AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

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AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby AARR » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:05 am

Ron Chadwick, AA's GM, said in a prerecorded interview that Faurecia (formerly several companies including Ford) in Saline stopped shipping by rail because their product line's destination switched from Kansas City to Dearborn. That leaves two steady customers in MI, both in Dundee. The recycled plastic plant ships 4-5 cars a week. The engine plant ships 3-4 cars a week. They are working to find someone else to locate at the former Dundee Cement plant (last operated by Holcim).

I believe that Burt's Forest Products in Ann Arbor still gets a carload or two annually at the Fingerle Lumber spur, but Ron didn't say anything about them.

He also said that the loss of GLC's sand traffic will not be a major loss for them. My understanding of this comment is that although the carloads were decent (although far below what it once was) perhaps the profit margins not so much.
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Re: AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby Ypsi » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:08 am

I'm assuming there is a chance the production could crap and they would go back to rail shipments in saline? (Wishful thinking as a rail fan of course :lol:). That is one thought the other is that they will continue to try and keep the plant close to the production which makes sense
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Re: AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby AARR » Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:30 pm

Auto companies are moving parts plants closer to assembly plants so avoid long transportation hauls. Several local parts plants like Faurecia had their production shifted from a long-distance assembly plant to a closer one then switched from rail to truck service.
Ypsi wrote:I'm assuming there is a chance the production could crap and they would go back to rail shipments in saline? (Wishful thinking as a rail fan of course :lol:). That is one thought the other is that they will continue to try and keep the plant close to the production which makes sense
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Re: AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby SD80MAC » Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:52 pm

I'm sure he won't miss the GLC sand traffic since the bulk went via CSX anyway.
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Re: AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby Garry K » Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:15 pm

Don, the Annie used to deliver maybe 1 car a year to Fingerle Lumber. Although I lived in the People's Republic of Ann Arbor from '97 to '05, I never saw a railcar at Burt Forest Products on Felch Street. Never even saw any flange marks in the dirt/mud of the crossing of Felch Street by the Burt spur. In fact, Burt usually had wood products piled on top of the rails into their facility, blocking any access for railcars.

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AARR wrote:Ron Chadwick, AA's GM, said in a prerecorded interview that Faurecia (formerly several companies including Ford) in Saline stopped shipping by rail because their product line's destination switched from Kansas City to Dearborn. That leaves two steady customers in MI, both in Dundee. The recycled plastic plant ships 4-5 cars a week. The engine plant ships 3-4 cars a week. They are working to find someone else to locate at the former Dundee Cement plant (last operated by Holcim).

I believe that Burt's Forest Products in Ann Arbor still gets a carload or two annually at the Fingerle Lumber spur, but Ron didn't say anything about them.

He also said that the loss of GLC's sand traffic will not be a major loss for them. My understanding of this comment is that although the carloads were decent (although far below what it once was) perhaps the profit margins not so much.
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Re: AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby ConrailMan5 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 1:19 pm

Garry K wrote:Don, the Annie used to deliver maybe 1 car a year to Fingerle Lumber. Although I lived in the People's Republic of Ann Arbor from '97 to '05, I never saw a railcar at Burt Forest Products on Felch Street. Never even saw any flange marks in the dirt/mud of the crossing of Felch Street by the Burt spur. In fact, Burt usually had wood products piled on top of the rails into their facility, blocking any access for railcars.

Garry K

AARR wrote:Ron Chadwick, AA's GM, said in a prerecorded interview that Faurecia (formerly several companies including Ford) in Saline stopped shipping by rail because their product line's destination switched from Kansas City to Dearborn. That leaves two steady customers in MI, both in Dundee. The recycled plastic plant ships 4-5 cars a week. The engine plant ships 3-4 cars a week. They are working to find someone else to locate at the former Dundee Cement plant (last operated by Holcim).

I believe that Burt's Forest Products in Ann Arbor still gets a carload or two annually at the Fingerle Lumber spur, but Ron didn't say anything about them.

He also said that the loss of GLC's sand traffic will not be a major loss for them. My understanding of this comment is that although the carloads were decent (although far below what it once was) perhaps the profit margins not so much.

Burts forest spur is disconnects from the main, and I believe I have seen the boxcar for them on the fingerle spur at least once. A bnsf boxcar a few years back.
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Re: AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby Racer » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:55 pm

So with the exception of the GLC in Ann Arbor and NS in Milan, they only move 10 cars a month north of Toledo? That's really bad if you ask me, more loss and gain. How many cars a day average does AA and GLC interchange?
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Re: AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby ConrailMan5 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:18 pm

Racer wrote:So with the exception of the GLC in Ann Arbor and NS in Milan, they only move 10 cars a month north of Toledo? That's really bad if you ask me, more loss and gain. How many cars a day average does AA and GLC interchange?

