Author Topic: Grain Shippers in ND Wait for Trains  (Read 924 times)

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rsn48

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Re: Grain Shippers in ND Wait for Trains
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2014, 04:23:02 PM »
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I wonder if there is more to this story, or to the point something is being left out.  In Canada the government had to step in and threaten CP and CN to move more grain.  I guess last year was a gang buster year for wheat and it wasn't being moved fast enough, so even though a different reason, the results are the same, farmers upset over the apparent less than optimal movement of grain.

I guess what I am suggesting is that one reason for the movement of grain not being timely could be the same reason as the Canadian experience, lots more grain to move.
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lock4244

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Re: Grain Shippers in ND Wait for Trains
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2014, 04:25:43 PM »
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Crude oil. Though record crops were harvested last year, there's more money in crude so the grain gets shafted... that's what CN and CP were doing. We are now treated to all rail grain trains into July and August here in the Toronto area, something that stops in April (usually). So much supply and so little interest in moving it has pushed them to run them into the summer (typically most is transfered to lake boats in Thunder Bay during the Great Lakes shipping season), though most of it moves in blocks on regular trains.

Same reason for CN grabbing 237 or so used units to bolster their fleet over the past few years... crude.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 04:37:33 PM by lock4244 »
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C855B

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Re: Grain Shippers in ND Wait for Trains
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2014, 05:51:59 PM »
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Gee, does maybe it have something to do with dismantling so-called "redundant" infrastructure in lean times? UP got caught this way in the '90s - running off business because they simply didn't have the capacity any more. The RRs just keep on repeating this nonsense. :x
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GaryHinshaw

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Re: Grain Shippers in ND Wait for Trains
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2014, 06:15:14 PM »
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It was cool to see a freight train pic on the front page.   :P

The RRs just keep on repeating this nonsense. :x

The 90's was 20 years ago.  When is the last time a class 1 trunk line was abandoned?

C855B

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Re: Grain Shippers in ND Wait for Trains
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2014, 06:33:19 PM »
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Ah, that's true. I guess what it is, is that they're still paying for the wholesale line closures or line quality reductions in the '70s and '80s. It's just a different region every time. I can't wait for some big discovery in the Southeast or even Florida, where CSX went on this incredible abandonment binge. It's gonna bite 'em hard, sooner or later.
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Blazeman

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Re: Grain Shippers in ND Wait for Trains
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2014, 09:15:53 PM »
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Some abandoned lines are converted to a rails-to-trails situation. There usually are covenants in the transfer that should there be a valid economic reason, the line reverts to the railroad for re-establishment of rail infrastructure.  Similarly, many, but not all, short line sales have that clause and the class one railroad can issue the reversion order. Happened in western Canada with lines serving some of the tar sands fields once a process was developed that made it economical for oil production.

On the other hand, IC/CN had sought to regain some of the surplus lines they sold in the 80's. They got the CC&P back, but were rebuffed by the Mid-South (which KCS acquired).

Lines conveyed to transit authorities also are subject to being reacquired or having to host freight service if the public necessity is proven. That option of course plays havoc with real estate markets where the option is not explained to buyers years after the conveyance. The "shock" of the new owners is amusing... like the outrage of the buyers of developments situated in airport flight paths or pig farms.

As far as the grain shippers having to wait to move their harvests, that dilemma occurs just about every ten years. Right now, Canadian Pacific is really struggling to get control of their operations on the former DM&E franchise that remains. The part they sold off to the Something(Rapid City?), Pierre & Eastern  already has them complying with directed service orders and reporting of interchange of cars and power. In my position, I'm spending a good amount of time trying to cajole superintendents and trainmasters to move my cars to and from interchanges in Chicago and KC. Each leg of the journey seems to have it's own challenges.

Iain

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Re: Grain Shippers in ND Wait for Trains
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2014, 01:34:46 AM »
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Ah, that's true. I guess what it is, is that they're still paying for the wholesale line closures or line quality reductions in the '70s and '80s. It's just a different region every time. I can't wait for some big discovery in the Southeast or even Florida, where CSX went on this incredible abandonment binge. It's gonna bite 'em hard, sooner or later.

