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Eastern Railroad Discussion > michigan lines


Date: 01/07/19 15:01
michigan lines
Author: n

heard last night csx is soliciting bids for its lines in Michigan.



Date: 01/07/19 16:55
Re: michigan lines
Author: sums007

n Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> heard last night csx is soliciting bids for its
> lines in Michigan.

Amtrak might be interested.  LOL!



Date: 01/07/19 17:00
Re: michigan lines
Author: broken_link

I can’t say I’d be surprised given what they’ve already shed in the State, and what’s left. I live on the West Coast now, but I grew up near Plymouth and watched the slow decline of traffic in that area as suppliers consolidated, auto plants shut down, and traffic shifted to trucks. The battered highways in Michigan are a strong testament to how much auto related traffic ships by truck now. One would think the Toledo to Detroit line via Plymouth would be worth retaining, but who knows.

Sean



Date: 01/07/19 17:12
Re: michigan lines
Author: Walla183

broken_link Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I can’t say I’d be surprised given what
> they’ve already shed in the State, and what’s
> left. I live on the West Coast now, but I grew up
> near Plymouth and watched the slow decline of
> traffic in that area as suppliers consolidated,
> auto plants shut down, and traffic shifted to
> trucks. The battered highways in Michigan are a
> strong testament to how much auto related traffic
> ships by truck now. One would think the Toledo to
> Detroit line via Plymouth would be worth
> retaining, but who knows.
>
> Sean

There's no way they will give up the Toledo to Detroit segment. That would leave NS with somewhat of a monopoly in the SE Michigan area (sans CN). What makes the most sense is the line from Plymouth west to Grand Rapids. CP makes sense here, as NS limits them to 8 trains a day using the connector at Butler. Watco, Grand Elk, all possibilities.

Posted from Android



Date: 01/07/19 17:34
Re: michigan lines
Author: goneon66

how busy is the csx porter-grand rapids-detroit line?

66



Date: 01/07/19 17:51
Re: michigan lines
Author: Walla183

goneon66 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> how busy is the csx porter-grand rapids-detroit
> line?
>
> 66

Q326/Q327 run Chicago to Grand Rapids.

Q328/Q329 run Detroit to Grand Rapids

D707 and D708 are Lansing based local turns.

N800/N801 E800/E801 coal loads to Holland, MI.

Pretty quiet west of Plymouth, as most traffic uses SE connector from Toledo to Detroit

Posted from Android



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/07/19 17:52 by Walla183.



Date: 01/07/19 17:52
Re: michigan lines
Author: SD80MACfan

sums007 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> n Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > heard last night csx is soliciting bids for its
> > lines in Michigan.
>
> Amtrak might be interested.  LOL!

If anything Amtrak wouldn't want any of it at all. The State of Michigan would be interested in the Plymouth Subdivision since they want to establish a passenger train along that route, but it will need a bit of renovation before that can happen. As to who that line would be run by, I'm not sure. Great Lakes Central and Marquette Rail are both good contenders. Adrian & Blissfield which owns the Jackson & Lansing line, and Pioneer Rail which owns the Grand Elk Railroad would also be good suitors. But it could also be that someone new would step in to operate it.

There are a lot of rumors that Lake State Railway wants the Saginaw Subdivision from Flint to Plymouth, which is understandable. They already purchased the lines from Bay City and Midland to Flint and they are the primary interchange partner in Flint. Not much traffic goes to CN and there is the Port Huron Subdivision which would come with the package. That has at least two or three trains a day on it, including the almost daily train that runs over CN from Port Huron to Flint. The only thing I wonder about in that regard is what would happen to the adjacent Sarnia Subdivision in Canada.

There are only a few lines I see CSX keeping in Michigan. First is the Saginaw Subdivision from Toledo to Plymouth and maybe the Detroit Subdivision from Plymouth to Detroit. This would give them access to their portion of Conrail Shared Assets in Detroit, the Lincoln Secondary, which separates from the Saginaw Sub at Carleton, MI, as well as holding onto a portion of the Detroit automobile market. The second would be the Grand Rapids Subdivision from Porter, IN to at least Holland, if not Grand Rapids, MI. I say "at least" because the majority of the traffic terminates in Holland. In fact, this portion of the line gets more traffic and business than the rest of their lines in the state outside of the Saginaw Sub south of Plymouth.

But who knows. If CSX wants out of Michigan 100%, that's their choice. At least we know there's enough traffic to guarantee that someone will take the lines and keep them, if not improve traffic on them.



Date: 01/07/19 20:48
Re: michigan lines
Author: CO5232

Walla183 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> goneon66 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > how busy is the csx porter-grand rapids-detroit
> > line?

