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CN/KCS plan to upgrade lines from Kansas City to Detroit

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Posted by RKFarms on Monday, July 19, 2021 6:22 PM

Regarding the Wabash, it is still pretty busy between Lafayette and Decatur. Some trains go out to the south yards or on to Frankfort, but all of this is significantly less than a few years ago, and much less than the 40 trains per day that was forecast 10-20 years ago. It used to be that while farming within sight of the tracks you could count on seeing several trains in a morning or afternoon, now it is usually a longer time between trains, and not as many using the sidings west of Lafayette. 

PR

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Posted by kgbw49 on Thursday, July 15, 2021 1:41 AM

Uh, that was also in the PowerPoint presentation.

OWTX, you have channeled your inner JJ Ruest!

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Posted by OWTX on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 10:32 PM

Well, if it was in a power point presentation......

 The value is in gulf coast chemical traffic, and the Mexican franchise. Trains Magazine fluff pieces aside, this line and the speedway are like the house on the end of the block that keeps getting flipped. Foundation issues - not worth the cost of the fix.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 9:05 PM

9500, you were channeling your inner JJ Reust! You nailed it - just what CN's initial presentations by JJR and staff indicated.

The Port of Halifax recently opened an expansion capable of handling 15,000+ TEU container ships and is already considering a further expansion.

https://www.portofhalifax.ca/deep-water-berth-extension-at-port-of-halifax-fully-operational/

https://theloadstar.com/port-of-halifax-completes-berth-expansion-and-now-eyes-faster-data-flow/

https://www.joc.com/port-news/international-ports/port-halifax/halifax-can-now-handle-two-mega-ships-simultaneously_20201023.html

Here is a link to a map of the Port of Halifax.

Statistics and layout of the expanded South End Container Terminal are on the upper right. 500,000 TEU annual throughput and 8,000 feet of on-dock rail track.

Statistics and layout of the Fairview Cove Container Terminal are on the middle right. 650,000 TEU annual throughput and 11,000 feet of on-dock rail.

Total TEU annual throughput of the Port of Halifax is 1,150,000.

https://www.portofhalifax.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/POH-Harbour-and-Facilities-Map-ForWeb-Updated-Feb2021.pdf

 

 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 8:20 PM

IC used to own the (ex-Alton) Springfield-KC route after the GM&O merger.  Of course they sold it off.  KC would have 5 out of the 6 big class 1s serving it from the east.  BNSF and UP are thru routes, so they won't be short hauling themselves by handing off any business to CN.  So CN will be fighting for local business to the east with all 4 others.  All of CN's thru traffic with Mexico and Texas will go thru Jackson. The KCS between KC and Shreveport over Rich Mtn. will be mothballed, just as CN has done with all its second routes, such as BC Rail, Ottawa Valley, and soon to be Algoma Central.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 7:02 PM
 

MP173

My original point was to come across the old GTW from Ontario to Matteson Jct and turn south on the old IC and continue south to Jackson, Ms instead of diverging at Gilman to Springfield and then on the KCS (ex GMO) to Kansas City then south on the KCS line, which is hilly thru the Ozarks.

 

No such problem on the IC line to Jackson, then hang a right and head over to KCS and continue on the long and winding road to Mexico.

I still dont see the price tag that CN paid on this route.  Hope they prove me wrong.

Ed

 

The whole point of CN upgrading the old Alton Route between Springfield and KC, MO has to do with the Port of Halifax. With traffic diverting to Eastern Canadian ports such as Halifax. CN can land boxes further inland in KC, MO. Due to KC's proximity one goal is match back export loads of Ag products (grains, meats, etc.) to Asia.  

 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by MP173 on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 5:47 PM

My original point was to come across the old GTW from Ontario to Matteson Jct and turn south on the old IC and continue south to Jackson, Ms instead of diverging at Gilman to Springfield and then on the KCS (ex GMO) to Kansas City then south on the KCS line, which is hilly thru the Ozarks.

 

No such problem on the IC line to Jackson, then hang a right and head over to KCS and continue on the long and winding road to Mexico.

I still dont see the price tag that CN paid on this route.  Hope they prove me wrong.

