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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:49 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:17 pm
Posts: 32
Wow! That's a lot ! Wonder if other class ones will go for it or just various shortline operators.


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:13 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:25 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Franklin,Va
NS has the embargoed former Norfolk,Franklin and Danville line thats still intact and been out of service for a few years now. Track is probably in good shape (except some spots that need new rail) but i've read where it needs some bridge work and thats mainly why NS embargoed it. I know its intact between Suffolk, Va. and Emporia Va. and probably beyond that. As far as i know NS has no current plans for it. It connects with NS in Suffolk and CSX in Franklin and Emporia.


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1119
Location: Back in NE Ohio
As I read about the large parts of the CSX network that are possibly on the chopping block, I realize what a potential unmitigated disaster this could be for railroading in the region. Essentially, CSX wants to just keep the edges of it's network: Chicago to Albany, down through the NY area, to Philly and DC, hence down the Eastern Seaboard to Florida. There's a lot of long-distance Amtrak on the routes up for cutting - Capitol Ltd., Lake Shore Boston section, most of the Cardinal route. I'm already hearing my fellow passenger rail advocates saying this could open up opportunities to expand service in the region without CSX's nay saying attitude, but all I can see is lots and lots of either downgraded, or abandoned trackage. And even if smaller operators pick much of it up, CSX always puts in their sale or lease agreements restrictions regarding passenger or excursion operations (like prohibiting them). Now, they would have to honor existing Amtrak service routes, but that doesn't mean it would be at 70-79 mph levels, and they certainly would not have to allow additional service. If I recall correctly, the CSX lease agreement with the Buckingham Branch specifically prohibits steam and excursion operations over lines leased from CSX, but the Cardinal still operates as before.

No, the best outcome of this would be if CSX keeps operating the VAST majority of it's network itself.


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:08 am
Posts: 60
So Norfolk Southern spends millions of dollars on the 21st Century Steam project, and seems somewhat tolerant of Amtrak and excursions, but CSX hates them?

Why?

EDIT: As another suggestion, what of the old Shippensburg-Greencastle line? Isn't CSX mostly bugging out as NS is punting money in from the north?

Be a good, 20 mile ish run. Also meets the "Be near Harrisburg and 40% of the US population" criteria.


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1119
Location: Back in NE Ohio
JDParkes wrote:
So Norfolk Southern spends millions of dollars on the 21st Century Steam project, and seems somewhat tolerant of Amtrak and excursions, but CSX hates them?

Why?


Yes, that is a correct view of the situation. Why? Probably mostly for insurance liability issues, but also because of increased operational complexity. If you've ever listened to CSX dispatcher-to-train communications in the Baltimore/DC area during prime Amtrak and commuter times you'd have a good understanding of the three-dimensional chess aspect of trying to keep the mix of passenger and freight trains moving under the circumstances. Also, there's a huge demand on supervision (which CSX whacked to pieces in the EHH takeover turmoil) anytime there's a special passenger operation of any kind, including company OCS trains. That is a major reason NS is not hosting any live passenger excursions this year, although my understanding is that they are willing to deadhead locomotives and equipment. The fact that Wick Moorman is now fully retired probably also has something to do with that change.


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:41 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3428
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
PaulWWoodring wrote:
Yes, that is a correct view of the situation. Why? Probably mostly for insurance liability issues, but also because of increased operational complexity. If you've ever listened to CSX dispatcher-to-train communications in the Baltimore/DC area during prime Amtrak and commuter times you'd have a good understanding of the three-dimensional chess aspect of trying to keep the mix of passenger and freight trains moving under the circumstances. Also, there's a huge demand on supervision (which CSX whacked to pieces in the EHH takeover turmoil) anytime there's a special passenger operation of any kind, including company OCS trains. That is a major reason NS is not hosting any live passenger excursions this year, although my understanding is that they are willing to deadhead locomotives and equipment. The fact that Wick Moorman is now fully retired probably also has something to do with that change.


I concur with most of this, and when you look at what railroads used to be able to do (i.e, very heavy passenger traffic plus freight trains, though the freights weren't nearly as long as they are now), you have what I call "Wal Mart disease."

Wal Mart disease is going to the Wal Mart, which has 30 cash registers, but only two are open, and there are 50 people in line--at each one. In short, it's trying to do too much with too little for too long.

A former coworker, dealing with the decision that our employer wouldn't pay for his business cards, and other things, called it "foolish frugality."

It comes from the mantra that was popular some years back, "Do more with less." That's the very definition of efficiency, but there can be limits to that, and I think we've long been exceeding them, at Wal Mart, in railroading, and a lot of other things.


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:49 am
Posts: 667
And now, there is this:

CSX Transportation (CSX) regularly assesses its ability to efficiently and effectively support the needs and requirements of its customers and the shipping public generally. As needs and requirements change, CSX undertakes efforts to sell, lease, discontinue, or abandon certain rail lines in accordance with applicable law.

If you are interested in operating a current or former CSX rail line for freight only purposes, please contact lines@csx.com, or use the form below. Please provide contact information, geographic interest, and other pertinent information in that communication. Your inquiry should be sufficient enough to provide CSX with confidence as to your understanding of the applicable rail line and your ability to successfully operate it. Interested parties should not contact CSX customers or CSX employees.