I don't have a count, but I have seen upwards of 50 cars for interchange. You have to remember that the AA handles the grain trains too. Plus the jeep docks more than cover the costs of the railroad. Everything north of Toledo is just gravy.
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Re: AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby Ypsi » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:46 pm

I mean if you look it as you did "isolated" it sounds bad. But my guess is the AA isn't into moving cars that won't make money, there is no point in switching something and losing money. If they weren't competitive with trucks or what have you they wouldn't do it. Honestly it's pretty silly just to look at one or two customers and say that "that's bad and you're losing money with so few cars" and only looking at car counts.. If you pay your crew $10 and it cost $10 to run the train on the trip, all you have to do is make an excess of $20 on the entire night to "make your money" (in the simplest terms without thinking about taxes, OT, wear and tear, ect). That could be $30 worth of interchange and $5 worth of cars for online business, or really any combination. You aren't going to make your money on one switch but as long as it doesn't take them an extraordinary amount of times and you don't have to pay OT, a second crew, or excess crews ect because of that switch for few cars it will normally be worth it towards the bottom line.

*Of note this is mostly just business knowledge and does not represent how the AA or railroads actually work (in terms of crew pay, cost, and car rates), it's a simple generalization of why you would switch so few cars and how it is most likely not a loss to do so. I could be wrong but generally business don't do stuff that loses money, and as long as you're making money (legally :lol:) it's all good.
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Re: AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby ConrailMan5 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:08 pm

BTW don't get me wrong racer, I understand your point. And as Ypsi said they certainly aren't losing money. But banking on that few customers is risky. If one or all of them decide to stop shipping by rail it would be an issue. Or even worse, if the jeep plant in Toledo shut down. Between Dundee and Ann arbor there must be 5-6 customers or potential points of shipping that are not being utilized. So it could be better. I am sure that the people at the AA are trying to drum up business for those points
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Re: AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby AARR » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:10 pm

According to Ron Chadwick this will be AA's best year ever. The three vehicle docks are the primary cash cows. Two are for Chrysler and one for GM.
ConrailMan5 wrote:I don't have a count, but I have seen upwards of 50 cars for interchange. You have to remember that the AA handles the grain trains too. Plus the jeep docks more than cover the costs of the railroad. Everything north of Toledo is just gravy.
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Re: AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby jimnorthwood » Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:08 am

Jeep Cherokee (unibody) production will be moved out of Toledo, presumably to Belvedere, IL. Jeep Wrangler, which is body on frame, will continue to be built in Toledo, and a new Jeep pickup truck has been talked about as a new, low volume, addition to the Jeep Toledo product line. At least that is the plan this week, but it seems to change with every comment by the FCA CEO. Cherokee production accounts for the bulk of Jeep employment in Toledo.Toledo also purchased former industrial land across the street from Toledo North Assembly Plant so FCA could build a new plant if it chose. What all of this will mean for AARR in Toledo is anyone's guess.
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Re: AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby ConrailMan5 » Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:12 am

AARR wrote:According to Ron Chadwick this will be AA's best year ever. The three vehicle docks are the primary cash cows. Two are for Chrysler and one for GM.

Where is the GM dock? I thought that the jeep plant adjacent to Ottawa yard was it as far as auto traffic? And as far as the northbound racks. Where do those go? When I have watched them at Milan it was primarily wranglers as was pointed out.
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Re: AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby iKJames » Wed Sep 23, 2015 3:05 pm

ConrailMan5 wrote:
AARR wrote:According to Ron Chadwick this will be AA's best year ever. The three vehicle docks are the primary cash cows. Two are for Chrysler and one for GM.

Where is the GM dock? I thought that the jeep plant adjacent to Ottawa yard was it as far as auto traffic? And as far as the northbound racks. Where do those go? When I have watched them at Milan it was primarily wranglers as was pointed out.

My best guess is that the GM one is in between the CSX and AA yards.
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Re: AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby AARR » Wed Sep 23, 2015 3:32 pm

iKJames is correct, the GM docks are between CSX and AA yards.
iKJames wrote:
ConrailMan5 wrote:
AARR wrote:According to Ron Chadwick this will be AA's best year ever. The three vehicle docks are the primary cash cows. Two are for Chrysler and one for GM.

Where is the GM dock? I thought that the jeep plant adjacent to Ottawa yard was it as far as auto traffic? And as far as the northbound racks. Where do those go? When I have watched them at Milan it was primarily wranglers as was pointed out.

My best guess is that the GM one is in between the CSX and AA yards.
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Re: AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby GTW6401 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:56 am

Fingerle Lumber is closing in 2019. The family members are looking to retire and that land near UM will sell for a premium price.
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Re: AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby AARR » Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:27 am

As late as the 1970's Fingerle was the largest customer in Ann Arbor for the AA averaging 6-13 cars a week. They had several spurs into their yard. Number of carloads dropped over the years with their last delivery about 10 years ago or so.
GTW6401 wrote:Fingerle Lumber is closing in 2019. The family members are looking to retire and that land near UM will sell for a premium price.
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Re: AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby arty flowers » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:07 am

Is the Annie getting any traffic off the I&0? What about those two extra interchange tracks they were supposedly getting at DIANN?
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Re: AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby AARR » Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:20 am

At one time they were exchanging some foundry sand, fertilizer and grains (soybeans IIRC). I'm not sure what they currently interchange.
arty flowers wrote:Is the Annie getting any traffic off the I&0? What about those two extra interchange tracks they were supposedly getting at DIANN?
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Re: AA MI Customers, Sept, 2015

Unread postby Y@ » Sat Mar 02, 2019 1:59 am

Sand would be a new one to me. We give them loads of fertilizer, and we'll get wheat off the GLC from them whenever Siemer orders it. Every now and then a load of lumber or plastic. Most of us wish that interchange would die completely.
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