Leasing and Trackage Rights

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by 2-8-2, Nov 24, 2006.

  1. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

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    Update...

    Here's the new system map. Pardon the compression, but the original is huge (1600x1600) and very detailed. You should be able to make out the lines still though. I'm only showing the surrounding counties because a map this size would take forever to load if I didn't. As you can see, the new route puts my shortline right in the thick of things. I did quite a bit of homework on coal mining in Ohio. My line runs through Wolf Run, a small mining town. I was able to dig up an old photo of the stipple, and it looks strikingly similar to the New River Mining structure from Walther's.

    I've very pleased with the new route, and the new direction my layout is taking. Right now the only thing that's bugging me is the name. I'm just not sure Wheeling & Northern is going to stick. I may have to abandon the W&N logo, and just start anew.

    PORTS
    - Lake Erie @ Sandusky
    - Ohio River @ Stuebenville and Wheeling

    CITIES
    - Wheeling, Stuebenville, Canton, Akron, Sandusky
    - Several new medium sized cities added
    - Interchanges connect my shortline with the whole midwest

    INDUSTRY
    - Coal
    - Lumber
    - New industries possible from ports
    - Rubber (Akron Goodyear plant)

    [​IMG]
  2. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    2-8-2,Looks great! :thumb: Your railroad is now a competitor for the bigger railroads and offers interchanges to all areas of the Nation.It offers a rail link to Lake Erie and *could* back haul iron ore to a steel mill in Canton.:D
  3. kitsune

    kitsune Member

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    So now that you're basically duplicating the W&LE, you're likely not a friendly connection with the NKP anymore. Who are your new allies? Wabash at Waseon? A shorter Pitt-Toledo route for NYC?
  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    Actually the W&N is spot on..Check the competitors routes.The W&LE goes to Huron-the W&N goes to Sandusky.But,in the end it doesn't matter because W&N is serving different industries,cities and then the W&LE and even when they do go through the same towns they are on different routes and again serving different customers see?
    As far as NKP not being a "friendly" connection there is also PRR,ERIE,NYC,B&O,DT&I and the NKP knows that,so yeah the "friendly" connection would still be there,after all line haul cars helps fill trains and the bottom line and again because W&N and W&LE are not competing for the same traffic .
    Remember even PRR and NYC interchange cars.
  5. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

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    I thought about the competition and the NKP before I routed my line. Here's how I see it:

    In addition to what Larry has already said, my line and the W&LE could've been competing earlier in their history. The NKP bought the W&LE around 1922, which would be about 30 years prior to the year I'm modeling (1953). The W&LE was a big part of the success of the NKP after those years, because it was such a profitable line.

    My road is serving the same area, and there's no reason why good relations couldn't continue even "if" a rivalry had existed with the W&LE prior to the NKP leasing it. I still plan to run a lot of NKP cars on my rails, because there are so many interchange possibilities along my route.

    The W&LE has ports @ Huron and Toledo. The NKP also picked up a connection @ Sandusky and another @ Toledo with the purchase of the LE&W division. I could easily route my lines to connect to Toledo as well, but I didn't really see a need for it.
  6. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

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    Also...

    With the name "Erie" being so prevelant in railroad names in this neck of the woods, I'm entertaining the idea of renaming my road to something like that.

    Erie and Southern is at the top of my list right now. Any other suggestions?
  7. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    Some suggestions:
    Ohio Northern-The Lake Erie Line
    Northern Ohio RY-The Lake Erie Line
    Lake Erie & Southern-The Lake Connection
    Ohio Valley Lines-Serving Ohio Valleys Industries
    Lake Erie & Stuebenville-The Sandusky Bay Line-Sandusky is on the bay not the lake.
    Stuebenville & Lake Erie The Lake Erie Line
    Wheeling Northern "Wheeling freight for Ohio's Industry".
    Canton,Akron & Lake Erie.
    Akron & Lake Erie
    Lake Erie-Southeastern-The Lake Connection
  8. kitsune

    kitsune Member

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    Just because the NKP buys the W&LE doesn't mean your rivalry ends. in fact, it gets worse: now your competitor is part of a much larger, wealthier line. Unless your line is rich with traffic that's heading to point on or via the NKP, you would be a rivals. Ditto with all the others in the area. Or to put it slightly differently, if the city of Wheeling is the W&N's big traffic source, all the W&N has become is an alternate way of gettign that traffic North/West -- a way that won't get it there over NKP rails and put money in NKP pockets. NKP's motivation would be to keep traffic away from you.

