• CSX Boston and Albany Line

  • 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 taracer
Further proof as I've said regarding the Castleton Bridge. They are now working on the west end. This work has been going on for at least 3 years, all while maintaining the 30 MAS timetable speed. No temporary speed restrictions.

There is no chance the the B&A freight moves to the old B&M line.

  by BandA
Is the railroad bridge supposed to be painted? It looks awful next to the $$Thruway bridge.
  by QB 52.32
roberttosh wrote:All the money in the world will not be able to address most of the issues I brought up and even if it could, CSX is never going to run a mainline out of Selkirk to New England by way of Rotterdam Jct, that in the future may require up to 10, 12, 14, or more backup moves per day creating an unprecedented bottleneck on a busy main line, especially when the existing B&A route is an unimpeded high speed route that checks all the boxes.
Certainty only comes with death and taxes. When you add strategic needs, political power and possibility; resources from infrastructure funding, sale of assets, and available horse-trading; a 25-year planning horizon; PSR operating philosophy; and, importantly, options, there is possibility at this time for creating utility in PAS for CSX to move some degree of east-of-Springfield traffic over from the B&A.

With history providing a possible clue to the future, a look to past examples of where freight was moved to make way for passenger rail; the evolution of Boston metropolitan rail freight, first addressed strategically some 60 years ago, and with necessary on-going strategic planning during the past 34 years; and, the activity leading up to a deal, the deal itself for sale of the B&A from CP-22 to CP-45, and then the results coming from the deal also provides some credence to the possibility.

In raising the issue of an "unprecedented bottleneck on a busy main line", the possibility of getting 38, 48, 58 freight and passenger trains in, out and through Worcester in the future also has to be part of that discussion. And, might a mix of resources and horse-trading, PSR operating philosophy, and options mitigate a potential Rotterdam Jct. bottleneck should CSX move B&A traffic over to PAS?

Screen shot from John DiPietro's 3/17/21 Youtube video

  by roberttosh
That image repeats itself all day long and is hardly surprising as that is where CSX currently does most of its' manifest pickups and drop-offs and is pretty much their de facto Worcester yard. This is not main line congestion but is more normal terminal operating practice and once they get PAR you can be sure that 426 and 427 will not be stopping and switching at that location.
  by johnpbarlow
FYI, as of 9/15/21 a new B&A live cam at Springfield Union Station is now on-line at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWINReOteBw

Fairly busy cam (and often moderated) featuring CSX, CSOR, Amtrak, and CTrail activity. So the B&A now has 3 active live cams at Palmer, Chester, and Springfield - there used to be one at Westfield but it seems to be offline.
  by J.D. Lang
Yes I started to watch it yesterday. I have a subscription to Virtual Railfan so I put it on one of my playlists. A lot to see there. Yes between Boston and Maines's youtube cams at Chester and Palmer the B&A is well covered.
  by roberttosh
Hearing that NS has grabbed a bunch of CSX's East Brookfield auto traffic.
  by J.D. Lang
Wow, I hope they can get them delivered in a timely fashion. A lot of D-3 trains canned all over the place.
  by taracer
They lost Stellantis, so Chrysler Ram and Jeep among others, to NS awhile ago. That took more than half of the traffic of Q264. That train went from being a regular 100 to 120 car train to less than 50, and this was before the chip shortage. Now it is down to about 25 cars.

Both it and its westbound counterpart Q205 carry a freight block now, added and removed at Selkirk. Q205 takes overflow freight out of Worcester that the I115 or Q427 can't handle since they cut the Q437. Q264 adds the Housatonic traffic that used to be on Q424. The Selkirk and East Brookfield auto sites are ghost towns now compared to what they used to be pre 2017.

PSR works great when you lose all the business. This allowed them not to add a train, but they lost a huge customer in that deal.
  by roberttosh
Pretty sure they lost Toyota too.
  by F74265A
So where does that lost auto traffic now go? All to the San vel auto facility? Some Pw to Quonset?
Csx svc must have been really poor given that pas/NS have not been moving traffic expeditiously over the west end
  by roberttosh
It's all going to Ayer. This new business may be part of much bigger contracts that NS won throughout the East, and in the grand scheme of things wouldn't really be effected by service levels to Ayer.
  by taracer
I haven't heard about Toyota, but it wouldn't surprise me. I think that the traffic the Selkirk auto site used to handle goes to Mechanicville.
The racks will be going over the B&A after the VO connection is done. 😎
Also time to add Q437 back. Enough micky mousing, time to run trains!
  by bostontrainguy
GTIKING wrote: Mon Dec 20, 2021 1:46 pm The racks will be going over the B&A after the VO connection is done. 😎
Also time to add Q437 back. Enough micky mousing, time to run trains!
Why? I know about bringing the double-stacks that way but why not keep the racks on your own tracks? NS has been squawking about the CSX/PAS merger and wants the Hoosac route in good shape. So wouldn't they want their trains going that way?

And what amount of traffic would be needed to have NS seriously consider buying out CSX's half of PAS? Would CXS sell its half for bargain prices to get NS's support in its merger and remove the competition issue?
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