CSX Line Sales....

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CSX Line Sales....
Posted by txhighballer on Thursday, November 09, 2017 7:32 AM

With the thought of CSX sparking a few line spinoffs, anyone have any idea of what might be on the table as viable candidates?

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, November 09, 2017 8:11 AM

Michigan, Florida, Illinois, Indinana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Canada

         

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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, November 09, 2017 8:38 AM

You left out New York...

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, November 09, 2017 10:09 AM

tree68
You left out New York...

New York and Mass. are for the Wall Street Supporters

         

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Thursday, November 09, 2017 10:36 AM

I know if they put up the old RI line they run Iowa Interstate will grab that one faster than a pizza disappers at a Weight Watchers convention.  

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Posted by Victrola1 on Thursday, November 09, 2017 10:57 AM

What lines would be of interest to BNSF & UP? Would CSX sell lines to either, or both western railroads?

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Posted by mudchicken on Thursday, November 09, 2017 12:39 PM

Victrola1

What lines would be of interest to BNSF & UP? Would CSX sell lines to either, or both western railroads?

 

Ask STB first.

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by jeffhergert on Thursday, November 09, 2017 4:16 PM

Shadow the Cats owner

I know if they put up the old RI line they run Iowa Interstate will grab that one faster than a pizza disappers at a Weight Watchers convention.  

 

CSX doesn't own that line.  They have a long term lease on it with IAIS subleasing parts of the west end.  I'm sure your right that IAIS would love to get the whole thing if they could.

Jeff 

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Posted by caldreamer on Thursday, November 09, 2017 4:59 PM

Which lines in Pennsylvania might they want to spin off and would NS be interested ina any?

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Posted by Convicted One on Thursday, November 09, 2017 5:21 PM

BaltACD
Michigan, Florida, Illinois, Indinana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Canada

 

Why not Kentucky?

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Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, November 09, 2017 8:30 PM

BaltACD

 

 
tree68
You left out New York...

 

New York and Mass. are for the Wall Street Supporters

 

Who gets New Jersey ?

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, November 09, 2017 10:53 PM

MidlandMike
 
BaltACD
 
tree68
You left out New York...

 

New York and Mass. are for the Wall Street Supporters 

Who gets New Jersey ?

The Christe estate of excess chlosterol.

         

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Posted by Los Angeles Rams Guy on Thursday, November 09, 2017 11:02 PM
I could definitely see CPRS being interested in the ex-C&O mainline across Michigan so that they would have their own route to connect Chicago with Detroit. I think it would be interesting to see if CSXT would be willing to part with their portion of the former PRR Chicago - New York mainline between Tolleston, Indiana and Crestline, Ohio. No doubt IAIS would love to get control of things between Bureau, and Rockdale, Illinois if they could do it.
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Posted by Vern Moore on Friday, November 10, 2017 10:21 PM

More likely it would be RJ Corman or Genessee & Wyoming interested in getting CSX lines in PA.

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, November 10, 2017 10:34 PM

Anything for Mantle Ridge to hoover out the money from the shell.

         

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Posted by Convicted One on Saturday, November 11, 2017 8:58 AM

Los Angeles Rams Guy
see if CSXT would be willing to part with their portion of the former PRR Chicago - New York mainline between Tolleston, Indiana and Crestline, Ohio

 

Perhaps now would be a good time to push a high-speed passenger rail initiative proposing one of those public/private partnerships where some rich guy gets to control the farebox, and the taxpayer gets to pay all the bills?

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Posted by Norm48327 on Saturday, November 11, 2017 11:03 AM

BaltACD

Anything for Mantle Ridge to hoover out the money from the shell.

Balt,

I hear what you are saying. Hedge funds are the modern day "Carl Ichan corporate raiders". Make a quick turn, grab the money, sell while stocks are high and 'git while the gittin's good'. Sell un-needed assets till the company bleeds in order to raise profit margins and cash.

Most small investors, those seeking either dividens or building their portfolio for retirement are seeking long term benefits. The other side of the equation is those who would deny/rob those small investors. Seems to be the way of life theese days.

Legal? Perhaps. Ethical? Doubtful, but the matra is now every man for himself and those who have the ability to control major corporations have the advantage.

Both my sister and I had stock in General Motors given they were a huge presence in our area and were profitable for most of our lives. When I saw them going downhill I bailed. I saved my principal and she hung on. I have no idea how much she lost by doing so.

As the Kenny Rogers song said "Know when to hold 'em know when to fold 'em. Until CSX gets theit act back together they will not get a dime of my money.

Norm


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Posted by Murphy Siding on Saturday, November 11, 2017 10:38 PM

BaltACD

Michigan, Florida, Illinois, Indinana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Canada

 

Rats!  I was hoping to pick up a little something in South Dakota at a distressed price.

