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CPKC - effects on traffic flows and traffic counts?

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Thursday, September 23, 2021 10:19 PM
 

D.Carleton

My question in all of this is: How much 'stuff' (consumer goods) goes to eastern Canada (GTA & Quebec) from Mexico?

 

Perishables, Finished Autos, Appliances.. Eastern Canada holds over 60% of the country's population.

U.S. map showing corridors along the routes listed on the components of corridors map, reaching all portions of the country except Montana, northwestern Wyoming, eastern Nevada, southern Colorado, Vermont, and northern Maine.

 
 
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Posted by D.Carleton on Friday, September 24, 2021 6:48 AM

My next question is: How many trackage rights trains does CP field east out of Chicago to eastern Canada via NS/CSX? Between CBR, intermodal, finished autos and mechandise it's at least a half dozen.

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Posted by MP173 on Friday, September 24, 2021 9:11 AM

There is a pair of intermodal which runs Chicago to Buffalo via CSX and crosses.

NS has several (perhaps 3 each way) of combo general freight/auto.

Also a frequent ethanol movement via NS...not sure if trackage rights or hand off.

So, the usual count is 6-8 scheduled freights plus the ethanol.

Ed

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Posted by D.Carleton on Friday, September 24, 2021 11:23 AM

MP173

There is a pair of intermodal which runs Chicago to Buffalo via CSX and crosses.

NS has several (perhaps 3 each way) of combo general freight/auto.

Also a frequent ethanol movement via NS...not sure if trackage rights or hand off.

So, the usual count is 6-8 scheduled freights plus the ethanol.

Ed

Thank you. (I forgot the ethanol.)

And so the next questions: How much KCS/KCSdeM traffic to the Windsor-QC corridor will get single-line service with the new CPKC? Some is already there with interchange from UP/BNSF to CP at Chicago and will continue to ride on trackage rights over NS/CSX. But will they be able to pry traffic away from CN? How many more ton/miles will NS/CSX want to deal with on what is arguably their heaviest use corridors?

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Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, September 24, 2021 3:31 PM

Actually, that is one of the reasons I think there might someday be a chance for a Wabash Speedway deal.

CP could run IM on the Wabash from KC and the Nickel Plate to Buffalo, with blocks for Detroit if necessary. This would give NS more capacity on their former NYC and they would get trackage rights fees that they otherwise would not get.

NS could barter that into potentially a Twin Cities Speedway deal of some type to access the one large Midwest metro area (5 million souls) that it does not serve and for which it's parade of trucks every day leaving for cities south and east in NS territory could possibly ride NS trains.

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Posted by D.Carleton on Friday, September 24, 2021 6:15 PM

kgbw49

Actually, that is one of the reasons I think there might someday be a chance for a Wabash Speedway deal.

CP could run IM on the Wabash from KC and the Nickel Plate to Buffalo, with blocks for Detroit if necessary. This would give NS more capacity on their former NYC and they would get trackage rights fees that they otherwise would not get.

NS could barter that into potentially a Twin Cities Speedway deal of some type to access the one large Midwest metro area (5 million souls) that it does not serve and for which it's parade of trucks every day leaving for cities south and east in NS territory could possibly ride NS trains.

I should like to think, based on recent actions by CP, they intend to consolidate their operations to the least amount of trackage possible. There is one fly in the ointment: the close confines of the Detroit River Tunnel. If they do finally get a full clearance route then KC-Detroit-GTA-Montreal becomes a very attractive possibility. Trackage rights to Buffalo shouldn't be necessary after that. There will still be a need for a Chicago-Detroit route but that already exists. 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, September 24, 2021 9:30 PM

Regarding CHI-DET, CP once used CSX's ex-PM route thru Grand Rapids.  Could be an alternate for the more crowded corridors.  CSX has sold much of their other Michigan track, maybe they would also part with this trackage.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, September 24, 2021 10:17 PM

Perhaps CP can convince the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund to make an investment in that doublestack-capable tunnel under the St. Clair River. CP will need some help on major capital projects for a while until their volume increases to allow them the cash flow to service more debt than the $20 billion they will be carrying after the KCS purchase is completed.

