 pm

Nearly all wacr local traffic comes from necr, or necr via whitehall, much better rates and reliability. Cti cars are routed cn necr vtr.

fogg1703
Posts: 707
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Re: Vermont Activity and Sightings

Post by fogg1703 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:57 am

csx2039 wrote:Nearly all wacr local traffic comes from necr, or necr via whitehall, much better rates and reliability. Cti cars are routed cn necr vtr.
Interesting. So what cars are VRS waiting on at Farnham? The Newport shippers (which are CMQ customers)?

I still don't see how NECR is upset at CMQ. They seem to make out the most by having the poor CMQ connection.

jjoyce1
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 2:29 pm

Re: Vermont Activity and Sightings

Post by jjoyce1 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:13 am

fogg1703 wrote:
csx2039 wrote:Nearly all wacr local traffic comes from necr, or necr via whitehall, much better rates and reliability. Cti cars are routed cn necr vtr.
Interesting. So what cars are VRS waiting on at Farnham? The Newport shippers (which are CMQ customers)?

I still don't see how NECR is upset at CMQ. They seem to make out the most by having the poor CMQ connection.
Bridge traffic to CSXT.

JAJ

fogg1703
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Re: Vermont Activity and Sightings

Post by fogg1703 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:40 am

Dick H wrote:I see little or no discussion of how much traffic there is from the VTR/WACR to the CMQ at Newport.
Thank you to jjoyce1 and csx2039 for enlightening us to this unanswered question.

jjoyce1
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 2:29 pm

Re: Vermont Activity and Sightings

Post by jjoyce1 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:39 pm

Actually I did some more digging (using CSXT trace) and I found the following moves that I believe used the WACR to reach CSXT rails from the CMQ (and MNR/NBSR beyond that):

3 boxcar loads of pulp from Woodland, ME (NBSR origin) to Elmpark, NJ (NYSW). Full routing was NBSR-CMQ-WACR-NECR-CSXT-NYSW.
1 loaded centerbeam of lumber from Skerry, ME (Irving sawmill, MNR customer) to somewhere in Florida on CSXT. Routing MNR-CMQ-WACR-NECR-CSXT long haul.
1 boxcar load out of Megantic for Tampa, FL (an SMW-marked car). CMQ-WACR-NECR-CSXT long haul.
1 loaded centerbeam out of Skerry for somewhere in PA (MNR-CMQ-WACR-NECR-CSXT long haul)
1 loaded centerbeam from Van Buren, ME (unknown which wrapper) to the Hagerstown, MD area. (MNR-CMQ-WACR-NECR-CSXT long haul)
1 loaded centerbeam Skerry to Baltimore, MD. This one went MNR-CMQ-WACR-NECR-CSXT long haul-CTN switch (Canton RR).
2 boxcar loads from Saint John, NB to Guicenter, NY (Guilderland Center?). NBSR-CMQ-WACR-NECR-CSXT long haul-SNY switch.
1 loaded centerbeam from Moose River/Pleasant River's Jackman ME transload to somewhere in Georgia on the GNRR. CMQ-WACR-NECR-CSXT-GNRR.
1 loaded centerbeam out of Skerry for Norwood, MA (MNR-CMQ-WACR-NECR-CSXT)
1 loaded centerbeam from Skerry, ME to Plantcity, FL on CSXT (Plantation City?). Routing MNR-CMQ-WACR-NECR-CSXT long haul.

Since CSXT won't let me trace loaded moves since I'm not a party to any of these waybills, I am seeing the above cars return empty to home rails via the Palmer / NECR-WACR gateway so I am *speculating* that the loaded moves used the same routing as the return moves.

Also, this is a sampling of 1) empties that are headed for Palmer empty right now, or 2) recently went through that gateway empty, in the last couple of days. About a 5-day window in total. So, these are loads that originated during the month of February, mainly, and are just now getting home.

A few items of interest to me:
- only 2 of the loads originated on CMQ...the Jackman load and the Megantic load. Not surprising since CMQ no longer operates up in Aroostook as MMA used to (now MNR).
- but no Madawaska paper loads in this small sample...only centerbeam loads out of Skerry and Van Buren in terms of MNR origin moves.
- biggest surprise to me are the true NBSR-origin loads from Saint John (2) and Woodland (3), I think most railfans would've assumed these would move via ST to CSXT, which they did not.