Thanks to Chris / CopCarSS for my avatar.

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Posted by CShaveRR on Sunday, November 12, 2017 1:49 PM

Despite the fact that Michigan has its own budgetary woes, it's been pretty active in maintaining a passenger rail network.  Perhaps CSX can give the state a good price for its line from Grand Rapids to somewhere in the Detroit area, and offer a passenger schedule to connect Detroit (or Plymouth) to GR via Lansing.

Carl

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Posted by caldreamer on Sunday, November 12, 2017 3:24 PM

I wonder if NS would be interested in the CSX line from Hagerstown, Md up through Gettysburg, PA and then down to Baltimore. Md/

They also have a yard in Hagerstown and it would allow them to not only get to Harrisburg, via Chambersburg, Pa.  There already is a CSX/NS connection in Chambersburg, PA and it would give them a shorter route to Baltimore.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, November 12, 2017 4:50 PM

Well, since it’s a fire sale, BNSF from Memphis to Nashville.

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Posted by Saturnalia on Sunday, November 12, 2017 6:50 PM

CShaveRR

Despite the fact that Michigan has its own budgetary woes, it's been pretty active in maintaining a passenger rail network.  Perhaps CSX can give the state a good price for its line from Grand Rapids to somewhere in the Detroit area, and offer a passenger schedule to connect Detroit (or Plymouth) to GR via Lansing.

Our State hasn't had any "budget woes". We're not drowning in debt, like some other states. Instead, we play a giant game of tug-of-war over what to spend our money on. You know, the way it should be. Lesser men choose to not choose and spend all of the money, instead of battling over how to divide up what we have. I've been pleased to be a citizen of Michigan, and I think by and large there is enough compromise and balance that everybody gets some of what they want. 

That being said, while I have no on-the-job experience with the CSX lines in Michigan, I have spent many years studying them and so here are my thoughts about the whole question of CSX trimmings in Michigan. 

For those unaware, first off, some exposition. The current CSX is Michigan is a distillation of the old Pere Marquette, altough much shrunken via the C&O, Chessie and more recently CSX. What's left is the Flint-Plymouth-Toldeo main, and the Porter, IN-Grand Rapids-Plymouth-Detroit main. There is a short branch in Grand Rapids used to access several shortlines, and they also own the PH&D out of Port Huron, accessed from Flint via trackage rights with the CN. 

The last round of sell-offs was around 2005, when CSX sold the branch to Muskegon from West Olive (near Holland) to RailAmerica's Michigan Shore. They also sold-off/leased out the branches north of Grand Rapids to Marquette Rail. These two are both G&W properties now, and interchange exclusively with CSX at Holland and Grand Rapids, respectively. Also in 2005, CSX sold their way out of Saginaw, giving everything north of McGrew Yard in Flint to the LSRC, leaving us with the present arrangement. 

CSX's operations are concentrated mostly in the Detroit area, of course with their share of the CRSA and the manufacrutring base. Many trains operate from Detroit via Plymouth and/or Carleton to Toldeo. This includes heavy local traffic and the auto sorting yard at New Boston. It is exceedingly unlikely, therefore, that CSX would sell of this portion of the railroad, east and south of Plymouth. It originates so much traffic, that it's price would be quite high. 

Alternately, you have west of Plymouth via GR to Porter, which is moslty composed of the significant online traffic base, and the shortline interchanges with the WMI, MS, GRE, MQT, GDLK, JAIL and GLC. They also have two busy grain elevators and the power plant at West Olive, which recieves a coal train per day, average. This line segment is considered to be secondary, and rarely hosts much overhead traffic, although since EHH has been installed, has seen much more of it than in the more recent past, including most recently a bunch of Detroit intermodal traffic. 

Third, you have the stuff north of Plymouth to Flint, which used to be crazy busy but now has just modest online traffic. Most of the traffic here is overhead to the interchange with the LSRC in Flint and the PH&D property. 

Alright, so here are my thoughts. I see three distinct, somewhat likely scenarios I'll discuss. There are more possibilities, but I consider them pretty darn unlikely. 

Scenario A: Sale of Plymouth-Flint. This one seems like the most likely of the scenarios, and wouldn't impact whether or not the others happen. The idea here is that the LSRC would purchase their way from Flint to Plymouth, moving the interchange with CSX to North Yard in Plymouth or maybe Lincoln Yard in Novi. He biggest hang-up with this is that CSX would further land-lock their PH&D property, which is a cash cow according to sources, with lucerative chemical and fuel traffic. Therefore, there is the question of whether or not the PH&D would be excluded somehow or if that would derail this effort altogether. CSX may just be happy to serve the local customers on this stretch in order to keep the PH&D, accepting the LSRC interchange at Flint. I'd personally assign the chance of this sale happening, at least of the Flint-Plymouth line, a 30% chance by 2025. 

