Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

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Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

Unread postby trnwatcher » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:04 pm

Coming back from lunch today I saw a hi-rail truck from the Spicer Group getting off the rail on the old Amway spur where the tracks end just before they crossed M-37\Broadmoor Ave. The truck as a pickup with hi-rail gear and what looked to be clearance measuring equipment on a rack in the bed. Didnt have time to circle back and see where they went after I they got off the rail. Anyone heard of rail service possiblly going back into the Roskam bakery? I know they are getting a large amount of trucks in there daily so I was wondeirng if they are looking at getting rail service again.
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Re: Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

Unread postby SD80MAC » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:23 pm

I hope they're not clearing the brush so they can get dismantling equipment in there!
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Re: Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

Unread postby chapmaja » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:56 pm

SD80MAC wrote:I hope they're not clearing the brush so they can get dismantling equipment in there!


That would be my guess. To get rail traffic to Roskam would require substantial work. I don't know what tracks are left inside the property itself, but to reconnect the line would require

1) Installation of the switch at the mainline.

2) Reconstruction of the 44th Street crossings

3) Reconstruction of the M-37 crossings.

That would seem like a lot of work to reactivate for one customer. I think it would be more likely that the line is going to be pulled.
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Re: Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:02 pm

My guess, the engineering firm putting together the plans and specs for the removal. Plannerdad - what's the true story.
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Re: Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

Unread postby Plannerdad » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:24 pm

Usually the c/o tells me when they are planning to remove something. We have talked to CSX and Roskam. As noted, rail service to Roskam across M-37 would be a challenge! But CSX and Roskam apparently have had some discussions on their own, so who knows. I will check Monday.
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Re: Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

Unread postby chapmaja » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:36 pm

Here is a thought.

Who owns the property across M-37 from Roskam? Would it be possible for them to put in an unloading area on the east side of M-37 and truck the material across M-37 rather than reconstruct the spur across a state highway? It would still allow rail access for Roskam, but avoid having to reinstall a crossing that would be difficult to reinstall in my opinion.
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Re: Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

Unread postby Vonkamrath » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:01 pm

I happened to speak with the gentleman that were walking out in front of the Hi-Rail hacking back branches with machetes when I spotted them going by my work. Just N of 44th. They told me they were contracted by MDOT to clear the line but that’s all they knew. I did not ask guy driving the truck, I’m sure he knew more. They had a vegetation killer on the truck but I don’t think they were using it. Seems like Roskam would sure save a lot of money with rail delivery. Their silos sit right there where the tracks were. Although there’s times a day that area is busy, it’s pretty dead between 8pm and 6am. I’ve worked back there off of Donker Ct for almost 20 years and all times of day. Delivery, if possible, overnight would cause no disruption at any of the 4 grade crossings.
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Re: Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

Unread postby Plannerdad » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:35 am

The option of a transload or some sort of conveyer system across M-37 was discussed. CSX at the time felt they could accomplish the same thing, only cheaper, at the Wyoming Yard and trucked to Roskam. Once a crossing has been out for a period of time, it is not easy to restore, especially on major routes like 44th Street and M-37. Not saying it can't be done, and I am not sure what CSX and Roskam may be discussing.
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Re: Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

Unread postby SD80MAC » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:10 am

FWIW, Kentwood has all of the crossing protection that they've removed in storage somewhere. I'm not sure if you could just reinstall them at this time or not, not sure what the regulations are in regards to signals.
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Re: Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

Unread postby trnwatcher » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:16 am

When I left work last night I did some investigating. You could see at 40th street where they came through the weeds. At 44th it was hard to tell but it appeared they did not come across 44th st. At 52nd there were lots of cut down brush where they came across the road.
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Re: Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

Unread postby Doktor No » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:51 am

Again, why not the BIDS facility at Wyoming. Unloading on the east side of M37 and trucking across? Double handle within one mile or less? You could put in a pipeline UNDER M37 to do it. Trucking entails...A TRUCK, A DRIVER/UNLOADER personnel buy that rig in todays dollars....pay that driver unloader...or just do it with a pipe. Then again, studies will be done, people will get paid, meetings will be held at the highest levels, perhaps even LUNCHES....and then it will all fly away. Is KING Milling their flour supplier? Are they trying to leverage a better price from KING?
Ahhhh, it boggles the mind, let alone the imagination. Maybe GM/SATURN is gonna build a plant? Or a mini steel mill. Or a soy processor plant? Or hey, rebuild to Caledonia Farmers Elevator? (I do have a re-occurring dream of rails gong back in Caledonia)
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Re: Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:44 pm

Play with the New Hampshire Hazard Index to see what crossing protection would be required to day.
http://toolkits.ite.org/gradecrossing/appenf.htm
As for the inbound trucking, if it's Timpson Transport, it's from King, Bulkmatic, Hughart transload
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Re: Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

Unread postby chapmaja » Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:31 am

