Old 03-06-2011, 07:39 PM   #1
ShortlinesUSA
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Default BIG new business for the Winchester & Western VA Division

This has been in the works for a while now, but it is now official-- the Winchester & Western will construct a new spur in Martinsburg, WV to serve the Essroc cement plant there. The plant recently completed a very large expansion, and traffic is exceeding what CSX can handle via their Frog Hollow Branch.

News link to the full story:

http://www.herald-mail.com/news/tris...,3372573.story

In addition to cement, WW will be handling coal loads into the plant, as well. The VA Division is already maxed out on traffic for the locomotives presently on hand, so this should likely mean that a couple of units will be transferred from the NJ Division, or new power purchased/leased.

Traffic on this line has markedly increased in the last few years, and has continued to grow even through slow economic times. It definitely should be an interesting summer on the WW VA Division once the spur is completed.
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:55 PM   #2
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Would the traffic from the new spur be delivered to NS?

Can you provide a link to a google map of the location?

thanks

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Old 03-06-2011, 09:13 PM   #3
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Yes, the traffic out of the spur will go to NS at Hagerstown. The biggest motivator for the spur was to be able to get coal from NS more quickly and more affordably, but I'm sure Essroc will see other benefits to having two shipper access.

Here is a link to the plant site. It is on the south side of town, just north of the airport. You can't miss it driving in the area.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=martin...38409&t=h&z=15
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortlinesUSA View Post
Quote:
“CSX gave us a proposal to enlarge their service through the city, and in their proposal, the community would not have been happy,” Paul Biel said in an interview. “Because it would have been expansion through their houses and their yards, and we viewed that as not being good for community relations.”
NIMBYs!!
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:09 PM   #5
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It seems if they wanted to, CSX could make a case that the autonomous action by the city deciding their proposal wouldn't fly with the residents (that is assuming it did not go up for any sort of vote by the council or face some public referendum), they are putting the railroad at a competitive disadvantage with the NS/W&W.

If the Frog Hollow Branch is disruptive and in close proximity to residences (which it appears to be from the few photos I've seen), sounds like the best case scenario would be to grant CSX trackage rights from the Martinsburg interchange to the spur and plant. This would allow the Frog Hollow Branch to be abandoned, and might even convince CSX to kick in some of the cost of building the spur.

That said, even on a level playing field such as this, unless CSX majorly revamps how they handle the traffic to the plant (such as establishing a dedicated train), they will still be at a competitive disadvantage. At present, the cars are delivered to Hancock, WV for forwarding to the plant, and that is after classification at Cumberland or Brunswick, MD. W&W's quick access to the NS at Vardo Yard in Hagerstown gives it access to the north-south Crescent Corridor in short order, plus convenient access to the east-west system at Harrisburg/Enola. Meanwhile, the CSX cars will be sitting at Hancock waiting for a pickup...
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