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Eastern Railroad Discussion > If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad news.


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Date: 06/21/22 15:53
If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad news.
Author: PlyWoody

Editorial opinion of a precise PSR result that might kill a short line railroad.

Alan Shaw is the new President and Chief Executive Officer of NS since May 1, 2022 and has sent out a letter to all his employees confessing the company is failing.  He said “My first priority and the top priority of every member of Norfolk Southern team is to restore service to the quality our customer expect and deserve……Moving forward, our relentless focus on customer service will endure.  We’ll compete and win in the $800 Billion truck and logistics market by being customer-centric and operation driven.”


 But if you are not a customer we want, you will not be one.
 
Rock ballast and road stone is a seasonal business so in recent years NS has given prior customers that handle ballast at Winslow and Pleasantville, NJ considerable grief every spring in the pricing of unit trains from Birdsboro, PA to Winslow Junction, NJ.  This year they refused to quote a rate because they said they had no crews or locomotives to work those trains.  There are no rock quarries in Southern New Jersey so the ballast has to come in from miles away.  In the past, these unit trains were interchanged to a lower cost short line railroad at Winslow Jct. called the “Southern RR of New Jersey”, who adds an engines on both ends and runs it over NJ Transit Atlantic City line to Pleasantville, NJ where a distribution supplier unloads the cars and sell the ballast for road construction and other uses.   The SRRofNJ handle the expense of cab signal and PTC system and only have a half dozen other customer for lumber at Pleasantville.  These unit ballast trains are a very big part of the railroad business, and losing that rail traffic may kill the entire company.  The distributor at Pleasantville had to get stone so they are buying it at Manville, NJ and trucking it nearly 120 miles, and that was only possible by the trucking company finding that they could back haul construction sand to north New Jersey.  Just what NJ doesn’t need are more truck and pollution on their roads.

This is a direct example EHH’s Precision Schedule Railroad (PSR) who’s main point is not to handle lower revenue traffic, regardless of common carrier obligations.  Why the railroad cannot make good money with 50 cars unit train to compete with trucking is not being true and honest company.  Mr. Alan Shaw should correct that right away and get locomotives out of storage and work out crew shortages.  Ballast is not a time sensitive business but it is best handled by railroad.

Account all the money NJ Transit has put into the Atlantic City main line, you would think they would be beating on Alan Shaw office door in Atlanta, but I guess NJT doesn’t like the weight of the ballast train beating up their tracks.


Link to the entire letter to employees and how it does not compair to what is happening a month later. 
https://www.railwayage.com/freight/class-i/alan-shaw-to-ns-employees-service-is-the-only-product-we-sell/

Late edit:
NS is running stone trains to Pennsy  Supply on the Delmarva in 50 car units, why not to South Jersey?



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/22 04:35 by PlyWoody.



Date: 06/21/22 17:14
Re: If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad new
Author: NixonRocks

If its so important, pay for it

I'm tired of hearing how railroads need to suffer for the greater good

 



Date: 06/21/22 17:23
Re: If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad new
Author: holiwood

    …” But if you are not a customer we want, you will not be one. "   right there Mr. Shaw made the case for reregulation of railroads.



Date: 06/21/22 17:38
Re: If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad new
Author: PlyWoody

holiwood Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>     …” But if you are not a customer we
> want, you will not be one. "   right there Mr.
> Shaw made the case for reregulation of railroads.

That was not Mr Shaw quotation, that was my editorial, note where the quotation marks are and I just expanded his quote because it is so conflicting of the real happenings. 



Date: 06/21/22 18:00
Re: If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad new
Author: PRR_4859

Was the stone hauled in railroad-owned cars or does the receiver have their own cars?

Also, how often did NS run these trains to South Jersey?

Thank you in advance.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/21/22 18:08 by PRR_4859.