Raildudes dad wrote:Play with the New Hampshire Hazard Index to see what crossing protection would be required to day.
http://toolkits.ite.org/gradecrossing/appenf.htm
As for the inbound trucking, if it's Timpson Transport, it's from King, Bulkmatic, Hughart transload



I never took Calc 3 so I don't think I could figure anything out with those forumlas.
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Re: Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

Unread postby chapmaja » Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:32 am

Doktor No wrote:Again, why not the BIDS facility at Wyoming. Unloading on the east side of M37 and trucking across? Double handle within one mile or less? You could put in a pipeline UNDER M37 to do it. Trucking entails...A TRUCK, A DRIVER/UNLOADER personnel buy that rig in todays dollars....pay that driver unloader...or just do it with a pipe. Then again, studies will be done, people will get paid, meetings will be held at the highest levels, perhaps even LUNCHES....and then it will all fly away. Is KING Milling their flour supplier? Are they trying to leverage a better price from KING?
Ahhhh, it boggles the mind, let alone the imagination. Maybe GM/SATURN is gonna build a plant? Or a mini steel mill. Or a soy processor plant? Or hey, rebuild to Caledonia Farmers Elevator? (I do have a re-occurring dream of rails gong back in Caledonia)



That might be an option also. I really hadn't thought of that or potentially going over M-37. The trucking idea assumed a company employee rather than a trucking company to make the move.
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Re: Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

Unread postby Doktor No » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:36 am

chapmaja wrote:
Doktor No wrote:Again, why not the BIDS facility at Wyoming. Unloading on the east side of M37 and trucking across? Double handle within one mile or less? You could put in a pipeline UNDER M37 to do it. Trucking entails...A TRUCK, A DRIVER/UNLOADER personnel buy that rig in todays dollars....pay that driver unloader...or just do it with a pipe. Then again, studies will be done, people will get paid, meetings will be held at the highest levels, perhaps even LUNCHES....and then it will all fly away. Is KING Milling their flour supplier? Are they trying to leverage a better price from KING?
Ahhhh, it boggles the mind, let alone the imagination. Maybe GM/SATURN is gonna build a plant? Or a mini steel mill. Or a soy processor plant? Or hey, rebuild to Caledonia Farmers Elevator? (I do have a re-occurring dream of rails gong back in Caledonia)



That might be an option also. I really hadn't thought of that or potentially going over M-37. The trucking idea assumed a company employee rather than a trucking company to make the move.

You still have to purchase a tractor and a food grade trailer...an expensive proposition. Then your books show an employee dedicated to loading and unloading and vehicle maintenance and licensing, etc, etc. THATS why they go to a BIDS facility in the first place. The 28th Street bakeries here in GR used to have unloading facilities for ingredients but not anymore. Flour comes out of Hughart and last I knew oils come up from Staley or any other producer in central Illinois...Decatur me thinks.
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Re: Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

Unread postby PatAzo » Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:48 pm

Perhaps they are just cutting weeds.

How many inbound loads would Roskam receive? Enough to warrant sharing in the expense to restore service? Signaled grade crossing installs are $100K+ each. Then to be captive to CSX. Even if CSX even wants the business, being captive to a Class 1 is a bad idea if you can avoid it. We have a customer who operates a mine along the U.P. Fifty miles away was a short line that interchanged with U.P. and BNSF. They built their own transload and leveraging competitive rates save more than the cost of trucking fifty miles from the mine. Why to they truck sand from Ludington all the way to Grand Rapids to transload? Better rates.
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Re: Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

Unread postby trnwatcher » Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:02 pm

PatAzo wrote:Perhaps they are just cutting weeds.

How many inbound loads would Roskam receive? Enough to warrant sharing in the expense to restore service? Signaled grade crossing installs are $100K+ each. Then to be captive to CSX. Even if CSX even wants the business, being captive to a Class 1 is a bad idea if you can avoid it. We have a customer who operates a mine along the U.P. Fifty miles away was a short line that interchanged with U.P. and BNSF. They built their own transload and leveraging competitive rates save more than the cost of trucking fifty miles from the mine. Why to they truck sand from Ludington all the way to Grand Rapids to transload? Better rates.

I see trucks going in there 24/7. Roskam is a customer of ours and we heard they want to increase production at this facility. I could see them getting 2-5 cars a day easily.
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Re: Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

Unread postby PatAzo » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:22 pm

Even with direct CSX service there would still be the possibility to transload and receive cars via NS/GDLK, so not captive. MDOT has a grant program that pays a portion of the cost if it is tied to job creation and an increase in rail traffic.
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Re: Interesting sighting on the ex-Amway spur in Kentwood

Unread postby MQT1223 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:46 am

Heck I was hopeful about the potential of rail service when they were building the Crown Forklift building out there, before I found out what it was anyway.

Honestly surprised as of what a waste this line has been so far.

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