Scenario B: Sale of Porter-Plymouth. This one has been thought about for much longer than most realize. Yes, this is about Canadian Pacific. I've recieved plenty of flack for this in the past, as some just think us Michigan railfans are obsessed with CP - and maybe we are, because our line used to see 24 trains per day but now 5-6 is a good number. We want CP back. But those hopes aside, the quantitive facts are that CP, upon their exit around 2005 and again in 2010, did attempt to purchase the line, but couldn't meet CSX's price. What we know now is that Harrison's buddy is in charge at CP, so in theory the tracks are greased for a transaction compared with previously. This sale would give CP their own line from Chicagoland to Detroit. They'd avoid most of the NS, but then have to take over their own line, run it, and yes it needs some upgrades in terms of sidings and some signalling to run trains over 5-8000' in mass. So, I think the idea of this hinges more on CP's love/hate relationship with NS than it does CSX's sale price. CP has to be both willing to move and meet CSX's price. I'd also expect CSX to retain Plymouth to Detroit for themselves, so there'd have to be a trackage rights bridge on both ends of the line for CP, from Hick to Porter in Indiana, and Plymouth to Detroit in Michigan. But it cuts out the vast majority of the pesky NS. Is it worth it? I give this about a 20% chance by 2025. 

Scenario C: MDOT pruchase. This one looked much much better around about 2014 than it does now. First and foremost, the Federal cash prizes are gone. MDOT used mostly federal funds to grab the Michigan Line from Kalamazoo to Dearborn from the NS, and for awhile it looked like CSX was teeing up a sale from Plymouth to GR for MDOT, or at least trying to get them to pay for line upgrades in exchange for a new DET-GRR service. Alas, with the funding gone, it is extremely unlikely, I think. The Michigan Line was a match made in heaven, since NS already had minimal online traffic, no overhead traffic, and thus no real reason to keep it around. So MDOT got their chance at a higher-speed railroad, and NS kept their freight business, which is all they really wanted. NS seemed happy with the way Porter-Kzoo was, and so now most of the rest of the old Michigan Central is setup similarly. However, MDOT is sturggling to finish the planned upgrades of that line, needing at least one more big funding push to finish it all, particularly curve upgrades from Jackson to Ypsilanti. With the MDOT Rail office busy pushing that project towards completion, and in need of cash, I doubt they're paying much attention to the CSX, at least for now. For awhile it seemed like they were gaining momentum towards a second Pere Marquette Serice to Chicago, and maybe an extension to Detroit, but those seem on hold as well, even barring a line-sale, until the new locomotives and passenger equipment becomes available. So I give the chance of MDOT buying any of CSX from GRR to DET at about 10% by 2025. 

Those are my thoughts - again with no inside experience but plenty of observations in the last decade. 

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Posted by txhighballer on Sunday, November 12, 2017 9:47 PM

I was also thinking that New Orleans- Mongomery- Jacksonville would be a pretty good line for someone...

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, November 13, 2017 2:46 AM

Should be a valuable line, if not for CSX.

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Posted by gp18 on Monday, November 13, 2017 5:26 AM

I'm sure N.S. will have something to say about N.J., since it owns half of Conrail Shared Assets.

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Posted by TnMountaineer on Monday, November 13, 2017 8:37 PM
I guess West Virginia must be making enough money to not be in the spin-off list. Hope it's true!
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Posted by Choo Choo Lou on Monday, November 13, 2017 8:48 PM

My guesses for Ohio:

Branchlines from Sterling on the old B&O main to Lorain and Cleveland;

Branchline from the Ohio River through Marrieta to Relief; 

Mainline from Galion to Columbus;

Mainline from Toledo to Kenton; and l

Longer term if service changes are made the mainline from Cincinnati to St. Louis. Get your bids in soon.

Over and out,

Lou

 

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Posted by acmatth on Monday, November 20, 2017 7:09 PM

Maybe the old Western Maryland "Dutch Line" from Baltimore to Hagerstown? Maryland Midland (now Genessee and Wyoming) tried to buy that line years ago. MMID connects to it on both ends so it might make sense.

sps
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Posted by sps on Monday, November 20, 2017 7:54 PM

If I was EHH I would spin lines off to an LLC short line conglomerate much like the INRD is now, wholly owned by CSXT. This would allow different operating requirements, rules and expectations without affecting the parent companies standing on/with Wall Street and the new conglomerate would not be publicly traded. In essence make two out of one. All the gymnastics of valuation, bidding, negotiations are avoided. Put all the wood from the trunk of the tree in one pile and the wood from the branches in another. You still own all the wood. 

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