In the event that CSX undertakes an effort to sell or lease a rail line, CSX will consider various factors when selecting and negotiating with potential new operators. In addition to financial considerations, CSX places considerable weight on a new operator’s ability to provide value to CSX and the shipping public over the long-term. For those operators with an existing relationship with CSX, CSX will consider the history and experience between the railroads, including such factors such as (a) compliance with terms and conditions of any existing contracts, (b) the level of interline business with CSX, and (c) timeliness of payments, outstanding operational and/or contractual disputes, and other like items.

CSX reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to reject any inquiry or proposal and to exclude any party throughout its process. No inquiry, proposal or offer to acquire any rail line will be binding on CSX unless and until CSX has executed and delivered a definitive written agreement providing for the sale of the rail line.


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:02 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 658
A regional board (Indiana) I follow, with a lot of CSX employees as members, is characterizing the CSX line sale as a "going out of business" sale. Hyperbole perhaps, but the perception is that CSX views Wall Street investors, not customers or employees, as their primary constituency. It is speculated that one of the big Western railroads, UP in particular, might be interested in the former B&O between Cincinnati and St. Louis, part of which (most of Illinois) is currently embargoed, but that CSX would prefer to lease it to a regional, and if it is leased the CSX anti-steam policy will prevail there.


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:17 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:21 pm
Posts: 94
So, what's to stop the new operator from using a Steam Locomotive in Freight Service, then scheduling a photo charter where the patrons are transported by bus to the runby locations?


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:30 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:08 am
Posts: 60
hadder wrote:
So, what's to stop the new operator from using a Steam Locomotive in Freight Service, then scheduling a photo charter where the patrons are transported by bus to the runby locations?


Theoretically? Nothing.

However, it sounds like CSX is selling/leasing these lines with strings attached in case you accidentally make them more profitable again so they can buy them back roughly as they sold them to you.

Steam locomotives deal "hammer blows" onto the rail lines, causing wear which diesel and electric trains don't.

I find it odd that CSX wants to sell stuff with such strings attached though, being as they wish to dispose of such a large portion of their network you think they'd just flog it off and shrug after they've done so.


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:55 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:17 pm
Posts: 32
Why are they so anti passenger trips on a sold portion of RR? It's not like they are legally responsible if they don't own it once the line is sold. NS isn't that draconian about it are they once the line is sold?


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:02 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8952
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
CA1 wrote:
Why are they so anti passenger trips on a sold portion of RR? It's not like they are legally responsible if they don't own it once the line is sold.

Regrettably, there have been instances in other areas of business where it didn't matter if the company sold off the assets. Vexatious litigants and sympathetic juries still go after predecessor companies all the time.

As a railroad example, there are folks out there claiming that CSX, as corporate successor, should be liable for paying reparations to the descendants of slaves used to build several predecessor lines.

It's in a hostile legal environment such as this that such legal conditions are conjured.


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:52 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 392
Location: Orrville, OH
JDParkes wrote:
I find it odd that CSX wants to sell stuff with such strings attached though, being as they wish to dispose of such a large portion of their network you think they'd just flog it off and shrug after they've done so.

Lease is one thing, outright sale is another. A lease could have all kinds of strings attached. You'd have to want it pretty badly to purchase a line with restrictive strings outside of a traffic agreement. If I were the buyer, no way would I accept a contract that leaves the door open for outside meddling.

However, none of us (that I know of) have seen a sample sales agreement so we don't know if it has any restrictions, anyway. We could be twisting our own knickers over nothing.

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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 10:28 pm
Posts: 212
JDParkes wrote:
Steam locomotives deal "hammer blows" onto the rail lines, causing wear which diesel and electric trains don't.


Let's dispense with this one here. There are no "hammer blows" to track based on steam operation. The steam fleet has very sophisticated counterbalancing designed to alleviate such issues. The US rail system survived very well for a long time with steam operating on much lighter weight rail than you would find on any main line today, and they did it at the same or faster speeds. Some of that steam era rail is still in service.

Depending on which engine, the axle loading may be a factor to consider on lightweight bridges, but that, curvature and clearance issues would cover the main things to worry about when considering steam practicality. Added to it, the vast majority of your heavy axle loading steam engines (ie, a C&O Allegheny) aren't in operation. In short, operating your steam engine isn't going to do any more "damage" to the track than a comparable diesel.

Were there problems with counterbalancing in the steam era? Some, yes. The ACL R1 4-8-4s and the N&W K-3 4-8-2s were among the classes that were known to have had counterbalancing problems. That being said, the problem classes of engines were generally fixed quickly as soon as issues became apparent (like the ACL R1s). The rest had significant speed restrictions put on them to alleviate the problems, and were quickly phased out as soon as better power became available or demoted to low-speed branchline service where any counterbalancing issues that would crop up at mainline speeds became non-existent.

Short answer...anything that you might find running today isn't going to cause a problem at all on the track--especially Class 1 track.


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:57 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1745
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
A part of the R&D program during the month long ACE3000 program in 1985 was a stretch of track that was instrumented to show the amount of abuse caused by the 614 at 11 different speeds and 11 different throttle settings pulling loaded coal trains ( average 4400 tons) and all the then main classes of diesels at different speeds and throttle settings. The purpose was to compare the amount of stress placed upon the track by the different engines.

The tests were paid for by the AAR and conducted by the folks from the AAR test center in Colorado.

Much to the total surprise of nearly everyone the tests showed that at most speeds and throttle settings the 614 was kinder to the track then the diesels and this differential was greatest at higher speeds and wider throttle settings.

One of the AAR engineers said to me" so much for the old wives tale of steam being hard on the track".

Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.

Ross Rowland


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