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Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 12:37 pm
by chapmaja
SO I know G&W was taken private when they were purchased by a private equity firm last year. (I lost money on that deal).

There have been rumors that the G&W would divest themselves of some lines in Michigan as a result.

One of the line I could see them getting rid of would be the MMRR. Would the Great Lakes Central make an effort to purchase this line from Paines to Alma. They already operate through Alma anyway, and interchange (at least occasionally) with the MMRR. Would this be something the GLC could see as beneficial?

I personally don't see G&W getting rid of the HESR complex, but if they were to get rid of that complex as well, would the GLC be interested in getting that property as well? I don't think local communities and the SOM would want Lake State having all of that track in the thumb due to competitiveness issues. GLC would see the logical other option if G&W wanted to get rid of that complex.

Re: Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 1:58 pm
by SD80MAC
If G&W holds onto anything in Michigan long-term, I think it would be MQT and maybe parts of the HESR. I know that LSRC has been rumored to have expressed interest in some of the HESR’s lines in the thumb. Would be interesting if they eventually bought the whole thing.

The MMRR, GRE and MS would likely be sold off. I could see GLC or LSRC going after the MMRR. Realistically, Watco would make sense for the GRE, and the MS would be up in the air. Of course, I’d love to see some new upstarts get the GRE and MS instead.

Re: Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 3:21 pm
by ~Z~
SD80MAC wrote: Of course, I’d love to see some new upstarts get the GRE and MS instead.

Imagine how much less distance you'd have to drive if WMRR got the GRE :)

Re: Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 3:23 pm
by Mike H
SD80MAC wrote:The MMRR, GRE and MS would likely be sold off. I could see GLC or LSRC going after the MMRR. Realistically, Watco would make sense for the GRE, and the MS would be up in the air. Of course, I’d love to see some new upstarts get the GRE and MS instead.


I'd like to see some new start ups or one of the little guys get the GRE & MS. We need someone committed to the area who actually lives here to manage those lines. Without some serious efforts to grow business on those lines I firmly believe their years are numbered, especially on the MS.

Mike H

Re: Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 3:25 pm
by Mike H
~Z~ wrote:
SD80MAC wrote: Of course, I’d love to see some new upstarts get the GRE and MS instead.

Imagine how much less distance you'd have to drive if WMRR got the GRE :)


Hey, now that's a great idea! I bet the WMI could probably do some pretty awesome things with the GRE or the MS lol!

Mike H

Re: Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 3:26 pm
by SD80MAC
~Z~ wrote:
SD80MAC wrote: Of course, I’d love to see some new upstarts get the GRE and MS instead.

Imagine how much less distance you'd have to drive if WMRR got the GRE :)

I’d be happy as a clam!

Re: Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 3:34 pm
by AARR
Add me to the list of people who wouldn't be surprised if WMI got MS and possibly GR 8)
SD80MAC wrote:
~Z~ wrote:
SD80MAC wrote: Of course, I’d love to see some new upstarts get the GRE and MS instead.

Imagine how much less distance you'd have to drive if WMRR got the GRE :)

I’d be happy as a clam!

Re: Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 6:44 pm
by HESR3868
chapmaja wrote:One of the line I could see them getting rid of would be the MMRR. Would the Great Lakes Central make an effort to purchase this line from Paines to Alma. They already operate through Alma anyway, and interchange (at least occasionally) with the MMRR. Would this be something the GLC could see as beneficial?


It's rumored the MMRR has been on life support for the past couple years. They haven't had a tie program in nearly 2 years (if not longer). The GLC has expressed the most interest in it, and would be the most beneficial to them especially with ZFS in Ithaca. Personally I feel LSRC would keep the money and go larger, rather than buy a small stretch of rail that needs a ton of work.

LSRC now only owns about 2 miles of track out there. HESR owns from Genesee yard to Paines, and from Paines (Stroebel Rd) west to Begin LSRC (Van Wormer Rd) is of course LSRC track. LSRC didn't want to maintain the bridge over the Tittabawassee River so they made a trade with HESR. HESR got the track to Paines while LSRC got track to Consumers. Hypothetically if LSRC wanted the MMRR, they wouldn't have given away track like that. At least that's how I feel.

The bridge over Swan Creek west of Paines is also of course costly. That was one of the reasons the C&O/CSX didn't want to keep the entirety of the Turkey Trail... too many bridges to upgrade and keep up with. If GLC gets the MMRR, they of course have the wye here in Alma where trains could come up from the south. To avoid upkeep on the Swan Creek bridge, cut the tracks around Fordney Rd (east of Hemlock) and across to Saginaw. The only traffic from LSRC is cars from CSX, which a deal or two could have them set out in Ann Pere. Same goes with Grain Trains. Those came up CSX to LSRC, so route them to Ann Pere as well.

I may have made a mistake or two in my "Idea of the Future" so by all means, correct me if needed.

