The Siskiyou line

Ironhorseman Dec 17, 2008

  1. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member In Memoriam

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    Y'know, CAP ... it looks like all of the railroads have their shoelaces tied together and they're trying to play a game of Twister!

    They need to loosen up a little so everyone has a chance to survive this economy in the future. :D

    Thanks anyway. :)
     
  2. CAPFlyer

    CAPFlyer TrainBoard Member

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    Honestly Bill, I think that the railroads are doing what they have to do against a heavily stacked deck. The railroads are the only industry in the US which has to pay for its own "road".

    Our costs have been steadily increasing as that "road" continues to get older. We (the shortlines) have to deal with a lot of branchlines with steel that's frequently almost 100 years old. It's expensive to replace it, especially earlier this year when the price of steel went through the roof for a while, so when we need to do more and more rail replacement as that steel gets to the point maintenance is no longer an option, we need our shipping rates to go up to cover the cost. The Class I's for the most part aren't giving us better rates to cope with our increasing costs. In fact, in some cases, they've cut our share of the revenue from these cars.

    The CORP customers should be thankful that they're getting fixed rates from the CORP. The option that CORP has if this gets really serious is to negotiate a change of billing procedures with the UP which would mean that every car is billed for distance hauled, commodity, and weight. The result is that not every car from a customer will have the same cost, even 2 cars shipped to the exact same location. CORP will be able to get revenue that more closely reflects their cost to run that car (and the damage it does to the rail), but it also means the customers can't plan their costs as well and that their costs go up substantially.
     
  3. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member In Memoriam

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    I guess we've just about beat this horse to death! LOL

    I have learned alot from your posts and I really do appreciate your input. I'm sure there have been alot of others who've had their eyes opened as well. Increased costs of materials and production have historically always been passed on to the consumer. Maintenance costs are also a huge deduction tax-wise for the railroad. So while operation and maintenance may reflect a loss of revenue on paper, it really is not ... only to the consumer. :D

    The bottom line is, we just want the Siskiyou line open, (in service) again so that we can save local jobs; Re: Timber Products will likely move their operation to Roseburg which will surely cause the YW to close, if not. This would cause the loss of a couple of hundred jobs .... a very heavy blow to local economy.

    I pray that all concerned can, and will come to an agreement to get things moving again.

    Happy New Year to you, and to all else who read this. :)
     
  4. Siskiyou

    Siskiyou In Memoriam

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    Siskiyou Line news

    ODOT rejects bid to acquire Siskiyou rail line


    January 23, 2010
    [​IMG] By Greg Stiles
    Mail Tribune

    The Oregon Department of Transportation has rejected a California group's bid for funds to acquire the southern end of the Siskiyou railroad line.
    Siskiyou Regional Railroad Authority had applied for a $13.4 million grant from the state of Oregon's ConnectOregon III fund to aid its attempt to buy an 80-mile stretch of track and right of way from the Union Pacific Railroad. The stretch, called the Black Butte Branch Line, includes about 14 miles of track on the Oregon side of the border and runs roughly from Ashland to Weed, Calif.
    The Siskiyou Line, south of Ashland, has been idle since Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad stopped running trains over the Siskiyou Summit nearly 20 months ago. That prompted a local shippers group, the Coos-Siskyou Shippers Coalition, to ask the federal Surface Transportation Board to oust incumbent Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad, or CORP, as the rail service provider on the Siskiyou Summit line.
    While the line is owned by Union Pacific, CORP has been designated as the operator on the line. Two years ago, however, CORP virtually eliminated southbound service between Ashland and Weed, and sliced northbound service from five or six days a week to two. It stopped running the northbound route altogether in May 2008.
    In December, even as Oregon's congressional delegation asked the Surface Transportation Board to speed its decision, the California group said it had designs on taking over the rail line and asked the board to hold off on taking any action. That angered local shippers, who said the effort would likely further delay the return of rail freight and increase their costs. The shippers have been forced to switch their loads to trucks, at a higher cost.
    In a letter to John Hammond, president of the Siskiyou authority board, ODOT Transportation Development Administrator Jerri Bohard said the group failed to show an operational budget for the project or that it had secured funding for the operation, maintenance or capital needs. Additionally, Bohard wrote, the authority had "no commitment from or agreements with the shippers" using the line to substantiate increased use.
    In its application, the authority said it hoped create or retain 3,700 jobs as a direct result of its project. However, ODOT said the claim was not substantiated and a request for documentation went unanswered.
    Applicants for ConnectOregon III funds have 30 days to file a protest of the decision.
    The Siskiyou Regional Railroad Authority — a joint effort of the cities of Montague and Weed — would have needed $3.3 million in matching funds beyond the ConnectOregon III grant.
    Efforts to reach Hammond, who is also the mayor Montague, by telephone on Friday were unsuccessful.
     
