Author Topic: Montana Rail Link may become a fallen flag  (Read 930 times)

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Shaggy170

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Montana Rail Link may become a fallen flag
« on: January 10, 2022, 08:10:33 PM »
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I found on a Facebook page that MRL may not be renewing their lease for trackage from BNSF soon. Apparently, since 90% of the tonnage on the line is BNSF trains anyway, they are going to return all facilities and trackage to BNSF.





learmoia

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Re: Montana Rail Link may become a fallen flag
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2022, 08:56:09 PM »
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Meanwhile.. in other news.. The owners of MILW 261 bought the Rock Island Heavy Repair shop complex at Silvis, IL..

https://railfan.com/owners-of-milwaukee-road-261-acquires-former-rock-island-shop-in-illinois/
Dear Intermountain.. Please cancel your N scale 4785s.. That ship has already left China..... Twice... 

~Ian

SD452XR

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Re: Montana Rail Link may become a fallen flag
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2022, 09:26:39 PM »
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Better get your pics of the older units, SDP40, Sd40’s GP9’s and the last of the SD45’s. BNSF will probably dump these rather quickly. All the ACE units that don’t have the comfort cabs will not be lead qualified on the BNSF. Will be interesting to see if those are kept. Sad to see the MRL go.

nkalanaga

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Re: Montana Rail Link may become a fallen flag
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2022, 02:00:38 AM »
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And, from a local (Montana) TV station:
https://www.kpax.com/news/western-montana-news/bnsf-taking-over-montana-rail-link-operations-as-lease-ends

"By: MTN News
Posted at 7:41 PM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 9:42 PM, Jan 10, 2022
MISSOULA — BNSF Railway is taking over operations and maintenance of Montana Rail Link following the end of a long-term lease with the company."
N Kalanaga
Be well

jmarley76

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Re: Montana Rail Link may become a fallen flag
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2022, 03:13:06 PM »
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Well then...  :(

Englewood

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Re: Montana Rail Link may become a fallen flag
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2022, 04:02:44 PM »
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Well.... maybe I'll finally get to see some MRL power in person down here in Texas.

trainzluvr

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Re: Montana Rail Link may become a fallen flag
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2022, 11:19:57 PM »
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Did BNSF say they are going to change the MRL blue colour?

Also, how is this going to work - I read they are going to call the entire portion of the railroad "MRL Subdivision"? I thought subs are much smaller than ~1,000 miles of track that MRL had.

I'm in the process of designing and building a MRL themed layout, though it's set in the 1987-2002 time frame, but I hope MRL resources don't just disappear because the prototype is getting acquired by BNSF.


nkalanaga

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Re: Montana Rail Link may become a fallen flag
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2022, 02:16:10 AM »
+2
MRL models won't disappear, any more than BN has, or GN, NP, CB&Q, etc.  Many of the prototype locos probably will, as MRL has quite a few that BN/BNSF has already gotten rid of - often by selling them to MRL.

On the other hand, the BN got rid of GN SW1 #77 by selling it to the Walla Walla Valley, who sold it to the SLSF, which merged with the BN, and it ended up as BN #70.  It was assigned a BNSF number, but was sold to a private company in California, and may still be running.
N Kalanaga
Be well

trainzluvr

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Re: Montana Rail Link may become a fallen flag
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2022, 09:18:49 AM »
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On the other hand, the BN got rid of GN SW1 #77 by selling it to the Walla Walla Valley, who sold it to the SLSF, which merged with the BN, and it ended up as BN #70.  It was assigned a BNSF number, but was sold to a private company in California, and may still be running.

Talk about a full circle, that loco must have "seen" a lot.

I guess the other locos MRL has will end up in the hands of smaller railroads just like that SW1.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Montana Rail Link may become a fallen flag
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2022, 09:41:26 AM »
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I'm guessing all the MRL power will be gone in short order.

Thanks to its version of PSR, BNSF has plenty of its "standard" fleet LUGO.

jagged ben

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Re: Montana Rail Link may become a fallen flag
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2022, 09:52:49 AM »
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There's no indication that BNSF will take ownership of the locos.  They are not buying MRL as a company, they are simply reaquiring direct control of the track (which they technically already own) and promising to hire the employees.   My guess is that it will be MRLs job to dispose of the locos and they could go anywhere.

trainzluvr

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Re: Montana Rail Link may become a fallen flag
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2022, 10:25:51 AM »
+1
Also been thinking, MRL owner must have gotten a really good deal.

Because BNSF is breaking a lease that has another 25 years to go, depending on their agreements there would probably be a penalty clause for each year a lease is broken by either side. I guess BNSF calculated that the money they would have to pay to break the lease and hire MRL employees is less than the money they would continue paying MRL to do runs across this subdivision for the next 25 years.

Albert in N

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Re: Montana Rail Link may become a fallen flag
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2022, 02:23:20 PM »
+1
 :?  Memory serves me that BN (prior to merger with ATSF) concocted MRL to avoid paying BN locomotive trainmen and engineers on a mileage basis across Montana on the old NP line.  Anyway, BN wanted to control labor cost at that time.  Now, BNSF think that they can save labor costs by cutting out MRL.  The bottom line is that the workers who actually run the trains are considered "labor burden" that take away from corporate seven-figure-salary bonus persons. 

trainzluvr

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Re: Montana Rail Link may become a fallen flag
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2022, 08:45:14 PM »
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Uh oh, perhaps I was wrong in my assumption of who got paid out as it seems it was MRL who broke the lease. Perhaps they were nudged by BNSF to do so, and then negotiated favourable terms for their employees e.g. you break the lease so we get our track back and we'll hire everyone at MRL in return.

Quote
A letter from MRL President Derek Ollman to Montana Rail Link employees states:

Dear MRL Employees: I have some important news to share, and we want to make sure you hear it directly from us before it becomes public. After careful consideration, we have decided to conclude our long-term lease with BNSF Railway. BNSF will resume operations and maintenance of MRL which will provide long-term sustainability, predictability and opportunity for you and our Montana customers.

Final Union Employee Letter <--- This is the letter to the employees

MRL Announces Conclusion of Lease with BNSF <--- Press Release

Montana Rail Link Sold to Burlington Northern Railroad <--- local media article

Montana Rail Link Clarifies the Conclusion of Lease with BNSF <--- local media article