Re: Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 8:39 pm
by chapmaja
HESR3868 wrote:
chapmaja wrote:One of the line I could see them getting rid of would be the MMRR. Would the Great Lakes Central make an effort to purchase this line from Paines to Alma. They already operate through Alma anyway, and interchange (at least occasionally) with the MMRR. Would this be something the GLC could see as beneficial?


It's rumored the MMRR has been on life support for the past couple years. They haven't had a tie program in nearly 2 years (if not longer). The GLC has expressed the most interest in it, and would be the most beneficial to them especially with ZFS in Ithaca. Personally I feel LSRC would keep the money and go larger, rather than buy a small stretch of rail that needs a ton of work.

LSRC now only owns about 2 miles of track out there. HESR owns from Genesee yard to Paines, and from Paines (Stroebel Rd) west to Begin LSRC (Van Wormer Rd) is of course LSRC track. LSRC didn't want to maintain the bridge over the Tittabawassee River so they made a trade with HESR. HESR got the track to Paines while LSRC got track to Consumers. Hypothetically if LSRC wanted the MMRR, they wouldn't have given away track like that. At least that's how I feel.

The bridge over Swan Creek west of Paines is also of course costly. That was one of the reasons the C&O/CSX didn't want to keep the entirety of the Turkey Trail... too many bridges to upgrade and keep up with. If GLC gets the MMRR, they of course have the wye here in Alma where trains could come up from the south. To avoid upkeep on the Swan Creek bridge, cut the tracks around Fordney Rd (east of Hemlock) and across to Saginaw. The only traffic from LSRC is cars from CSX, which a deal or two could have them set out in Ann Pere. Same goes with Grain Trains. Those came up CSX to LSRC, so route them to Ann Pere as well.

I may have made a mistake or two in my "Idea of the Future" so by all means, correct me if needed.



I don't know the specifics of the condition on the line, other than what I saw driving back from working in Midland last summer. The line didn't look great, but was nowhere near the worst I had seen (Maumee Western before it was purchased and fixed up).

One thing that could impact this would be the condition of the bridges. With the flooding on the Tittabawasee River, the bridge could be a liability for the HESR accessing the MMRR. I could see the tracks being cut prior to the bridge with the last property accessed being the railroad museum.

Going from Alma east I think you keep the tracks in as far as the west side the bridge on the Tittabawasee for one reason. They have a long runaround track. If that is long enough to run around a unit grain train, it would make sense to keep the track in that far east. If not, then keeping the tracks in to just east of Hemlock Elevator would make more sense. The bridge of Swan Creek could be an issue in the future. With that said, I wonder if there would be state or federal money available.

Note - I didn't look east of Hemlock. Having the double track in Hemlock would mean removal to east of Hemlock would make more sense. Please scratch what's typed about the end of the line by the river.

This is a line, given the current ownership of the railroads in Michigan, that I think he to have connections on both ends. The loser in a sale to the GLC would be LSRC because they would lose out on their portion of a haul going to CSX.

Re: Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 6:32 am
by HESR3868
chapmaja wrote:
HESR3868 wrote:
chapmaja wrote:One of the line I could see them getting rid of would be the MMRR. Would the Great Lakes Central make an effort to purchase this line from Paines to Alma. They already operate through Alma anyway, and interchange (at least occasionally) with the MMRR. Would this be something the GLC could see as beneficial?


It's rumored the MMRR has been on life support for the past couple years. They haven't had a tie program in nearly 2 years (if not longer). The GLC has expressed the most interest in it, and would be the most beneficial to them especially with ZFS in Ithaca. Personally I feel LSRC would keep the money and go larger, rather than buy a small stretch of rail that needs a ton of work.

LSRC now only owns about 2 miles of track out there. HESR owns from Genesee yard to Paines, and from Paines (Stroebel Rd) west to Begin LSRC (Van Wormer Rd) is of course LSRC track. LSRC didn't want to maintain the bridge over the Tittabawassee River so they made a trade with HESR. HESR got the track to Paines while LSRC got track to Consumers. Hypothetically if LSRC wanted the MMRR, they wouldn't have given away track like that. At least that's how I feel.

The bridge over Swan Creek west of Paines is also of course costly. That was one of the reasons the C&O/CSX didn't want to keep the entirety of the Turkey Trail... too many bridges to upgrade and keep up with. If GLC gets the MMRR, they of course have the wye here in Alma where trains could come up from the south. To avoid upkeep on the Swan Creek bridge, cut the tracks around Fordney Rd (east of Hemlock) and across to Saginaw. The only traffic from LSRC is cars from CSX, which a deal or two could have them set out in Ann Pere. Same goes with Grain Trains. Those came up CSX to LSRC, so route them to Ann Pere as well.

I may have made a mistake or two in my "Idea of the Future" so by all means, correct me if needed.



I don't know the specifics of the condition on the line, other than what I saw driving back from working in Midland last summer. The line didn't look great, but was nowhere near the worst I had seen (Maumee Western before it was purchased and fixed up).