    If, on the other hand, W&N doesn't have much in Wheeling except an interchage point, and the line itself is loaded with traffic, then the W&N would become a traffic generator, rather than a trafic forwarder. In that instance, it could be a "friendly" connection to NKP.

    Looking at the system map, the only roads which the W&N strategically "fits" with really are either Wabash or *maybe* Pennsy or NYC.
  9. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    Actually railroading isn't a board game such as "Railroad Tycoon" its is and always has been a multi billion dollar operation moving freight across the Nation.. Even PRR and NYC cooperated in that department and there are Federal and State rules and regulations that must be followed in forwarding freight and interchange or there will be a Federal investigation by the FRA or years ago by the ICC and RRA...
    Also every connection is vital to a railroad.That is why they HAD to cooperate.Study pictures of past railroads and you will see this.Erie would haul NKP boxcars and NKP would Haul Erie boxcars even though they was rivals for East-West traffic that was the way of it.
    You see IF a NKP gon was loaded with Scrap for (say) Wheeling Steel and Wheeling Steel was located on the W&N guess how that load of scrap would get to wheeling Steel? By the W&N.Thats the way interchange traffic works today and yesteryear..
  10. kirkendale

    kirkendale Member

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    2-8-2
    I'm going back to the earlier train of thoght, why change the name? You have a very good hearld. I like it, it is cool, clean, clear and simple.
    I think you could go back to using Norwalk. Review your "alternate history possibilities", Maybe this was the original line and it grew by taking over poorer lines. In Ontario the Toronto Hamilton and Buffalo ( TH&B ) never did go to Toronto nor Buffalo. Its first operational line went in the opposite direction to Brantford ( southwest of Hamilton ). Could the W&N have taken over the Sassy Route also known as the Stuebenville Akron and Sandusky Railway ??
  11. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

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    Updated map...

    [​IMG]

    I thickened the route of my railroad, so it can be seen a little easier. Also, I added a few very important items:

    1) A port connection @ Toledo.

    2) A port connection @ Cleveland.

    3) I created a "Coal Belt".

    While they can't be seen on this (or really any other) map, there are several coal towns in this area. Most of them are ghost towns now, and probably have been ever since the mines panned out. Nonetheless, the added loop gives my road a better hold on Ohio's coal region.

    Personally, I don't think my railroad could get much more solid than this and still remain a shortline. In fact, during this era, it may be more in line with a Class II regional railroad just from the coal revenue alone. But no one would know for sure. Now with 3 ports on Lake Erie, it truely is an "Erie" type company.

    Would the W&LE have been a rival? Probably not. Keep in mind that the major source of revenue for any shortline railroad is interchange traffic. While being routed through major cities and around sources of industry are important, I consider any connection to another (major) railroad equally, if not more, important.

    When I started this thread, I was looking for a way to get coal on my lines. Originally, I thought a trackage agreement or lease was the best way. After spending countless hours looking at this map, I decided to route my own line to SE Ohio and basically start over with my railroad. As it stood, it just wasn't going anywhere...literally.

    After researching the coal industry, the first thing I would've done was look for the nearest port. The lines would've started in the coal fields and extended first to Lake Erie, then to the Ohio River...looking for any connection N/S/E/W along the way. I think I've accomplished what I set out to do.
  12. railohio

    railohio Active Member

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    What era are you modeling? That's got to be a pre-1920s map.

    You've long passed the "shortline" designation. Any time before the 1960s and that probably would've been a Class 1 system. It's surely as big as the Wheeling was.
  13. kitsune

    kitsune Member

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    Brakie, if a car is destined for a point on another line, yes, it must be interchanged. However, routing of cars and how they get to a particular place is what differs.

    Lets say that there is a customer in Wheeling, on the NKP. They want to ship to Toledo. Which route will they choose? WLE/NKP, or NKP? The NKP sales force will pressure the shipper to choose the pure NKP routing, so the NKP could keep all of the dough.