JAJ

Fritz
Posts: 442
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:25 pm

Re: Vermont Activity and Sightings

Post by Fritz » Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:51 pm

John,
Thanks for the great and detailed overview of the cars moving south from NBSR/MNR mostly but also CMQ to CSX via the WACR and NECR. it is interesting to see the new loads from Woodland and the new destinations (e.g. Guilderland, NY).

I thought I would just add some general overview of traffic that moves north and south on the WACR, mostly based on trains that I have observed along the WACR over the last few years, including the last few years of MMA and first year and a half of CMQ.

Traffic to WACR customers: Almost all arrives at White River Junction via the NECR, either from CSX at Palmer or CN at St. Albans. This includes grain for Morrison's, barley malt for CTI, calcium chloride, fertilizer, fuel oil, wood pulp. Very little of this traffic arrives at Newport via the CMQ (occasional loads of fertilizer for Northeast Ag and grain for Morrison's Feeds). Only rarely do loads of wood pulp or grain come via the CP at Whitehall, although the road salt does in the winter.

Traffic to CMQ customers in Newport/Richford: This arrives from both the north (CMQ) and the south (WACR). CMQ brings grain, propane, and plastic pellets south from Farnham; and WACR brings grain north from White River Junction, primarily via NECR from CSX in Palmer.

Overhead traffic moving north from WACR to CMQ: In MMA days, WACR brought a lot of containerboard north to Newport for delivery to St. Jean (a CP customer there switched by MMA). Now they bring plastic pellets north for unloading in Farnham, occasional logs for unloading in Megantic, occasional fertilizer for forwarding to MNR customers in Maine, and seasonal road salt for unloading on the SLR in New Hampshire.

Overhead traffic moving south from CMQ to WACR: As in MMA days, the biggest movements are of lumber and paper (mostly off MNR), wood pulp (mostly from NBSR), particleboard (mostly from Tafisa on CMQ), and sodium chlorate (from Magog on CMQ). In the last 2-3 months, lumber, paper, and sodium chlorate have all dropped precipitously. I don't know if that is a seasonal thing or, as some have suggested, a diversion of traffic to CP. Most of these southbound loads go to NECR (paper, wood pulp, lumber), MCER, (paper), P&W (particleboard), and CSX (all of the above, except paper). Based on my observations, very little if any of the southbound loads have moved via the WACR to NS; those have always moved via either CP or PAR.

As has been noted earlier, interchange traffic from CMQ to WACR has dropped off dramatically during the first quarter of 2016 after rising sharply in the last half of 2015 (probably peaking at about 80 cars per week in late 2015. Now interchange is down to about 40 cars per week (this is both northbound and southbound), half what it was a few months back. Certainly CMQ deliveries have never reached the levels stated (I hesitate to use the word "promised") by CMQ.

Anyhow I hope this long discourse adds to the great information that John provided earlier and helps explain the traffic situation along the WACR and CMQ Newport Subdivision.
Best,
Fritz

Fritz
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Re: Vermont Activity and Sightings

Post by Fritz » Wed May 25, 2016 8:44 am

Hello,
I thought I just provide a few updates about the Newport Subdivision (the Vermont line of CMQ).

Apparently a track geometry car surveyed the Newport line last week and immediately put almost the entire Quebec portion out of service (roughly MP 4 to MP 23). After a long weekend of track work, CMQ was able to reopen the line to 10 mph service on Monday. Needless to say, it now takes the crew two days to make one round trip from Farnham to Newport and back.

Given the lack of traffic, VRS cut back operations on the WACR to three days per week (MWF). Apparently, CMQ was "delighted" by this change, as it allowed them to cut their service back to two round trips per week (MTh), unless there is sufficient traffic for a third train. However, given the 10 mph slow order in Quebec, we will finally have the promised four days per week service (but only two round trips).

At least trains when run, car counts have been reasonably high. They brought 22 loads to Newport on Monday, and the WACR has averaged about 9-10 loads per train three times per week.

Obviously, not the great level of service or traffic apparently evident elsewhere on the CMQ, but at least the line is not completely abandoned.
Have a good day,
Fritz

csx2039
Posts: 125
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Re: Vermont Activity and Sightings

Post by csx2039 » Thu May 26, 2016 4:49 am

Yup as far as were concerned cmq can go pound sand... miserable railroad in vermont

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