Citirail locomotives on BNSF

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Citirail locomotives on BNSF
Posted by william6 on Monday, January 13, 2014 3:14 PM

Just saw 2 trains, both westbound, at Osceola, Iowa, with very new looking "CitiRail" locomotives on the point followed by older BNSF locomotives. One was an empty coal train and the other a manifest train with a little bit of everything. How long has BNSF been leasing or testing these new looking engines? I am guessing they are owned by Citigroup bank. Anybody know anything about what I just saw? Not sure of the make or model of these. Thanks.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 7:20 AM

Citirail is a leasing subsidiary of Citibank.  The locomotives are leasers and some of them are on lease to BNSF.  The newest ones in the 1200 and 1300 series are ES44AC's.

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Posted by NorthWest on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 7:58 AM

These are CREX units, ES44ACs.

They are new, having appeared about four months ago, in October.

CN is apparently also leasing power to BNSF, and reactivating some SD90MACs.

Some CREX units may also still be on the North Shore Mining lines.

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Posted by beaulieu on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 10:43 AM

NorthWest

These are CREX units, ES44ACs.

They are new, having appeared about four months ago, in October.

CN is apparently also leasing power to BNSF, and reactivating some SD90MACs.

Some CREX units may also still be on the North Shore Mining lines.

Change the reference from CN to CP. CP is leasing nearly 100 AC4400CW and ES44AC locomotives to BNSF, and as a result is power short itself.

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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 3:10 PM

CN is running out of units as well, just like every winter.  The Wyoming-Prince Rupert coal trains (C721) are now constantly using BNSF/CP run-through power out of Edmonton, as are the Bakken oil trains down east.  A CREX unit was spotted in Jasper this past week as well on a train out of Kamloops.  And the only thing CN has done to alleviate this is buy the 4 EMD AC demonstrators, which apparently had no end of computer issues on their first trip from Chicago, causing that day's Q119 to be over 90 hours late.  So BNSF and CP are not the only ones with power shortages, but CN is the only one who refuses to fix theirs.

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Posted by NorthWest on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 8:18 PM

beaulieu
Change the reference from CN to CP.

Thanks. Sorry, it was a typo.

BNSF is also leasing some SD75M/SD75Is it sold off a while ago.

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Posted by beaulieu on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 9:32 PM

NorthWest

BNSF is also leasing some SD75M/SD75Is it sold off a while ago.

They were returned at the end of their lease.
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Posted by NorthWest on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 9:55 PM

Bank of America?

My apologies for my memory.

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Posted by McKey on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 5:01 AM

Is there a specific reason why BNSF is short of power? Maybe too many scrapped old units? U.S. economy working on the high gear?

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Posted by NorthWest on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 2:55 PM

Likely several reasons.

The oil train boom is one, as well as lease turn backs (although I did see the SD75s in dead lines for quite a while) and a slow rebounding of the economy.

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Posted by McKey on Thursday, January 16, 2014 1:30 AM

Ok, seems interesting that volumes changes are so high that several hundred locomotives more are needed. And definitely a good sign for U.S. economy, congratulations there on the other side of the pond! I only wish your wise men were helping poor European economics too...

Picture of the SD70MAC by Gerry Putz.

 

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, January 16, 2014 2:59 PM

Cool saw these units when painted last year in Kansas city, mo. striking paint job.

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Posted by McKey on Friday, January 17, 2014 12:59 AM

How does the Citirail leasing business work in general? The first 5-10 they lease their units to the customer, but once the units come back there is still capital left, and the unit is nothing but new by then. 

rbandr

Cool saw these units when painted last year in Kansas city, mo. striking paint job.

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, January 17, 2014 1:08 PM

Coolthere must be money to be made as everyone from larrys elecrtric to ge capital is in the engine leasing or refurbishing business

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Posted by NorthWest on Friday, January 17, 2014 10:34 PM

When a railroad gets power short, they get power where they can. This allows people with locomotives available to charge larger rates. When they are not needed, they go back to storage for the next time and railroad that needs locomotives.

Reports are that the CREX locomotives on lease to Northshore Mining have been returned to Mid-America Car, where they were originally stored.

The CREX units apparently were built long before they went into service, supposedly sitting unused for at least several months waiting for a lease. They were built after the front door moved to the engineer's side of the cab, however.

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Posted by McKey on Saturday, January 18, 2014 11:41 AM

This keeping locomotives in storage for intermediate is exactly what makes me wonder if there is any sense from the leasers side in the operation. The capital costs are running all the time, even if the units are stored. And stored they will be as the good times and bad times without any "accidents" seem to fluctuate in about 11 year cycles. I doubt the capital of any locomotive can be zeroed in about 7 years time, or what do you think? 

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Posted by NorthWest on Saturday, January 18, 2014 11:57 AM

It all depends on what the lessor can get from the railroad...

Say, for example, your railroad needs 30 more units than it has to pull a glut of trains. New locomotives would take too long to arrive, and may not be needed after the tonnage surge is over. So, you talk to a lessor, who lends you locomotives. The lease cost is significant, but less than the costs of not operating the trains. So, you pay it, even though it is expensive.

The lessor pays for the capital costs during storage with the revenue from the time the units were on the road, if all goes well and they spend enough time on lease.