    Even if the NKP originating car were bound to a W&N captive shipper, the NKP has no requirement to hand it off to the W&N at Wheeling. They could haul it themselves as far as they can, and then interchange it. This was common practice in the "alphabet route" days of the 50's and 60's.

    In short, bridge traffic is only useful if you have friendly connections. And if the company whose traffic you want to bridge over you already has it's own line, it'll use it's own line.

    The major source of a shortline -- or any railroads -- traffic is *not* interchange. it is home road industry. Shortlines have always and continue to thrive when they serve good concentrations of car generation -- major factories, mines, elevators, ports. Those that have little on-line traffic whither, unless they can become a bridge for another railroad. If the W&N -- which at this size in the 1950's would be considered a class 1 -- is to survive, it'll need to have serious sources of revenue generation. Lots of mines.

    Those lines out of Stuebenville must be for serving mines and other traffic? If so those are a very wise addition. The branch into Cleveland also makes a lot of sense. The line going west doesn't so much, unless it was built to connect with a friendly railroad that the W&N could not reach at Cleveland. Your best option is that you are aligned with Gould roads such as thw Wabash, or are somehow tied in with the DT&I. In those cases, the W&N would offfer these roads their "own way" into the Wheeling area coal fields.
  14. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

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    I am modeling 1953.

    The map is from 1924. It was the most recent I could find that had just railroads on it, without highways and a bunch of other clutter. I checked with different maps, and the routes from other railroads are still accurate on this one.

    The route is probably around 400 miles or so, which is very comparable to the W&LE. I can't find exact data on trackage for the Nickel Plate years of the W&LE, except that "This ten mile horse-car line eventually grew into a five hundred mile railroad that formed a cross in northern Ohio."

    The ICC started giving Class I, II, or III designations in 1930. At the time, any railroad that generated revenue of $1,000,000 or more was a Class I railroad. That figure was used until 1956, when it tripled to $3,000,000 and has gone up since at a faster rate than inflation. Today, the AAR designates a Class I carrier as revenue of around $320,000,000 or more. Would my railroad have generated that much revenue? I don't know. I'm not good at estimating that kind of stuff.
  15. railohio

    railohio Active Member

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    A railroad that size would most definitely qualify as a Class 1 in 1953.

    You won't find data on the Wheeling itself after it was merged into the Nickel Plate... because it was merged into the Nickel Plate. After that it ceased to be a railroad.
  16. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    Let us take a closer look in the real world.
    =======================================================
    Lets say that there is a customer in Wheeling, on the NKP. They want to ship to Toledo. Which route will they choose? WLE/NKP, or NKP? The NKP sales force will pressure the shipper to choose the pure NKP routing, so the NKP could keep all of the dough.
    =======================================================
    Would you believe this would go by truck? Why? Its a short haul and the truck would get it there faster even in 1953.No railroad would want a short haul like that because it would take at least 2-3 days to get there.A local would have to pick the car up,take it to the yard where it would dwell till there is enough cars are gathered for a train, then the train would take at least 20 hours to get there with a minimum of 3 crew changes remembering each crew had a 100 mile "day" in 1953..There would be terminal dwell time in Bellevue as they change crews and locomotives..Then the car would proceed to Toledo -more terminal dwell time as it waits on the local to be made up..Remember IF the local has already ran then the car will wait till the next day's local which means more terminal dwell time.See why truck would be better and the railroad not want a single car load on a short haul?
    ========================================================
    Even if the NKP originating car were bound to a W&N captive shipper, the NKP has no requirement to hand it off to the W&N at Wheeling. They could haul it themselves as far as they can, and then interchange it. This was common practice in the "alphabet route" days of the 50's and 60's.
    ========================================================
    All railroads would do that regardless..
    ========================================================
    In short, bridge traffic is only useful if you have friendly connections. And if the company whose traffic you want to bridge over you already has it's own line, it'll use it's own line.
    ========================================================
    Every railroad except short lines depend on bridge traffic to help fill trains and the bottom line.After all there is money in bridge traffic.
    ========================================================
    The major source of a shortline -- or any railroads -- traffic is *not* interchange. it is home road industry. Shortlines have always and continue to thrive when they serve good concentrations of car generation -- major factories, mines, elevators, ports. Those that have little on-line traffic whither, unless they can become a bridge for another railroad. If the W&N -- which at this size in the 1950's would be considered a class 1 -- is to survive, it'll need to have serious sources of revenue generation. Lots of mines.
    ========================================================
    Without interchange traffic railroads could not and would not survive..After all the majority of the car loads are bound to off line distentions not on line.A close study of the railroad transportation net will prove that.
    =========================================================
    Those lines out of Stuebenville must be for serving mines and other traffic? If so those are a very wise addition. The branch into Cleveland also makes a lot of sense. The line going west doesn't so much, unless it was built to connect with a friendly railroad that the W&N could not reach at Cleveland. Your best option is that you are aligned with Gould roads such as thw Wabash, or are somehow tied in with the DT&I. In those cases, the W&N would offfer these roads their "own way" into the Wheeling area coal fields.
    =========================================================
    Think again..That line going to West can serve grain elevators,farm equipment dealers,industry and stone quarries.There is industry in Fremont as well.
    ========================================================
    The W&N is a solid railroad with solid connections..2-8-2 did a traffic job designing the new and improve route.The only bridge traffic W&N will have would be the short haul to the industry while it could turn several hundred car loads over to connecting roads including the NKP on a daily bases for line haul.Every railroad that connects with the W&N would want their share to help fill trains and help the bottom line.
  17. kitsune