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Posted by Ed Kyle on Saturday, September 25, 2021 9:22 AM

CP used to run intermodal trains between Chicago and Kansas City, but dropped them a few years ago.   Why does the company think it can make that route succeed now?

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Posted by kgbw49 on Saturday, September 25, 2021 10:07 AM

It will be a while before the peavine that is the former Milwaukee Road to KC becomes a robust route for IM, for sure. It is more a bulk traffic line now.

Perhaps CP is thinking that connecting all the consumer goods manufacturing in Mexico and Texas with all the markets in the Upler Midwest and Eastern Canada, as well as automotive parts traffic back and forth between Ontario and Mexico, will produce growth in IM traffic on CPKC.

 

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Posted by D.Carleton on Saturday, September 25, 2021 10:43 AM

kgbw49

Perhaps CP can convince the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund to make an investment in that doublestack-capable tunnel under the St. Clair River. CP will need some help on major capital projects for a while until their volume increases to allow them the cash flow to service more debt than the $20 billion they will be carrying after the KCS purchase is completed.

The irony here is that when the pension fund owned the majority of the Detroit River Tunnel they had proposed building a new full clearance tunnel and converting the existing bores into a tollway for transborder truck traffic. The owner of the Ambassador Bridge fought tooth-and-nail to keep that from happening and it was dropped. Now a new publicly funded bridge is being built west of the Ambassador Bridge and he died fighting that too to no avail. Had he let the tunnel plan go ahead the two lanes of competition would be less of an encumbrance than the six lanes of the new span. As a wise woman told me years ago: Chose your battles wisely.

At any rate, CP bought full control of the Detroit River Tunnel and have some sort of plan for the future. Does that future happen sooner or later? We shall see.

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Posted by CNSF2 on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 10:09 AM

Yes, Mexico-Ontario/Quebec is a big traffic lane, and a lot of it moves by truck.  And no, CP is nowhere near truck competitive between Toronto and Chicago, and would have to spend a lot of money on both the tunnel and a Michigan route to go after time-sensitive traffic.

Here's what I'm asking myself:

- How much non-time-sensitive traffic is currently moving over the road between CP territory and KCS territory simply because of the inefficiency of interchange between two railroads?

- Given that CP and KCS were already friendly end-to-end interchange partners, how much current carload traffic can they take away from alternative routings now that they're one company?  How much traffic was CN handing off to KCS and what is the likely response of CN, UP, and BNSF to the new CPKC competitive threat?

- Even if CP were to spend megabucks to become more truck competitive between Toronto and KC, how truck-competitive is KCS between KC and Laredo?  How strong is their existing intermodal franchise?

- If the synergies are so great, why didn't CP go after KCS twenty years ago in response to CN's acquisition of WC and IC?  For that matter, why didn't CN complete the hat trick and snap up KCS then as well?

The more I think about it, the more I suspect this merger is based on  hubris and CP's burning desire to do a deal, any deal, and that CN achieved their primary goal with their counter-bid.

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Posted by beaulieu on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 11:28 AM

CNSF2

- If the synergies are so great, why didn't CP go after KCS twenty years ago in response to CN's acquisition of WC and IC?  For that matter, why didn't CN complete the hat trick and snap up KCS then as well?

For answers to your questions you mearly have to look at the railway landscape twenty years ago. Hunter Harrison was in charge at CN he was looking to cut, cut, cut to get his OR down. David O'Brien was President at CP, and he had just sold off Soo's line to KC. At KCS you had Michael Haverty. No way was the CPKC or CNKC deal going to happen with those men around, except possibly KCS buying the "Corn Lines". Perhaps shockingly it was Fred Green who realized that CP needed to reach KC. I don't think that if EHH was in charge that would have happened.