  5. Siskiyou

    Siskiyou In Memoriam

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    Resume Siskiyou Line traffic?

    (The following from the Medford Mail Tribune, May 4, 2010: )

    Locomotives making test runs over Siskiyou Line

    Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad has put new locomotives on its Siskiyou Line and taken a test haul over the summit between Ashland and Weed, Calif., to evaluate the feasibility of reinstituting regular service.

    The RailAmerica unit ceased running over the summit two years ago when its shippers balked at increasing prices.

    Bob Ragon, spokesman for the Coos-Siskiyou Shippers Coalition, said that a load of Roseburg Forest Products plywood and logs was taken both ways last week.

    “They brought in new engines that are more fuel-efficient and have better traction,” Ragen said. “They are evaluating how long it took and the cost structure to see if they can offer rates that are competitive and re-open the line. This is positive news and we applaud the effort on their part to see if they can make it work.”

    Depending on market conditions, Ragon said, 200 to 300 rail cars per month would be shipped over the summit.
     
  6. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    I wonder what engines they brought in?

    I asked in my other thread about 6 axle in general and learned that they sure do have them.

    There are a lot of possibilities here. ECO rebuilds. GEs, more modern EMD, Gensets. All with perhaps better fuel consumption numbers.



    On a related note, I popped in my old video Pentrex, best of 1990 over the weekend. I had forgotten there was a section on the SP over the Siskiyous. Great stuff.
     
  7. Siskiyou

    Siskiyou In Memoriam

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    I'm not good at identifying what I call "switch engines" - cab at one end with no short hood. Twice last week, I passed and got quick glimses of 2 new-looking switchers operating between Medford and Central Point. They appeared to sport new paint jobs (blue?), but I wasn't able to read lettering on the cabs. I'll try to pay more attention this week. The mainline is about 200 yards from my house, and I still see the usual GPs and SDs operating each day. Anyone know what these 'switchers' are?

    Scott
     
  8. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well, there isn't any new power out which fits your description of a Switch engine. Though a Genset has a very perfunctory short hood, so that may have been it. I have a hard time believing a switch engine would offer efficiencies over the summit. What with no dynamic brakes, low weight etc, etc, etc.

    I would have expected perhaps new power in the form of an AC unit. This might be the perfect location for a derated SD90MAC or even a GEVO. Or, if they stick DC, maybe they brought an SD70M-2 over to try out.
     
  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Know anyone in the area with a camera? Someone who could grab a few quick clicks of that power?

    Boxcab E50
     
  10. Siskiyou

    Siskiyou In Memoriam

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    Yeah - a friend just e-mailed this to me. She shot this in Ashland yeaterday. A whole-view shot would have been nice, but I'll bet someone knows this.

    Scott[​IMG]
     
  11. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well, I feel sheepish, John B. has a thread Called new CORP power right in this very forum from early in April when they were bought.

    Those are CAT Powered EMD/MPI units. I think the CAT prime mover is T2. So they meet all EPA regulations.

    We were wondering where these would be used.

    sounds like system wide.
     
  12. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    I just found out CORP had one of the handful of BL20-2 demonstators. I wonder if it is going to be kept?

    I also wonder if it's 567 can be upgraded for EPA purposes.
     
  13. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    So, I just found this via another website.

    This is of the test run over The Siskiyou line back in April.
    CORP TEST TRAIN

    Again, not my work, but good stuff.
     
  14. Pfeifer

    Pfeifer TrainBoard Member

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    Siskiyou Line

    Has anyone seen anything about YWRR's invovement in the opening of the Siskiyou Line by CORP?
     
  15. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member In Memoriam

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    Bonnie, I tried to find that article in the Medford news paper you told me about, but could not locate it. Are you sure it was the Tribune? :)
     
  16. Siskiyou

    Siskiyou In Memoriam

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    I don't think there's been anything like this in the Mail Tribune lately. Could it have been in the Ashland Daily Tidings?

    Scott
     
  17. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member In Memoriam

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    Scott -

    I spoke with Bonnie yesterday afternoon and she told me it was in a Roseburg paper. Aparently a new contract has been signed by Roseburg Forest Products and resumption of service over the Siskiyous is eminent. Unknown what, if any plans Timber Products might have if this is true. But I hope they will join RFP's move. That should pull the Yreka Western out of the red a little. :)
     
  18. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    I would assume this is tied to the performance of the GP20Ds.
     
  19. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member In Memoriam

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    I don't have the answer to that one YoHo; but I tend to agree with you. :)
     
  20. SP Cabforward

    SP Cabforward TrainBoard Member

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    From what I've picked up about the situation, this has little to do with the GP20D's. Lumber traffic is starting to pick up enough to where there are more lumber products needing to head south. Also, Murphy's Plywood is opening an old mill in Rogue River, OR and will most likely be using the spur there. Not sure if it's inbound or outbound loads though.
     

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