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what is with the BBr RR acquiring freight rights on the line from CSX ?

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Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, September 26, 2021 4:11 AM

daveklepper, agree 100%.

it is a way for Buckingham Branch to get their track improved for both freight and passenger at Federal Government expense.

This is similar to the approach that Pan Am Railways took several years ago. They did not have enough cas flow to put capital into Class 4 track levels. But the Downeaster route was upgraded by the Federal Government. Pan Am already owned the track, but their track hosting the Amtrak Downeaster regional service is the best track on the whole railroad.

Buckingham Branch will do the same to host Amtrak Regional service or Virginia instate service.

Meantime, CSX will run the occasional freight on the track nonstop from end to end, paying trackage rights usage fees to Buckingham Branch, just as UP pays trackage rights fees to BNSF for UP intermodal trains that take the Transcon from Kansas City to Chicago.

Trackage rights fees will be a nice steady added source of income to Buckingham Branch. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, September 26, 2021 2:32 AM

As far as I can see, this changes a present temporary arrangement to a permanent one; and then, hopefully, Buckingham Branch will negoitate with Amtrak for help in improving track. Possibly addtional or extended sidings to allow daily operation of the Cardinal.

With current traffic patterns, there is no reason for freights to operated between Gordensville and Orange, unless there are local freight customers on the line

The old C&O used trackage rights on Southern (now NS) Washington - Orange, the route of the Cardinal.  Today, CSX goes south on the old RF&P, now part of CSX.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, September 25, 2021 11:40 PM

Somebody please correct.  Wasn't the purchase of the eastern half of the RF&P by Virginia supposed to be followed by full purchase of the "S" line south of Petersburg and eventually the line from Doswell to Clifton Forge ? (BBr RR ).  The question  =  Is this some kind of breach of contract  that VA DOT has with CSX or did VA opt out of getting that track or more likely some other reason ? 

It might be that VA's purchase contract survives this purchase by  BBr RR ?   Then this might just be a way for CSX to reduce its total capital holdings this fidcal year in search of the god almighty OR ?  Or to make wall street happier ?

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Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, September 24, 2021 3:20 PM

It appears to read that Buckingham Branch will own and operate the railroad, including serving all customers on the line. CSX wiill have overhead trackage rghts to run freight trains over the line. This is very similar to what CSX does on the Louisville & Indiana Railroad.

Buckingam Branch as the owner should be free to negotiate a deal with the appropriate agencies for Amtrak or passenger service. For a somewhat cash-tight railroad it is a great way to get your track upgraded by the government.

'Pan Am Railways did the same with Downeaster Service from Boston to Maine and that track is the best track on their system.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Thursday, September 23, 2021 8:27 PM

So does that mean CSX can NOT use the track now? It says "exclusive."

The state owns that whole route now, no? BBR has those freight rights in perpetuity, or leased for X years from Virginia?

I read where someone from the state says it will not affect the potential passenger train plans.

Still in training.


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Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, September 23, 2021 7:33 PM

I noticed in the STB notice that the "permanent, exclusive rail freight operating easement." so maybe it does not affect passenger rail.

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Posted by ClassA on Thursday, September 23, 2021 2:53 PM

CSX regularly runs westbound empties, coal and covered hoppers, from Doswell through Charlottesville then on through Waynesboro. At least one or two such trains a day, so it remains fairly busy. 

 

I do wonder how this plays into the recent aquistion of track by the state of Virginia. I recall seeing something about this line being mentioned in that process.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 8:46 PM

The notice to the STB is at the follow link.  Maybe someone can explain it better ?

50946 SERVICE DATE – SEPTEMBER 17, 2021 DO FR-4915-01-P SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD [Docket No. FD 34495 (Sub-No. 1)] Buckingham Branch Railroad Company—Acquisition and Operation Exemption with Interchange Commitment—CSX Transportation, Inc. Buckingham Branch Railroad Company (BBRC), a Class III rail carrier, has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 C.F.R. § 1150.41 to acquire from CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT), and continue to operate approximately 164.22 miles of railroad line, referred to as Segment 3, between approximately milepost 276.0 in Clifton Forge in Allegheny County, Va., and milepost 111.78 at Doswell in Hanover County, Va. (the Line).1 The verified notice indicates that BBRC has leased and operated the Line (as part of a longer line between AM Junction, near Richmond, and Clifton Forge) since 2005. According to the verified notice, BBRC and CSXT have agreed to convert BBRC’s current leasehold interest in the Line into a permanent, exclusive rail freight operating easement. The verified notice states that BBRC and CSXT will enter into, among other things, a Permanent Easement Agreement and an amended Freight Operating Agreement and will also terminate their existing lease agreement with respect to Segment 3. The verified notice further states that the amended Freight Operating Agreement between 1 BBRC states that it began operating over the Line in 2004. See Buckingham Branch R.R.—Lease—CSX Transp., FD 34495 (STB served Nov. 5, 2004). Docket No. FD 34495 (Sub-No. 1) 2 BBRC and CSXT contains an interchange commitment that affects interchange with carriers other than CSXT. The affected interchanges are with Norfolk Southern Railway Company at Charlottesville, Va., and at Waynesboro, Va. BBRC has provided additional information regarding the interchange commitment as required by 49 C.F.R. § 1150.43(h). BBRC certifies that its projected annual revenues as a result of this transaction will not result in BBRC’s becoming a Class II or Class I rail carrier, but its projected annual revenues will exceed $5 million. Pursuant to 49 C.F.R. § 1150.42(e), if a carrier’s projected annual revenues will exceed $5 million, it must, at least 60 days before the exemption becomes effective, post a notice of its intent to undertake the proposed transaction at the workplace of the employees on the affected lines, serve a copy of the notice on the national offices of the labor unions with employees on the affected lines, and certify to the Board that it has done so. Concurrently with its verified notice, however, BBRC filed a petition for waiver of the labor notice requirements. BBRC’s waiver request will be addressed in a separate decision. BBRC states that it expects to consummate the transaction on or sometime after the effective date of the exemption. The Board will establish the effective date in its separate decision on the waiver request. If the notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio. Petitions to revoke the exemption under 49 U.S.C. § 10502(d) may be filed at any time. The filing of a petition to revoke will not automatically stay the effectiveness of the exemption. Petitions for stay must be filed no later than September 24, 2021. Docket No. FD 34495 (Sub-No. 1)  

 

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what is with the BBr RR acquiring freight rights on the line from CSX ?
Posted by blue streak 1 on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 3:43 PM

The proposed acquisition is a puzzle.  Where exactly does the Va DOT purchase of the line come into this ?  Is this some kind of attempt to limit future passenger service on the line or some other backdoor attempt by CSX to maintain freight rights ? 

No mention is made of the spur from Gordonsville to Orange.  Does CSX ever operate any freight over it or is it just the Cardinal ?

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