Date: 06/21/22 18:20
Re: If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad new
Author: JOHNY5ALIVE

First of all rock/ballast is the least or at the very bottom of revenue/ profit producing item hauled by eastern railroads. Why should the railroad put resources to the bottom rung of the least amount of revenue producing freight when they currently have very limited resources (yes, I understand it is mostly self inflicted, it will take time to get the necessary resources back in place probably not in time for this seasons rock season.) It makes sense to me…

Posted from iPhone



Date: 06/21/22 19:01
Re: If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad new
Author: pdt

NixonRocks Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If its so important, pay for it
>
> I'm tired of hearing how railroads need to suffer
> for the greater good
>
>  
Interpretation......
"I dont care about anyone but myself, and I  hate the idea that any corporation should care about others, or the world at all for that matter." 



Date: 06/21/22 19:40
Re: If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad new
Author: Peter_Hawtrey

His first "priority and top priority" should be the safety of his company's employees and it's operating environment just like any other transportation company.  

After that concentrate on delivering the goods. 

 



Date: 06/21/22 19:42
Re: If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad new
Author: PlyWoody

Can you believe back in 1968 the word around the Pennsylvania RR was that they were losing money handling coal, and they should get out of the coal business.  The assumption was if they dropped coal they would then become a profitable railroad.  What was not known at that time was that PRR used railroad money and built the Buckeye Pipe line from Texas to NYC.  Then deregulation came along mostly account of PC bankruptcy. But coal was the largest part of the traffic base needed to pay for the right of way.  You can’t isolate customers and save yourself into profit.

The ballast traffic has been running for years at several unloading per week of railroad owned surplus coal hopper cars that would only rust away before they get cut up.  Why not earn revenue with them since the power companies are no longer needing them.  Fracking make gas cheaper for the power industry. The units were constantly moving earning more revenue than if they carried coal.  Paving and construction stops in the winter so owning their own cars is not an option.

And this kind of denial of service will not get to the STB like just happened with Foster Farms threatening to kill a million chickens that we like to eat when fully grown.  This is just more unnecessary trucks on NJ roads. 
 



Date: 06/22/22 05:45
Re: If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad new
Author: cjvrr

If the crews don't exist to move the trains, you need to prioritize the crews you have to move the most profitable (or highest priority) freight.

Or, as a shipper you have to pay through the nose to get that freight moved.

With the number of T&E people leaving the industry this will continue to be a problem.   But it should also be noted there is a similar lack of CDL truck drivers. 



Date: 06/22/22 07:37
Re: If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad new
Author: memphisfreight

cjvrr Wrote:
....
> With the number of T&E people leaving the industry
> this will continue to be a problem.   But it
> should also be noted there is a similar lack of
> CDL truck drivers. 

Yep, not just railroads.  Southwest pilots just did a demonstration at Love Field complaining about being worked to death, having days off taken for OT, etc.  Delta pilots too.  10's of thousands of flights recently canceled, airlines tried to blame weather for just a few scattered thunderstroms here and there.  FAA has been short of personnel at most of their regional centers for years and the pandemic made it worse as people retired / didn't want to be forced to take vax, etc.   When I go to the neighborhood Sonic they have 8-10 parking spots roped off closed due to lack of workers.   It's everywhere.   



Date: 06/22/22 07:53
Re: If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad new
Author: Drknow

Many of the problems we are facing can be traced back to the early 80’s and Ronnie Ray-Guns love of union busting and moving US blue collar jobs overseas. That’s a bit over simplistic but it’s a major bedrock of the issue.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 06/22/22 08:50
Re: If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad new
Author: towazy

NixonRocks Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If its so important, pay for it
>
> I'm tired of hearing how railroads need to suffer
> for the greater good
>
>  

 Others might be tired of hearing how the public should subsidize these for profit companies that proclaim it to be for public good...when it suits them, and not to see those tax dollars trickle into the pockets of stock holders and hedge funds. 

  >if it's so important,pay for it<

  Uninformed statement
Maybe that's what the govt should have said the the RR builders when they were begging for land grants and tax breaks from  the govt to build the empires that made them the Musks and Bezos of their era. They received those grants in exchange for agreeing to be common carriers.  The RR should abide by that agreement or pay the govt back for all the free real estate. Or the tax free deals and public subsidies they receive even now!  

