CF&E ex CSX exxNS exxxCR exxxxPRR

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Post by KEITH_HARRIS » Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:45 pm


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Post by MSchwiebert » Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:40 am

As much as I would have liked to see through freights in Athens back in the late 1980's when I attended Ohio University, The Ohio division of the B&O had some some pretty serious design issues in regards to tunnel clearances, and bridge capacities. There were only 4 through trains on the route between Parkersburg and Cincinnati when CSX pulled the plug on the route, so it's not like the St. Louis - Washington lane was brimming with traffic.
As for the PRR, as mentioned previously, it came into play to "balance" the routes into Chicago, and to maintain a two carrier presence in Ft. Wayne. With the NS gaining the NYC west of Cleveland their reason for purchasing the PRR west of Ft. Wayne (to add capacity to the NKP) became moot, and the line was deemed expendeable.
As for the "announced" plans by CSX to use the ex PRR as a secondary route to the B&O, I believe that this was the story being stated externally, but within CSX was not being seriously considered. I had received an e-mail from one of the project engineers working on the B&O project regarding some questions I had on the track layout at Greenwich OH. In the e-mail he had stated "we intend to not use the PRR unless absolutely necessary". On a lot of levels this makes sense, by maximizing the traffic on the B&O, the costs can be spread out over more business. In addition, CSX had a finite budget for improvements, and the money that would have been necessary to bring the PRR to a "usable" status would have meant that some things would have been sacrificed on the B&O side. Long term, CSX holding on to the PRR and leasing out the operations to the CFW&W is a good move to protect CSX's interests. The capacitiy "channel" is still available if needed, if the the high speed project gets off the ground, CSX will certainly gain either some usage benefits, or some financial re-imbursement for the improvements made to the route. In any event, the capacity is still present for use when it becomes necessary, and is in a growing lane, unlike some other routes that did not survive.

Bob Durnell wrote:After NS and CSX agreed in principal to split up Conrail, they had to find a way to split routes to give each company competitive routes to major markets. One of the key issues was since CSX ripped up much of the old B&O across southern Ohio, they lacked a competitive route to St Louis from the east. Because of this, they coveted CR's former Big Four route from Cleveland to to Terre Haute? and then the former Pennsy to St. Louis. NS used this as a bargining chip to get the former NYC west of Cleveland, which is obviously a superior route for intermodal and and hot freight than the former NKP. This would have given NS three tracks (2 NYC, one NKP) tracks from Chicago to Cleveland, plus a fourth route (Ex Pennsy into eastern ohio, while CSX would have only two tracks, and that only after re-double tracking the B&O. This would have created a competitive imbalance in what is probably the number one corridor for the an eastern class one. Also, NS coveted the former PRR in Pennsylvania for it's coal traffic. I think the Pennsy Fort Wayne line was clearly viewed by NS as being expendable, especially if it got them the NYC and the Penn. lines they wanted. As much as I love the old Pennsy, NS clearly got the better end of this deal. The fact that CSX ended up leasing the line, proves that they got backed around into an inferior deal, caused mostly by their short sightedness in ripping up the old B&O southern route. The only downside for NS was getting shut out of Indianapolis for the most part, but that was a VERY small price to pay for what they gained. When NS bought the former Pennsy Ft. Wayne line, it made sense at the time. The NKP was jammed with traffic and the FT. Wayne line gave them a relief valve at a bargain basement price. Ultimately though, The Pennsy has a lot of limitations and giving it up would have been a very easy choice for NS.

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Post by Bob Durnell » Wed Mar 01, 2006 10:57 am

