CSX SEEKS TO SELL OLD B&O WEST END

WM734 Jul 8, 2004

  1. BrianS

    BrianS E-Mail Bounces

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    The size of the railroad has nothing to do with the skill of the employees or the ability of the locomotives. A lot of shortline/regional employees were furloughed from Class 1 operations so they have the experience to handle said operations. This is especially true in a situation like there where the employees may even have worked on the same line in their Class 1 days.

    As for "the best locomotives made," how do you think the railroaders of the past, Ed King especially, got their coal over the mountains? It surely wasn't with AC44s and SD70MACs and may have even been with the very same Geeps that are in shortline use today.
     
  2. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    All of this is pure speculation until something actually happens.

    I am questioning the possibility of a shortline buying at least one of the two parts of the West End (assuming they would be sold independantly) because of the distance to the nearest shortline (Wheeling and Lake Erie comes to mind) and the fact that those shortline likely don't have enough locomotives to send to operate the line(s).

    For example: 2 AC44's would maybe equal maybe as much as 6 GP's and 3 or 4 SD's (non AC). More locomotives per train = more locomotives to maintain = more stress on rails with non-radial truck equipped locomotives = more money poured into maintaining than what can be drawn from revenue.

    CSXC is already having enough problems keeping the lines maintained and they have the newest and best equipment; Locomotives and maintainence of way.

    Unless some people with big pockets and big ideas start a whole new railroad, I would have to believe CSX will end up keeping the line to themselves.

    [ 10. July 2004, 17:30: Message edited by: A&A 6183 ]
     
  3. BrianS

    BrianS E-Mail Bounces

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    You're assuming the unit trains would be the same size and that they won't utilize run-through power.

    Remember that the greatest asset a shortline has is its reduced labor cost. You'd be amazed at how cheaply MoW projects can be completed with a non-union workforce.
     
  4. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    Yo exactly right Brian. Like I said before we can just speculate all we want to but nothing will be for certain until CSX makes another announcement.
     
  5. WM734

    WM734 E-Mail Bounces

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    Pat made the point I should have made in my post. It ain't easy getting down the mountain with ANY equpment. But the new engines are a heck of a lot better, such as Pat said just the raidial trucks alone. The B&O didn't mess with SD's alot on the West End, they bought GP's with four wheel trucks for the very reason Pat stated. I was born and raised at the foot of !7 mile grade. They sure did bring a lot of coal down the mountains in the old days. But the wreck train took a lot more calls back in those days. The runaway track at Bond is gone now.
    Back in the old days, if a train exceeded a certain speed, often only a couple of miles an hour, it was automaticaly sent up the runaway track. There is even a rumor that the Cincinattian made the trip up the runaway track. Here's another point. If you are an excellent engineer, and you start down that grade with six old locos, and one or two happen to have dynamics that aren't working quite right, and you're using your air figuring you got em all on line, you are in for a big suprise if you waste any air..or you may not have wasted any at all. It can happen..in a heartbeat...and has. Sure, the GPs brought coal down the mountain..but they were not as old as they are now.

    Yep, they brought a lot of coal down the mountains in the steam days, and early diesel days, but it cost.

    Ed

    [ 13. July 2004, 02:01: Message edited by: WM734 ]
     
  6. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    I've been informed that CSX has sold 186 miles of track of the C&O North Mountain Sub in Virginia to the 16-mile Buckingham Branch Railroad.

    Also, The Cowen & West End would be transferred to the new owner December 20 of this year.

    The more I read the articles, analyze and re analyze this. The more I have to believe this is real and is going to happen. It will be interesting to see who will be the high bidder. I do have an Idea, though.

    [ 06. August 2004, 15:09: Message edited by: A&A 6183 ]
     
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Not being familiar with the Buckingham Branch RR, I'm wondering- Is this more an act of self-preservation by the BBRR? (Keeping a connection to the outside world?) Or taking advantage of an opportunity for real growth?

    :D

    Boxcab e50
     
  8. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    doesn't make a whole lot of sence to buy 186 miles of track if your 16-mile line just trying to survive. I would think it is safe to assume that they bought it for oppotunity.

    Here's a quote from the Railroad Fallen Flags Phgoto site: "The Buckingham Branch Railroad is a small, family-owned shortline railroad in Central Virginia. It operates two separate lines, one being the Buckingham Division (owned by the Bryant Family) which is 17.3 miles long and runs between Dillywn and Bremo, Virginia and the other being the Shenandoah Division (owned by the Greater Shenandoah Valley Development Corp.) which is 20.2 miles long and runs between Staunton and Harrisonburg, Virginia. Interchange on the Buckingham Division is at Bremo, VA with CSX. On the Shenendoah Division with CSX at Staunton, and NS at Pleasant Valley. "

    [ 06. August 2004, 17:32: Message edited by: A&A 6183 ]
     
  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Pat-

    As I've had some actual experience in these types of events, it can surprise a person just how intricate some of the twists and turns will become. Sometimes it is indeed opportunity. Sometimes it's actually survival. With the trucking industry as at present, buying a sizeable chunk of track might indeed be their alternative to closing down.

    In this instance, I'd agree it's probably opportunity. Perhaps if someone could give a run run down for the existing shippers on that 186 miles. And then project for any growth in those car load numbers. Plus any possible new industrial additions. It will be interesting to learn for certain.

    :D

    Boxcab E50
     
  10. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    My last post was written ina rush and was a littl terse, sorry.

    Box, you did make a good point. Plus, We don't know how much it was sold for.

    The B&O, in1986(??), sold the line that is now the South Branch Valley Railroad to the state of WV for 1 dollar simply because they didn't want the burden of maintaining the line.......Then again most of the line was missing because of the 1985 flood.
     
  11. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Pat-

    This could be part of those "twists and turns" I was referencing. Not just the sale amount. But how the sale is structured for payment, financing, whatever they've leveraged to put it all together. It will all have a direct effect on what they'll do to stay on the plus side of the ledger. To keep those steel wheels rolling.

    There's so much we can only guess from out here. However, if we could be that proverbial fly on the wall.... And know for certain what's transpired behind closed doors.

    :D

    Boxcab E50
     
  12. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    Yep........All we can do is speculate until something actually happens.
     

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