> N800/N801 E800/E801 coal loads to Holland, MI.
The plant gets on average about eight loads a week.  The x801 symbols are only used for a second train in a calendar day.



Date: 01/07/19 22:21
Re: michigan lines
Author: justalurker66

I see a difference between a "short line" that operate as local delivery (a few miles of track serving a couple of customers off of a Class 1 main line connection) and a "short line" that operates longer track segments (such as Grand Elk operating the former NS line from Elkhart to Grand Rapids). I don't see a company who only operates a few miles of track as being successful in operating hundreds of miles of track. So when I look at who could buy a segment of CSX's system in Michigan I must ask who could run it.

Watco (owner of the Grand Elk) seems to be a good candidate. They are accustomed to running a fleet of engines and long track segments. And they purchased CSX trackage in Illinois last year. They are a company capable of running a long distance railroad (not just local switching operations).

The trouble I see with any purchase is profitability and maintenance. Is the overhead of being a Class 1 such as CSX so high that a short line company can come in and provide the same level of service at a cheaper rate? Or does service need to be reduced to match their capabilities? If a Class 1 doesn't see a track segment as profitable (worth more to them to sell than operate) is the line viable for a short line?

The last major sale in Michigan was NS selling the remainder of the Michigan Line to MDOT. Sure Amtrak uses it and operates it but that's "your tax dollars at work". Depending on which segment(s) CSX is trying to divest MDOT (taxpayers) may buy a segment to support rail service or protect current or future passenger service.



Date: 01/08/19 07:15
michigan lines
Author: dispr

I expect that Plymouth to Saginaw will go to a short line - Lake State maybe?  
If CSX sells the PM (Pere Marquette) my guess is that it will go in whole - (Porter-Plymouth at least) to the CP.  I think that NS wants CP off the Elkhart route.  CSX had a chance to sell the Porter-Detroit line to CP several times in the past - don't know why they didn't as most of the on line business, especially west of Grand Rapids has been gone for years.
There would be no reason for CSX to hold on to the western end - just for a couple of west olive coal trains a week...



Date: 01/08/19 12:30
Re: michigan lines
Author: Walla183

dispr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I expect that Plymouth to Saginaw will go to a
> short line - Lake State maybe?  
> If CSX sells the PM (Pere Marquette) my guess is
> that it will go in whole - (Porter-Plymouth at
> least) to the CP.  I think that NS wants CP off
> the Elkhart route.  CSX had a chance to sell the
> Porter-Detroit line to CP several times in the
> past - don't know why they didn't as most of the
> on line business, especially west of Grand Rapids
> has been gone for years.
> There would be no reason for CSX to hold on to the
> western end - just for a couple of west olive coal
> trains a week...

This is my opinion as well. One thing that would need to be determined is if NS still limits CP to 8 trains a day from Porter to 509. That is the max allowed through Elkhart via Butler connector. CSX can keep trackage rights to Holland for the coal service if it's a money maker. Unless a shortline can build it up, I don't see it making sense. There's a reason the Detroit to GR trains are averaging 30-35 cars. CP using it as a bridge from Canada to Chicago makes much more sense.

Posted from Android



Date: 01/08/19 14:51
Re: michigan lines
Author: justalurker66

It would be interesting to see a diamond installed at Porter to allow trains to cross from the CSX Grand Rapids line to the CSX Porter Line (and vice versa). Most CSX trains use the NS Chicago line between CP 497 and CP 479 (connecting to the CSX Barr Subdivision at CP 497.



Date: 01/08/19 15:00
Re: michigan lines
Author: n

foot said said in one of the shareholder conference calls last year they could not sell any lines to a class 1



Date: 01/09/19 08:36
Plymouth-Saginaw going to LSRC
Author: toledopatch

Lake State Railway has already notified CSX employees that it expects to take over Plymouth-Saginaw effective March 8.
 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/19 10:12 by toledopatch.



Date: 01/09/19 10:15
Re: Plymouth-Saginaw going to LSRC
Author: Walla183

toledopatch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lake State Railway has already notified CSX
> employees that it expects to take over
> Plymouth-Saginaw effective March 8.
>  

Any idea if the Port Huron traffic goes with it? What about the Canadian operations in Sarnia?

Posted from Android



Date: 01/09/19 11:44
Re: Plymouth-Saginaw going to LSRC
Author: farmer

Walla183 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> toledopatch Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Lake State Railway has already notified CSX
> > employees that it expects to take over
> > Plymouth-Saginaw effective March 8.
> >  
>
> Any idea if the Port Huron traffic goes with it?
> What about the Canadian operations in Sarnia?
>
> Posted from Android

Trackage wrights to Walbridge also?

Posted from iPhone



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