    kitsune Member

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    No, it likely wouldn't. Coal doesn't move by truck. Grain largely doesn't move by truck. Even commodities that do often move by truck still move by rail even in corridors that short. Intra-line service is alive and well, even in 2006. It's the backbone of at least 1/3 of the business of many a regional.

    Cart before the horse. Without industry, there is nothing to interchange. Interchange merely allows a railroad to extend the reach of it's market, no more, no less. A railroad with industries but little interchange -- see AKRR for example -- can and does survive. A railroad with a lot of interchange but little online traffic -- see D&H -- is a constant drain.

    A granger -- especially one built in the shadows of major class 1 carriers -- is not likely to prove a moneymaker. The W&N might ahve siginificant traffic if it got to the area before others, but if it's a mid-late comer, it's going to be fighting an uphill battle against the Big Four, the NYC, the NKP, the Pennsy, the C&O, the B&O....

    Traffic origination is key to any railroad's survival. The Transcon model is one that only applies to rich railroads with origination elsewhere. Look to any healthy company and you find one that is loaded with industries. The extension to Wheeling, it it's loaded with resources, would be a wise one. The one running west, unless it's either equally loaded, or unless it's connecting to a major point of friendly interchange, would not be. In the ABC routing erea, the term "friendly interchange" and "unfriendly interchange" were words to reckon with.
  18. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

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    Actually...I did...

    According to a 1954 NKP system map, the W&LE District breaks down as follows:
    - W&LE District = 469 miles

    Other trackage
    - Lake Junction to Lorain (L&WV RY) = 25 miles
    - Trackage rights into Cleveland via Big Four = 32 miles
    - Trackage rights over N&SS RY = 4 miles
    - Misc total = 61 miles

    Grand total of 530 miles
  19. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    I do not know where you are getting your information but,I suggest a more in dept study of the railroad plant.Now As you may not know complete trains of coal would be turn over to railroads serving lake docks,seaports, riverports steel mills etc from railroads like the Southern,N&W,CRR,L&N,Shawmutt and other such roads.Trains of PFEX and other Western reefers would head toward the Eastern markets..Lumber from the Northwest would be shipped to every state in the Nation,Scrap from the East,West,South would find its way to steel mills in Gary,Chicago,Pittsburgh,Youngstown etc.Coal from Virginia would find its way to coke plants in the Northern States and on it went when rail connected the nation.For your information coal can be haul by truck from mine to river ports,steel mills etc make no mistake about that because that happens every day.
    As far as industry on the W&N how do you think they ship their goods to say Kansas City or receive goods from Shreveport?? Interchange has ALWAYS played a IMPORTANT part in the transportation of goods even today with the mega merger the catch words "seamless service".
    Terminal dwell time has always been a pain for the railroads even today.
    Again,the W&N is set in the coal fields as well as Ohio's industrial belt and agriculture areas. Again a strong setting for the W&N.
  20. railohio

    railohio Active Member

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    My mistake, I thought you were looking for financial data on the former Wheeling.