MichiganRailroads.com - Lower Peninsula Railroads
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Re: Speculating CSX Trackage Sales
I definitely agree that Lake State's gonna get the line down to Plymouth at the least. I think we shouldn't ignore the other Class 1's when it comes to the CHI-DET main, as CP had already put an offer on it 10 or more years ago, so you never know, they may still want it if CSX really wants to get rid of it. It could be attractive to BNSF or UP as it would help them expand farther east with direct access to one of the largest metropolitan areas in the eastern U.S. Detroit itself may be shrinking, but according to survey statistics over the years, the metro Detroit area has only grown, and is still growing with over 3 million people. That's gotta be some good opportunities to compete with CN, who is currently proving there is strong demand for Asian intermodal. This line also already has a strong traffic base with over 60 online carload customers, making the current CSX trains out of GR very healthy sized, with land barges fairly often. It has stone, grain, coal (about 1 loaded West Olive train a day from BNSF) and even occasional potash for Webberville. Multiple connections to shortlines. I'm not involved in the business, so I could be full of crap, but that's my railfan thoughts.
I'm also curious if CSX wants to pull out COMPLETELY from Michigan, in which case perhaps Lake State will get the rest of the line to Toledo, giving them access to direct interchange with NS and whoever gets the Plymouth Sub, as well as an opportunity to directly serve Ford at Wayne and perhaps continue the New Boston auto transload. CSX could like this because once again, the short line does all the dirty work. Perhaps arrange auto rack interchange in Toledo.
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