It has a long way to go to be as bad as the Maumee Western or even the Middleton Branch on the GLC, but for a line that only gets 1 motor to haul 90 car grain trains across with 10 MPH slow orders, neglect is last thing needed. The way they are treating the line, it personally seems a sale is in the future. But, who knows what could happen nowadays haha

Re: Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 9:20 am
by LansingRailFan
How many customers are in the MMRR?

Re: Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 2:36 pm
by ~Z~
LansingRailFan wrote:How many customers are in the MMRR?

Approx 8; see this list: http://railroadfan.com/wiki/index.php/M ... ivision.29

Re: Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 2:38 pm
by chapmaja
From what I can tell the MMRR services an Elevator in Hemlock, Breckenridge elevators, plus a possible fertilizer dealer. Bear Truss in St. Louis, Terry Materials in Alma l, and a few other sidings on the line as well.

Re: Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 3:19 pm
by HESR3868
~Z~ wrote:
LansingRailFan wrote:How many customers are in the MMRR?

Approx 8; see this list: http://railroadfan.com/wiki/index.php/M ... ivision.29


I helped out making that, and is correct up to today besides possibly a name change for a customer in St. Louis. There's a propane customer between Breckenridge & Wheeler as well, but they haven't gotten a car in years so I didn't put them on the list.

Re: Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 6:32 pm
by AARR
A few notes about the customer list for MMRR, Alma Div.
- Crop Production Services receives fertilizer, not ships outbound fertilizer. Also, they changed their name to Nutrien Ag Solutions.
- MAC has two elevators in Breckenridge. The downtown elevator which ships in carload lots and the one on the east side of town which is one of the biggest in MI and ships unit trains up to 90 cars.
HESR3868 wrote:
~Z~ wrote:
LansingRailFan wrote:How many customers are in the MMRR?

Approx 8; see this list: http://railroadfan.com/wiki/index.php/M ... ivision.29


I helped out making that, and is correct up to today besides possibly a name change for a customer in St. Louis. There's a propane customer between Breckenridge & Wheeler as well, but they haven't gotten a car in years so I didn't put them on the list.

Re: Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 7:10 pm
by 12Bridge
SD80MAC wrote:
~Z~ wrote:
SD80MAC wrote: Of course, I’d love to see some new upstarts get the GRE and MS instead.

Imagine how much less distance you'd have to drive if WMRR got the GRE :)

I’d be happy as a clam!


We would need a bigger tamper...

Re: Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 8:10 pm
by SD80MAC
Thankfully, the GRE isn’t in nearly as bad of shape as the WMI, yet....

Re: Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 8:26 pm
by 12Bridge
My sunburn resents that!

Re: Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 10:29 pm
by HESR3868
AARR wrote:A few notes about the customer list for MMRR, Alma Div.
- Crop Production Services receives fertilizer, not ships outbound fertilizer. Also, they changed their name to Nutrien Ag Solutions.
- MAC has two elevators in Breckenridge. The downtown elevator which ships in carload lots and the one on the east side of town which is one of the biggest in MI and ships unit trains up to 90 cars.
HESR3868 wrote:


I helped out making that, and is correct up to today besides possibly a name change for a customer in St. Louis. There's a propane customer between Breckenridge & Wheeler as well, but they haven't gotten a car in years so I didn't put them on the list.


It's a little more outdated than I thought, minus the miscommunication for Nutrien. I wanna say the last time the customer list was updated was a couple years ago. I didn't bother to change the MAC info in Breckenridge since both elevators do the same thing under the same name within the town, I just didn't see a point.

Speaking of grain trains, last week the MMRR ran the first grain train on the St Louis Sub in nearly 2 years. 93 privates for MAC. Hopefully the harvest season this year is much better than the past couple years!

Re: Crazy Topic - G&W in Michigan

Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 1:01 pm
by PatAzo
chapmaja wrote:There have been rumors that the G&W would divest themselves of some lines in Michigan as a result.
"

What Brookfield says about itself. "Brookfield Infrastructure Partners is a leading global infrastructure company that owns and operates high quality, long-life assets... We are focused on assets that generate stable cash flows and require minimal maintenance capital expenditures."

What Motley Fool says about Brookfield. "The key to understanding Brookfield Infrastructure Partners is that it also buys and sells assets on a fairly regular basis. If it sees a good value proposition in the market it steps in to buy it. If it can get a good price for something it owns, it is willing to sell."
https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/05/22/where-will-brookfield-infrastructure-partners-be-i.aspx

It would appear while Brookfield isn't the stereo typical Wall Street slash and burn money manager, to stay in the fold a property needs to generate steady cash flow and cover most of it's own capital costs.

As for MAC I'm don't know much about the Breckenridge operation. In Newaygo most of MAC's product is used within 150 miles of the plant. They say there are initiatives to use agricultural products within the state. Typically only their excess leaves by rail.