The number of trains varies on quite a few factors, such as production of certain commodities. 

Citirail has been at it for quite a long time, so they must be making a profit. Usually, the locomotives are older units, largely SD40-2s, retired from Class One service. Brand new units are less common.

There are only 15 CREX ES44ACs, so they are a small portion of the Citirail fleet.

Reports are that they sat in KC from Jan to Sep 2013, brand new, before leases.  

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Posted by McKey on Saturday, January 18, 2014 12:28 PM

That makes sense, still I'm amazed the lessor can charge premium prices on the markets where there is competition.

I think I read somewhere about 50 ES44AC unit additional order for Citirail, or do I remember wrong? Anyway this business sounds like it has been profitable so far. 

In Europe we have Railpool, MRCE and Alpha Trains (ex. Angle trains) plus lots of smaller players who lease rolling stock here, mostly powerful electrics. Below a typically colored MRCE fleet loco. 

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Posted by NorthWest on Saturday, January 18, 2014 12:53 PM

The CREX units may also be for long term lease,  I'd suspect, sort of like the high horsepower wide cab CIT units.

Yes, there was another order, which appears to have been built. Thanks, I learn something every day!

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, January 18, 2014 2:55 PM

Coolif it makes money even a penny per dollar per month that is more than current interst rates!!

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Posted by McKey on Saturday, January 18, 2014 11:26 PM

You are absolutely right! And on the other side of the pond people are preparing for deflation situation (except for Germany, Estonia and Sweden all European Union nations are not doing well at all, mainly to be blamed by strange centralized decisions to kill businesses and the inflexible Euro currency. Sad

Deflation situation means that people wont use their money today, because everything is cheaper tomorrow, making the downward spiral stronger. If I only could do something about this but what can one human being do? Japan was in deflation situation for two decades, which meant they also got very deep in debt.

rbandr

Coolif it makes money even a penny per dollar per month that is more than current interst rates!!

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, January 19, 2014 1:50 PM

Cooldo what wjistix does and alter reality to fit ur fantasy world???

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Posted by NorthWest on Sunday, January 19, 2014 5:04 PM

Rbandr, please do not call people names, it is against the forum policies.

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, January 19, 2014 6:15 PM

In the US each Class 1 carriers has a variety of signifigant commodities that drive their traffic mix.  Different commodities have different peak seasons during the year and thus demand for power on each carrier will vary in line with their commodity mix.  In many cases, what is a peak season for, say, UP may be a slack season for NS and vice versa and some short term leasing is done among the carriers, in other cases run through power between carriers may be held for a longer time on a carrier that is short of power.

Locomotive lessors have been in the business for a number of years and are fully aware of the commodity cycles of each of the carriers and have a pretty good idea of when the carriers will come looking for additional power and how much power they will be looking for.  They will price their leases accordingly.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by McKey on Monday, January 20, 2014 2:09 AM

Great description! Works when the markets are big enough and mature.

BaltACD

In the US each Class 1 carriers has a variety of signifigant commodities that drive their traffic mix.  Different commodities have different peak seasons during the year and thus demand for power on each carrier will vary in line with their commodity mix.  In many cases, what is a peak season for, say, UP may be a slack season for NS and vice versa and some short term leasing is done among the carriers, in other cases run through power between carriers may be held for a longer time on a carrier that is short of power.

Locomotive lessors have been in the business for a number of years and are fully aware of the commodity cycles of each of the carriers and have a pretty good idea of when the carriers will come looking for additional power and how much power they will be looking for.  They will price their leases accordingly.

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Posted by ohiobreeze2 on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 10:20 AM

On 1/14/14 I saw CREX 1337 with BNSF 5409 passing through Eaton, Ohio on the NS.

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Posted by f45gnbn on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 7:09 PM

According to these posts BN is short of power but they must have too many trains to get through yards too.   Last weekend I saw 3 manifest trains sitting for at least 3 days on the double mainline between ST Cloud and Becker MN.  They had some interesting power also.  Check out this bunch of loco's http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=3735715.  plus another down the way had 2 newer GEVO's and 2 old BN GP's so it looks like they're running what they can get their hands on.

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Posted by NorthWest on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 7:55 PM
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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9:30 PM

Terminal congestion, whatever it's reasons, can drive up a carriers need for power in a almost geometrical progression.  Power that is tied up on trains waiting to yard is not available to dispatch the trains that are already on the yard.  The longer the terminals tracks are blocked with outbound traffic, the worse the congestions becomes and the more critical the overall power situation is for the carrier.

I have seen the 'wrong' operating plan implemented on the 'wrong' physical plant and the next thing you know the carrier is virtually shut down. 

Whatever the operating plan is for any carrier, it is bound by the physical plant that the carrier operates.  A carrier that has relatively small terminals can be brought to a standstill by a 'fewer, larger train' operating plan.  If you can't open tracks in a terminal, you can't yard new inbound on those tracks.  Keeping a Class 1 fluid is a constant juggling act - bring traffic into terminals just as traffic is leaving the terminals - keeping the trains 'in the air' like a juggler with only ttwo hands keeps multiple objects moving through his hands.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, January 23, 2014 9:16 AM

Coolwhat name. I am sure that is an alias and I did not point a finger or use any name other than his moniker. are we not allowed to express an honest opionion?

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