Ed

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 4:59 PM
 

Railcarman

Read Bill Stephen's article with mouth literally hanging wide open.  CN is going to spend $250M?  Isn't there already a line between these two cities?  Wasn't it the subject of a TRAINS article several (at least 10) years ago?  If memory serves, one noteworthy point it made, was that the former Wabash was the only rail line in the U.S. that was shorter than the interstate highways between it's two end points.    

Used to live near the Wabash, when I resided in Ft. Wayne, IN.  Loved the NS's Road Railers so much that I helped arrange tours (in 2009 & 2016) of their facilities when our local NMRA division hosted the regional conventions.  Later, in 2016, was the on the last public tour of their yard in Detroit's Oakwood, MI. Partnering with some friends we made, our NMRA division now meets regularly at Baker Street Station in downtown Ft. Wayne.

Where is this line today?  Don't really know.  Been told it still hosts two Road Railers - one each way each night (passing through Ft. Wayne at zero dark thirty?).  Isn't most of the traffic north of Butler, IN to & from  Canada (CN & CP)?  What about the rest of the line?  Is it dead or what?  Occasionally pass by it when visiting my model railroad club in Montpelier, OH.  Rarely see anything running.  What plans might the NS have for it?  Maybe they could sell it to CN? Wink

If there is little or no traffic on this CTC'd mainline, why does the CN think they can do better?  Have no dog in the KCS merger fight. Did own CN stock on & off for the last 20 some years. Currently out. Have their 2007 annual report with Hunter's picture in it. Stock never went anywhere when I owned it.  With their corporate leadership putting forth proposals like this one, makes me wonder if their other plan (to merge with the KCS) is a little daft.

Chuck White, Van Wert, OH

 

The title of Bill Stephens article is somewhat of a misnomer as Detroit is located about 45 miles south off of CN's Mainline. CN has no direct route to Detroit. It should have stated from KC to Eastern Canada. CN serves Detroit from the west via its Holly Sub at Durand, MI. The Mt. Clemens Sub from the east via Port Huron, MI. The $250M is mostly directed at the former Alton route between Springfield, IL and KC, MO. CN has well maintained RoW from Springfield to Gilman, IL and beyond. Trains will continue north to the Matteson Connection. In Matteson, IL traffic will divert onto the Matteson Sub to Griffith, IN where trains will join CN's South Bend Subdivsion for Michigan points; Battle Creek, Lansing, Flint, Flat Rock, Pontiac, Detroit, and Toledo, OH. Eastern Canada points such as; Sarnia, Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Saint John, and Halifax. 

The NS Wabash route is doing well with zero chance of any sale. Today it has a decent amount of traffic. Yes it still host two Triple Crowns at the behest of Ford. Both TC's operate between Melvindale, and Voltz YD in MO. CP has rights from Delray Jct. to Chicago via Butler, IN with CP establishing a crew change point at Elkhart. Concerning the future of the Wabash. When BNSF and NS finally tie the knot. The Wabash will become a great high speed direct route between the east, and west coast.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by Convicted One on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 4:07 PM

Speculating, but automotive traffic originated by NS and hauled all the way to Kansas City is likely seen as "lost mileage" west of the Chicago continental divide the railroads share. So, wrestling the Wabby away from NS would possibly  be a triumph of sorts, in that regard?

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Posted by Convicted One on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 4:01 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH
Just how would BNSF acquire the NS Kansas City-Detroit line?  I don't recall reading anything that indicated it was up for sale.

Along about 2003-2004, I had just completed a cross country drive that included indepth exposure to the Norborne-Moberly Missouri area. (I took the scenic route).  

Shortly after setting up shop in Ft Wayne, I just happened upon a maintenance crew tuning up the diamond at Hugo. There were some suit and tie guys with blueprints also on site.

 

Fresh from my familiarity with WB junction in Missouri, and equipped with knowledge gained here about "the Chicago bottleneck", I approached the blueprint guys and asked why NS was not working harder with BNSF to bypass Chicago.  via  WB junction to Butler Indiana.

And I think after they got over the shock that some Hoosier bumpkin would ask such a question, one mentioned that BNSF had been trying to buy the line for several years, towards that end.

So, I guess that would be "insider scuttlebutt"?

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 3:08 PM

MP173
Why not run that down the well engineered IC line and turn right at Jackson, Ms?  Isnt the KCS line south of KC more challenging?

You'll need to explain first why anyone would go from Canada or Chicago to Kansas City by way of Jackson.  Well-engineered ROW or not.