     You're not biased at all.  #rewritinghistory

     Tom



Date: 06/22/22 09:10
Re: If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad new
Author: Lackawanna484

The railroads are just asking for re-regulation and more accountability with the nonsense they're trying to pull off.



Date: 06/22/22 09:19
Re: If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad new
Author: ctillnc

> Many of the problems we are facing can be traced
> back to the early 80’s and Ronnie Ray-Guns love
> of union busting and moving US blue collar jobs
> overseas. That’s a bit over simplistic but
> it’s a major bedrock of the issue.

It wasnt't foreign competition but technology that killed most of those jobs by increasing productivity. Union jobs were already a small piece of the economy by 1980. The 1950s are gone and they're not coming back.  



Date: 06/22/22 09:29
Re: If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad new
Author: Lackawanna484

How many steam era railroad firemen refused to bid jobs with automatic stokers? My understanding is they were the first jobs taken. Shoveling three or four tons of coal, a scoop at a time wouldn't be most folks' first choice.



Date: 06/22/22 10:48
Re: If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad new
Author: Drknow

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How many steam era railroad firemen refused to bid
> jobs with automatic stokers? My understanding is
> they were the first jobs taken. Shoveling three or
> four tons of coal, a scoop at a time wouldn't be
> most folks' first choice.

There were no “jobs” that had stokers. There were locomotives that were equipped with stokers and you don’t use the same locomotive for years on end. You bid a job on how it works for you and your family and your financial means.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 06/22/22 10:49
Re: If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad new
Author: RDG96

"But if you are not a customer we want, you will not be one."

..."This year they refused to quote a rate because they said they had no crews or locomotives to work those trains."

Both statements made by Plywoody, not Alan Shaw. The first is Plywoody's opinion. The second, if true and not also Plywoody's opinion is NS admitting they cannot handle the business for reasons given. Much like the recent complaints about airline cancelations, too many flights/trains scheduled and not enough crews to fly/run them all. When that happens customers complain. When you cut service to what you can actually do, customers complain.

I agree it's a sad state of affairs, but it is where we are. Fixing it takes time. Always easier to keep up than to catch up.

Shaw is a marketing guy, ie sell service. He just got the top job May 1. Give him a little time to get the ship off the bottom and floating again before you have him walk the gangplank.

Posted from Android



Date: 06/22/22 12:55
Re: If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad new
Author: march_hare

If I were in the rock business, I would be looking for a barge alternative. There are a couple of producers in the Hudson Valley that have barge access, just gotta find an unload somewhere in coastal NJ. 



Date: 06/22/22 13:19
Re: If Alan Shaw doesn’t fix this he is all just lies & bad new
Author: JOHNY5ALIVE

“The RR should abide by that agreement or pay the govt back for all the free real estate. Or the tax free deals and public subsidies they receive even now!”

Sir you might want to make sure your opinion and statement is actually factual before trying to call someone else misinformed. The railroads, more specifically, Class One railroads have paid a lot, currently pay a lot, and more than likely will continue to pay a lot of taxes probably more than ANY other current form of transportation. You should really fact check your comment before trying to call someone out. You do realize railroads pay property tax, equipment tax, fuel tax, employer tax, and have to pay for their own upkeep of the network in most cases? Airlines, truckers, and barge companies pay far less in taxes than railroads do. As far as common carrier status… no railroad in the US has ever stated they aren’t common carriers that I have ever come across. “Common Carrier” is really over stated when it comes to debate over railroads and is really an over used, mis understood buzz word…. You do realize that cell phone providers, internet providers, and even roller coasters, yes amusement park roller coasters are considered common carriers. In your line of thinking maybe we should give the land back to the Indian’s we stole it from..Just saying your opinion is without fact and therefore misinformed.

Posted from iPhone



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/22/22 13:27 by JOHNY5ALIVE.



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