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Posted by MP173 on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 2:30 PM

CNSF2 -

Well stated.  I agree with you on the inferiority of the CPKC route...I cannot figure out how they will able to compete on the important Toronto - Chicago and Chicago - KC lanes.  It appears time-sensitive intermodal business is out of the question. CPKC will be required to set up dependable service...if that means 2-3 days slower, then make it dependable and extract the best possible revenue possible.  Find the freight that doesnt require fast service...such as agriculture or the previously discussed oil.  This is really going to require marketing and sales to do their jobs.

Perhaps the managements understand where the big revenue is going to come from.  

Ed

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Posted by Ajsik on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 3:45 PM

CNSF2
- If the synergies are so great, why didn't CP go after KCS twenty years ago in response to CN's acquisition of WC and IC?  For that matter, why didn't CN complete the hat trick and snap up KCS then as well?

Is this a more attractive merger with USMCA than when NAFTA was in effect?

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Posted by D.Carleton on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 4:18 AM

CNSF2
- If the synergies are so great, why didn't CP go after KCS twenty years ago in response to CN's acquisition of WC and IC?  For that matter, why didn't CN complete the hat trick and snap up KCS then as well?

First,25 years ago KCS was the first runner up in the contest to acquire the SP. Failing that they bet the farm on TFM which became KCSdeM. Twenty years ago no one was ready to bet on KCS due to that debt and the story playing out in Mexico.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 7:19 AM

While this link is from Wikipedia, it does have some historical data. Back then KCS paid what at that time was considered an enormous sum of $1.4 billion for their 50-year operating concession of what are now known as Kansas City Southern de Mexico.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas_City_Southern_de_México

 

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 9:37 PM
 

MidlandMike

Regarding CHI-DET, CP once used CSX's ex-PM route thru Grand Rapids.  Could be an alternate for the more crowded corridors.  CSX has sold much of their other Michigan track, maybe they would also part with this trackage.

 

CP also once used CN's GTW Flint/South Bend Subs to get across Michigan. I think 2003-2006. NS has provided CP with a cost effective agreement plus a more direct route.

 
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Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, September 30, 2021 8:36 PM

SD60MAC9500
 

 

 
MidlandMike

Regarding CHI-DET, CP once used CSX's ex-PM route thru Grand Rapids.  Could be an alternate for the more crowded corridors.  CSX has sold much of their other Michigan track, maybe they would also part with this trackage.

 

 

 

CP also once used CN's GTW Flint/South Bend Subs to get across Michigan. I think 2003-2006. NS has provided CP with a cost effective agreement plus a more direct route.

 
 

Yes NS is more direct, but I was responding to a post regarding tight capacity on NS.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Friday, October 1, 2021 3:32 PM

MidlandMike

 

 
SD60MAC9500
 

 

 
MidlandMike

Regarding CHI-DET, CP once used CSX's ex-PM route thru Grand Rapids.  Could be an alternate for the more crowded corridors.  CSX has sold much of their other Michigan track, maybe they would also part with this trackage.

 

 

 

CP also once used CN's GTW Flint/South Bend Subs to get across Michigan. I think 2003-2006. NS has provided CP with a cost effective agreement plus a more direct route.

 
 

 

 

Yes NS is more direct, but I was responding to a post regarding tight capacity on NS.

 

There's no tight capacity on NS lines east. Especially the Wabash.. Matter of fact there's plenty of capacity. If anything terminal capacity is the issue these days.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, October 1, 2021 9:08 PM

SD60MAC9500
There's no tight capacity on NS lines east. Especially the Wabash.. Matter of fact there's plenty of capacity. If anything terminal capacity is the issue these days.

The context was the Chicago corridor/ex-Water Level Route in northern Indiana.

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Posted by Ajsik on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 10:12 AM
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Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 10:24 AM

MidlandMike
The context was the Chicago corridor/ex-Water Level Route in northern Indiana.

It's double track reverse CTC, Chicago to Toledo, in some places it is triple track. nowhere near congested.   Have ridden Capitol Limited Toledo to Chicago and NS nor Conrail before it had any issue letting Amtrak fly at top speed on that leg.