I presume you actually meant Shreveport (i.e. via the Meridian speedway vs. all the hard way down west of Arkansas).   

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 2:08 PM

Just how would BNSF acquire the NS Kansas City-Detroit line?  I don't recall reading anything that indicated it was up for sale.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by MP173 on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 2:07 PM

What is the projected tonnage increase to Kansas City (from Chicago/Canada, etc)?

 

Why not run that down the well engineered IC line and turn right at Jackson, Ms?  Isnt the KCS line south of KC more challenging?  

I can see where the CN could market single line grain from Illinois/Iowa to Mexico.  I am still not sold on intermodal suddenly jumping to CN/KCS in massive quantities.  

Also, I am curious about the BNSF - North Baltimore deal.  Is that operated as a BNSF market thru trackage rights or haulage agreement, or what?  

Original poster....CN stock has been incredible for the past 20 years.  Perhaps you should have bought and held instead of holding "off and on".  

Full disclosure...have held Illinois Central / CN stock for many years.

Ed

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Posted by kgbw49 on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 9:53 PM

The Wabash would have given BNSF a Chicago bypass and they could have extended their intermodal franchise to the upper Midwest region. The North Baltimore deal with CSX sort of accomplishes that. Had BNSF acquired the Wabash, they might have built an intermodal terminal themselves in that general area.

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Posted by OWTX on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 12:23 PM

Haverty and Co. did a fine job of dressing up some marginal properties with a pretty paint job.

I expect CN to downgrade K.C. Shreveport.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 9:53 AM

mudchicken

Gateway Eastern will need a tremendous amount of work to meet the guesstimated traffic tonnage. It has not been "right" since GM&O had it. After ICG had it, the incompetents at Venango almost destroyed it and it's been a struggle for everybody since. (anybody in the track department had to be a miracle worker to keep all the belts and suspenders from collapsing at any second - their resourcefulness managed to hold it together, just barely.)

Wabash was another case of neglect at the hands of those who controlled the balance sheet. N&W got a rude shock after it took over in 1964.

$250 million is more stopgap than a long term reconstruction IMHO.

I read elsewhere the line has an undesireable up and down track profile along most of the route which I believe is also an issue.

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Posted by Convicted One on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 9:50 AM

Railcarman
Where is this line today?  Don't really know.  Been told it still hosts two Road Railers - one each way each night (passing through Ft. Wayne at zero dark thirty?).  Isn't most of the traffic north of Butler, IN to & from  Canada (CN & CP)?  What about the rest of the line?  Is it dead or what?  Occasionally pass by it when visiting my model railroad club in Montpelier, OH.  Rarely see anything running.  What plans might the NS have for it?  Maybe they could sell it to CN?

 

Can't give you an exact train count, but over the past 15 years this line has gone from near constant activity, to  hours on end with no trains.  I used to live within ear range of the Brooklyn Ave crossing, and remember hearing horns all the time.  If you spent a hour line side, you were sure to see at least 3 trains.  It's certainly  not that way, anymore.   Seems like the New Castle district is busier than the Huntington district.

Years ago the claim I heard was that BNSF was trying to buy the line, but that NS was uninterested in selling. Perhaps the situation you mention might change that?

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Posted by Ed Kyle on Monday, July 12, 2021 8:51 PM

FRA showed 16-17 daily thru freights on the ex-Wabash as of 2020.  The numbers have dropped with PSR.  This summer they may be even lower with all of the automotive plant shutdowns.

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Posted by JoeKoh on Monday, July 12, 2021 4:19 PM

Ns has an L 96 that goes up to SDI from New Haven daily.Csx runs a local as well from Garrett.They have trackage rights on the wabash.Ns still runs hot auto parts and intermodals down the wabash as well.Ns still has a local in Montpelier Ohio too.CP has trackage rights out of Detroit turns at Butler and goes west to Chicago.It gets interesting when the precision railroading deems trains to big for the sidings and they run into problems along the way.

stay safe

Joe

Deshler Ohio-crossroads of the B&O Matt eats your fries.YUM! Clinton st viaduct undefeated against too tall trucks!!!(voted to be called the "Clinton St. can opener").

