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Short Line Company taking over CSXT Florida Panhandle Line

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The following was notified by the STB on Nov 6, 2018:

Quote

Pursuant to regulations of the Surface Transportation Board, 49 C.F.R. § 1150.32(e), Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad LLC (“FGAR”) hereby notifies employees of CSX Transportation, Inc. (“CSXT”) that FGAR intends to acquire from CSXT and operate the following rail lines: (1) the Tallahassee Subdivision between Baldwin, FL at or near CSXT milepost SP 653.3 and Chattahoochee, FL, at or near CSXT milepost SP 842.5, (2) the P&A Subdivision between Chattahoochee, FL, at or near CSXT milepost 00K810.7 and Pensacola, FL, at or near CSXT milepost 00K651.0, and (3) portions of the Bainbridge Subdivision between Tallahassee, FL, at or near CSXT milepost SLC 52.0 and Attapulgus, GA, at or near CSXT milepost SLC 79.0 (the “Lines”). The total length of the Lines is approximately 373 Miles.

This is basically the entire CSXT Florida Panhandle Line between Baldwin FL (outside Jacksonville) and Pensacola FL.

This has bearing on planned Amtrak service since this is almost the entire Panhandle route for the proposed Gulf Coast Service between New Orleans and Jacksonville/Orlando.

Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad LLC is a newly minted subsidiary of International Rail Partners, which is a holding company of numerous short lines in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia and South America.

Edited by jis

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So, translation: there is a chance that the full Sunset Limited to Jacksonville/Orlando may return, pending Anderson vetoing it?

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17 minutes ago, daybeers said:

So, translation: there is a chance that the full Sunset Limited to Jacksonville/Orlando may return, pending Anderson vetoing it?

Theoretically, yes. But I would be pretty surprised if Amtrak makes it a priority to expand long distance service anytime soon. IMHO, CSX has not been the main prohibitive factor preventing a Sunset East or extended CONO.

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17 minutes ago, daybeers said:

So, translation: there is a chance that the full Sunset Limited to Jacksonville/Orlando may return, pending Anderson vetoing it?

There is absolutely zero chance that Sunset Limited will ever get to Florida again. No one except a few die hard railfans want that to happen. It has been repeatedly opposed by all stakeholders who have to actually cough up the money for the Gulf Coast Service.

There is very good chance that there will be a New Orleans to Mobile service, perhaps even multiple trips a day.

There is a good chance that there will be a New Orleans to Orlando service, either stand alone or as an extension of the CONO.

Anderson really is not the issue in this discussion at all. The current problem has been the Governor of Alabama.

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Right, I forgot that it would likely be a separate train! It's been so long and there has been so much speculation that I got confused.

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26 minutes ago, jis said:

There is absolutely zero chance that Sunset Limited will ever get to Florida again. No one except a few die hard railfans want that to happen. It has been repeatedly opposed by all stakeholders who have to actually cough up the money for the Gulf Coast Service.

There is very good chance that there will be a New Orleans to Mobile service, perhaps even multiple trips a day.

There is a good chance that there will be a New Orleans to Orlando service, either stand alone or as an extension of the CONO.

Anderson really is not the issue in this discussion at all. The current problem has been the Governor of Alabama.

Why is the Governor of Alabama opposed?

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17 minutes ago, Dakota 400 said:

Why is the Governor of Alabama opposed?

Did not want to contribute a paltry million dollars or so on it. It is hard to start a service to a state that won't contribute anything towards it. The service in question is the proposed one or two round trips a day between New Orleans and Mobile.

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3 hours ago, Dakota 400 said:

Why is the Governor of Alabama opposed?

Let us note that Gov. Kay Ivey R-AL was re-elected.

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7 minutes ago, GBNorman said:

Let us note that Gov. Kay Ivey R-AL was re-elected.

 

I hope the Moderators don't object to this post.  From my perspective as an Ohio voter, for my State, it will be another 4 years of "more of the same".  Maybe with updated "window dressing", but the major issues facing our State will remain unresolved.  

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Regarding Alabama and restoration of service to Mobile from New Orleans, which was the main subject related to the Governor of Alabama, it should be noted that CSX has not sold off that segment of the Gulf Coast Line. The segment involved is only Pensacola FL to Baldwin FL, none of which touches Louisiana or Alabama.

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7 minutes ago, west point said:

Have not been in PNS for awhile.  Just where will this new RR interchange with CSX ?  What MP is the yard ?

According to the STB notice, somewhere close to " CSXT milepost 00K651.0, " will be the border between CSXT and the Short Line. As for the layout and milepost locations around Pensacola, I have never been there so I have no clue. It's way too far away from where I live (almost halfway to New Orleans) for me to rty to go there and investigate.

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Has anyone seen the sale terms yet? I can easily see CSX putting in a prohibition on the short line hosting passenger trains. Such provisions are unfortunately more common than we'd like. Sometimes it's a "without selling RR consent" or sometimes it's a blanket prohibition.

I know when CSX initially talked about selling off parts of their network one of the conditions for potential buyers was "no hosting of new passenger trains." It's something to keep an eye on.

 

 

 

 

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Let me tell you why I believe that the panhandle route will see passenger service again. First off CSX probably sold the line as it is not highly profitable.  International Rail Partners, the new owner is now tasked with making the line profitable and successful. They will need all sources of revenue to reach and maintain profitability. Amtrak can contribute revenue by using (renting) the tracks and paying a share of the maintenance of way costs. Finally, if no one noticed the House of Representatives just flipped and some will say that a more friendly Amtrak posture will result. The house makes the budget so lets see what they are going to do for Amtrak.

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I appreciate your optimistic view dlurga, the Senate must also agree with whatever the House's Budget may be.  And, then, the 45th President of the United States will need to sign it.

 

 

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21 hours ago, jis said:

According to the STB notice, somewhere close to " CSXT milepost 00K651.0, " will be the border between CSXT and the Short Line. As for the layout and milepost locations around Pensacola, I have never been there so I have no clue.

According to the FRA Safety Map...  https://fragis.fra.dot.gov/GISFRASafety/  ...milepost 651 is in downtown Pensacola:

1138265370_MP651PensacolaFL.jpg.f00959f4b2d88f56073a8c8a3a54f910.jpg

  ...

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Freight cars do not have to be interchanged at the exact boundary milepost.

Edited by jis

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7 hours ago, jis said:

Freight cars do not have to interchanged at the exact boundary milepost.

And very often deals such as this come with trackage rights to local industries and yard facilities for both railroads.

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I am not remotely surprised that the state government of Alabama is preventing any action on restoration of Gulf Coast service.  It also seems clear that Florida isn't going to spend any money on Gulf Coast service any time soon.

I do wonder whether Mobile can just ignore the governor and set up New Orleans-Mobile service without the state government (with the cooperation of the cities in Mississippi and Louisiana).

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I am not remotely surprised that the state government of Alabama is preventing any action on restoration of Gulf Coast service.  It also seems clear that Florida isn't going to spend any money on Gulf Coast service any time soon.
I do wonder whether Mobile can just ignore the governor and set up New Orleans-Mobile service without the state government (with the cooperation of the cities in Mississippi and Louisiana).
Sure Mobile could ignore the state government, but do they have the money?

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