Like, say, the direct line from Camp Lejeune to the port in Wilmington?  Former ACL abandoned and ripped up in the '80s right before the Gulf War.  This meant that instead of it taking a couple hours for the Marines to get to the port, it took all freaking day, as the trains had to go Lejeune -> Havelock -> Selma on NS then down and around to Wilmington the long way.
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Blazeman

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Re: Grain Shippers in ND Wait for Trains
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2014, 08:10:17 PM »
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CSX actions to confront traffic surge:

Continuing Our Commitment:
 Moving Toward Recovery

Here’s where things stand with respect to service. The bottom line: service is stabilizing, having improved in key locations and key markets since we wrote to you last. Improvements are expected to continue into 2015.

Service has stabilized even while CSX is taking on extraordinary, and exciting, volume increases. There are two primary reasons. First and foremost, our employees have done a terrific job, day in and day out. Second, CSX has invested quickly and substantially in additional resources. We’ve seen some benefits from those investments already, and expect to see more, especially as new crews, locomotives and track capacity projects are put in place.

There is significant work and needed improvement ahead, especially with a strong fall peak nearly upon us. There is no doubt that the CSX team is up to that challenge. We’ll keep you updated and, in that effort, want to share the following update on additional resources:

More Locomotives - Purchasing, Leasing, Repairing and Rebuilding   
•Three hundred new locomotives will be bought under an agreement signed a few weeks ago, with deliveries starting in early 2015. 
•The company has already increased active locomotives by more than 10 percent – or 375 units – since this time last year.   
•A new locomotive servicing shop will be operating in Chicago later this year to help maintain the larger fleet.
•At least 35 net new shop craft employees have been added to accelerate maintenance, heavy repairs and rebuilds.
More Crews - Especially in Strained Areas   •We are increasing train and engine crew bases in areas heavily impacted by strong volume, including Garrett, Indiana; and Selkirk and Buffalo in New York State. 
•So far in 2014, CSX has promoted 726 new conductors and 379 new engineers, more than offsetting attrition and providing incremental resources to move customers’ freight.   
•Another 750 train and engine employees are now in training, with more hiring to come.
Significant Track Capacity Additions and Operating Process Adjustments •CSX is incorporating the newly acquired and restored Elsdon Subdivision into normal operations to enhance flows into and out of Chicago, and continuing to use alternate gateways to relieve pressure there. 
•With expanded capacity, additional crews and better industry coordination, the Chicago interchange has been fluid in the third quarter.   
•New track capacity is opening on the River Line between Selkirk and northern New Jersey.
•New staging tracks in Selkirk will help reduce congestion across the Northern Tier.
•CSX is increasing the number of customers who receive five-days-a-week service to continue to improve local deliveries.  Local service has been a consistent bright spot this year, even with heavy volumes and weather issues
 

davefoxx

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Re: Grain Shippers in ND Wait for Trains
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2014, 08:45:25 PM »
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Ah, that's true. I guess what it is, is that they're still paying for the wholesale line closures or line quality reductions in the '70s and '80s. It's just a different region every time. I can't wait for some big discovery in the Southeast or even Florida, where CSX went on this incredible abandonment binge. It's gonna bite 'em hard, sooner or later.

E.g., a significant chunk of CSX's former SAL mainline, a/k/a the S-Line, in North Carolina and Virginia. 

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Bob Bufkin

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Re: Grain Shippers in ND Wait for Trains
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2014, 09:25:47 PM »
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Selkirk has been a big bottleneck for CSX.  That is why we are seeing more trains, including oil empties on the Baltimore to Cumberland line.  Still seeing all types of foreign locomotives on these trains.

I was talking to a young conductor last week on a train stopped for signals.  Said he joined CSX in 2008 but due to the economy was not getting any work so he joined the navy for 4 years.  After coming back he said he is getting more work then he can handle and CSX is on a hiring bing here in MD. 

reinhardtjh

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Re: Grain Shippers in ND Wait for Trains
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2014, 04:26:41 AM »
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More Locomotives - Purchasing, Leasing, Repairing and Rebuilding   
•Three hundred new locomotives will be bought under an agreement signed a few weeks ago, with deliveries starting in early 2015. 

From what I've seen they haven't bought much new in the last few years.  Working on the SD40-3 rebuilds has been the major thing.  These new engines due in 2015 will have to be Tier 4 compliant I would think and since EMD isn't ready and GE won't have one (that runs consistently) until around mid year I wonder how they will get any in early 2015.  Is there a loophole for contracted in 2014 but not delivered until 2015? 

Too bad they didn't plan ahead better and do like most others and load up on the current (and cheaper) models this year.
John H. Reinhardt
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lock4244

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Re: Grain Shippers in ND Wait for Trains
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2014, 09:33:37 AM »
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It's going to be a(nother) great winter of wild lash-ups!
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