I agree that CSX did the right thing by leasing out the former Pennsy, they kind of got the best of both worlds. It's nice to see that learn (eventually). I also agree that they never had any serious intention to use it as major through route, but I think we DO have to turn the clock back to the time of the Conrail merger though. Remember that the economy and the stock market was booming at unprecidented rates, and with Conrail in their collective pockets, I think CSX as well as NS may have envisioned an increase in traffic levels that "could" have swamped the CSX and B&O. Whether that was realistic or not is open to speculation. I think as long as NS had the NKP, the Pennsy was very expendable, merely a "throw away" to get something they wanted more. It also didn't hurt when they went to sell the STB on "competitive access" to markets. As for the B&O line to St. Louis, granted traffic wasn't booming at that time, but most of the opinions I have heard was that it was indeed short sighted. From what I have been told, this thinking was generated at a time when everyone assumed the future of railroading was based totally on transporting slow moving bulk commodities such as grain and coal, and routing it a few hundred miles out of it's way to save a buck now looked good. Of course CSX management totally missed the coming intermodel revolution and the return of time sensitive (or at least time consistant) merchandise freight to the rails. In the big scheme of things, it may or may not have had much effect on CSX's bottom line in the last 20+ years, but it DID put them in a weaker bargaining position when it came to negotiating the Conrail split. The maddening thing about the St Louis line, is that they really only tore up enough to pretty much insure it could never come back. This would have been a golden opportunity to try the rail banking approach, as NS has used so successfully in some instances, or shortlining it, even if they had to subsidize some losses. It has always been my opinion that at least since the era of Seaboard influence began, CSX was more concerned with next week's or next month's or next year's stock performance than actually growing their franchise. I think this has been what John Snow has ALWAYS been about, and I'm appalled that a clown like that could actually get a cabinet position, AND a golden parachute, although it probably WAS worth any price to CSX to send him packing. Perhaps the St Louis line wasn't exactly the "Big Four" route, but it would have at least given Snow a little more bargaining power, and he could have used it. Whatever you think of David Goode, I thing Goode ran rings around Snow. Of course in my opinion, that wasn't too tough of a job.
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Post by Hotbox » Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:55 pm

Pretty obvious that CSX had no burning ambition to aquire the former PRR route in question, just from looking at the way they let it atrophy until they leased it away. It looks safe to say that NS gave it up for OTHER than operational interests.

My personal bet is that NS and CSX both had a slush pool of routes they knew they would have to barter between them to avoid concerns of anti competitive conditions being created by the split .

Sort of a "we'll give you this, and you give us that, AND THEN the monopoly watchdogs will have nothing to whine about" type strategy.I'll bet each RR had th bean counters keeping a tally of gives vs takes.

And as long as the bottom balanced , and each got the cherry's it wanted from the deal, the historical legacy of the give aways probably meant nothing
Last edited by Hotbox on Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

midland sub

Re: CF&E ex CSX exxNS exxxCR exxxxPRR

Post by midland sub » Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:36 pm

[quote="Notch 8"]Is there any Chicago to Cicinatti traffic on this line ?

There's some traffic that comes from Chicago that ends up on the I&O's Midland Sub. There's a plastic molding plant in Washington Court House that most of it's cars come from Chicago. Granted it's not much, 3 or 4 a week. The Lowes Dist center and Weyerhauser copier paper plant, both in Wash CH, have received a couple of cars routed over the CF&E. Candle-Lite in Leesburg on the Greenfield Sub also had received a few tank cars of wax from this route. I suppose with the way the lease/sale was set up with CSX for the Midland Sub, most of it's traffic is routed to Cincinnati on CSX first.

I saw half of the CF&E's fleet yesterday on the I&O. 3888 has been used on the WCH-A local for the past month or so. 3889 has been assigned to the Blanchester local for the Greenfield Sub for about the same time. The Springfield day local also has 3885 and 3886. Yesterday all four were in Washington C.H. on the Midland Sub. Another was in Cincinnati working Undercliff yard, maybe 3880.

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CF&E east end

Post by Notch 8 » Fri Mar 03, 2006 5:50 am

What is on the otherside onf Lima OH any traffic ? and where does this line end on the east end, in a cornfield or a city with a yard and is it CF&E or another RR's facility and who dispatches the east end, does any traffic enter at the east end and go all the way to the west end ? is this all "dark"


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Post by JW » Fri Mar 03, 2006 9:11 am

Cornfield? No at the bustling town of Crestline.From here the line continues East as NS.One of the biggest industries East of Lima is P&G where most if not all their traffic is tank cars,loaded inbound I think.At Spore is a large quarry that ships quite abit of stone.Last time there they had two industrial locos.There are other elevators and industries too along the line.
Google Crestline and check out the old PRR roundhouse they are trying to save.


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