 

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Posted by mudchicken on Monday, July 12, 2021 2:27 PM

Gateway Eastern will need a tremendous amount of work to meet the guesstimated traffic tonnage. It has not been "right" since GM&O had it. After ICG had it, the incompetents at Venango almost destroyed it and it's been a struggle for everybody since. (anybody in the track department had to be a miracle worker to keep all the belts and suspenders from collapsing at any second - their resourcefulness managed to hold it together, just barely.)

Wabash was another case of neglect at the hands of those who controlled the balance sheet. N&W got a rude shock after it took over in 1964.

$250 million is more stopgap than a long term reconstruction IMHO.

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 CMStPnP on Monday, July 12, 2021 2:02 PM

Railcarman

Read Bill Stephen's article with mouth literally hanging wide open.  CN is going to spend $250M?  Isn't there already a line between these two cities?  Wasn't it the subject of a TRAINS article several (at least 10) years ago?  If memory serves, one noteworthy point it made, was that the former Wabash was the only rail line in the U.S. that was shorter than the interstate highways between it's two end points.    

Used to live near the Wabash, when I resided in Ft. Wayne, IN.  Loved the NS's Road Railers so much that I helped arrange tours (in 2009 & 2016) of their facilities when our local NMRA division hosted the regional conventions.  Later, in 2016, was the on the last public tour of their yard in Detroit's Oakwood, MI. Partnering with some friends we made, our NMRA division now meets regularly at Baker Street Station in downtown Ft. Wayne.

Where is this line today?  Don't really know.  Been told it still hosts two Road Railers - one each way each night (passing through Ft. Wayne at zero dark thirty?).  Isn't most of the traffic north of Butler, IN to & from  Canada (CN & CP)?  What about the rest of the line?  Is it dead or what?  Occasionally pass by it when visiting my model railroad club in Montpelier, OH.  Rarely see anything running.  What plans might the NS have for it?  Maybe they could sell it to CN? Wink

If there is little or no traffic on this CTC'd mainline, why does the CN think they can do better?  Have no dog in the KCS merger fight. Did own CN stock on & off for the last 20 some years. Currently out. Have their 2007 annual report with Hunter's picture in it. Stock never went anywhere when I owned it.  With their corporate leadership putting forth proposals like this one, makes me wonder if their other plan (to merge with the KCS) is a little daft.

Chuck White, Van Wert, OH

This is a no brainer and I think CP would have upgraded it as well.   Primarily it is the KCS line from Springfield, IL to Kansas City, MO that needs work and it would open a second KC routing for NE USA customers as well as second routing from Chicago via the ex-IC to Springfield first.

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CN/KCS plan to upgrade lines from Kansas City to Detroit
Posted by Railcarman on Friday, July 9, 2021 8:48 PM

Read Bill Stephen's article with mouth literally hanging wide open.  CN is going to spend $250M?  Isn't there already a line between these two cities?  Wasn't it the subject of a TRAINS article several (at least 10) years ago?  If memory serves, one noteworthy point it made, was that the former Wabash was the only rail line in the U.S. that was shorter than the interstate highways between it's two end points.    

Used to live near the Wabash, when I resided in Ft. Wayne, IN.  Loved the NS's Road Railers so much that I helped arrange tours (in 2009 & 2016) of their facilities when our local NMRA division hosted the regional conventions.  Later, in 2016, was the on the last public tour of their yard in Detroit's Oakwood, MI. Partnering with some friends we made, our NMRA division now meets regularly at Baker Street Station in downtown Ft. Wayne.

Where is this line today?  Don't really know.  Been told it still hosts two Road Railers - one each way each night (passing through Ft. Wayne at zero dark thirty?).  Isn't most of the traffic north of Butler, IN to & from  Canada (CN & CP)?  What about the rest of the line?  Is it dead or what?  Occasionally pass by it when visiting my model railroad club in Montpelier, OH.  Rarely see anything running.  What plans might the NS have for it?  Maybe they could sell it to CN? Wink

If there is little or no traffic on this CTC'd mainline, why does the CN think they can do better?  Have no dog in the KCS merger fight. Did own CN stock on & off for the last 20 some years. Currently out. Have their 2007 annual report with Hunter's picture in it. Stock never went anywhere when I owned it.  With their corporate leadership putting forth proposals like this one, makes me wonder if their other plan (to merge with the KCS) is a little daft.

Chuck White, Van Wert, OH

Tags: CN , CP , KCS , NS , Wabash

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