BTW, I have seen CP on Detroit-Toledo-Chicago and Detroit via ex-Wabash.   I think CP still uses both routes.

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Posted by Ajsik on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 4:40 PM

From the Newswire article:

Chicago Bypass

CPKC’s single-line route linking Western Canada and the Upper Midwest with points on KCS will allow traffic to bypass Chicago.

The railroads estimate that an average of 6.6 additional trains per day – traffic currently interchanged with other railroads in the Windy City – will be routed around Chicago via CP’s Marquette Subdivision.

Creel says this will help alleviate congestion in the Chicago gateway by allowing traffic moving between CP points north and west of Chicago to shift to CPKC single-line routes through Iowa and Kansas City

 

Seems like Milwaukee will be seeing a lot less of CPKC than we currently see of CP.

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Posted by Gramp on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 5:58 PM

Interesting to see how they deal with the spindly line along the Mississippi River between La Crescent (La Crosse) and Dubuque. 

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Posted by n012944 on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 6:31 PM

CMStPnP

 

 
MidlandMike
The context was the Chicago corridor/ex-Water Level Route in northern Indiana.

 

It's double track reverse CTC, Chicago to Toledo, in some places it is triple track. nowhere near congested.   

 

 

Porter to Chicago is very congested.   Of course since the CSX line through Grand Rapids also uses that part of the NS, the CP going that way really doesn't help.  

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Posted by Los Angeles Rams Guy on Saturday, November 6, 2021 5:29 PM

[quote user="Gramp"]

Interesting to see how they deal with the spindly line along the Mississippi River between Crescent City (La Crosse) and Dubuque. 

That's actually La Crescent (more specifically, Bluff at MP 159.0) down to Sabula Jct.  Knowing the Marquette Sub very well, I'll confess that it's not a speedway by any stretch but there's been a lot of work done on it in the last 7-10 years after CPRS acquired DME/ICE and there'll be even more work done (new and extended sidings plus CTC) that'll help even more.  It's been doing just fine thus far and I expect it'll continue to do so.  

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Saturday, November 6, 2021 5:45 PM

There's nothing that can't be fixed with enough time and dollars by the truckload thrown at it.  Just look at what the BNSF did at Abo canyon in New Mexico.  The biggest bottleneck on the entire transcon was double tracked just took a couple hundred million dollars to make it happen.  

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Posted by Michael Vomvolakis on Monday, November 8, 2021 11:11 AM

It helps the future CPKC that the Sabula, Iowa-Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Missouri-Shreveport, Louisiana lines are currently underutilized. Upgrades are needed on both, but imagaine the cost of the upgrades needed to handle projected traffic growth if they were at or near capacity.

For example: the KCS mainline between Kansas City and Shreveport only sees about 10-11 train per day. This line is fully equiped with CTC and has been so ever since the (Tom) Carter era in the early 70s. The line could easily handle a half-a-dozen more trains provided they are of shorter length.

 

A good comparsion I would like to know is the projected traffic counts on the future CPKC Shreveport-Chicago line vs current traffic counts CN's New Orleans-Chicago Illinois Central line.

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, November 8, 2021 11:45 AM

Michael Vomvolakis
It helps the future CPKC that the Sabula, Iowa-Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Missouri-Shreveport, Louisiana lines are currently underutilized. Upgrades are needed on both, but imagaine the cost of the upgrades needed to handle projected traffic growth if they were at or near capacity.

For example: the KCS mainline between Kansas City and Shreveport only sees about 10-11 train per day. This line is fully equiped with CTC and has been so ever since the (Tom) Carter era in the early 70s. The line could easily handle a half-a-dozen more trains provided they are of shorter length. 

A good comparsion I would like to know is the projected traffic counts on the future CPKC Shreveport-Chicago line vs current traffic counts CN's New Orleans-Chicago Illinois Central line.

Capacity is about the tonnage handled, not trains handled.

The basis for PSR is fewer bigger trains.  PSR makes its bones in handling a single 20K ton train instead of four 5K ton trains.

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