NS Roadrailer service coming to an end?

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David Collins
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NS Roadrailer service coming to an end?

Unread post by David Collins »

I just talked to a buddy of mine that’s a conductor for NS and he’s told me that NS’ contract with triple crown will be ending soon, does anyone happen to know a timeline as to when the contract ends and also why they’re not extending it?
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GTW Dude
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Re: NS Roadrailer service coming to an end?

Unread post by GTW Dude »

David Collins wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 8:51 pm
I just talked to a buddy of mine that’s a conductor for NS and he’s told me that NS’ contract with triple crown will be ending soon, does anyone happen to know a timeline as to when the contract ends and also why they’re not extending it?
In one if their most recent issues, Trains Magazine actually covered the last of the road railers which are in Michigan and operate over the old Wabash line through Romulus. One of the main reasons the contract will not be extended is simply because there are many more ways of transferring freight that are time and cost effective such as shipping via container which can be loaded from a train onto a flatbed on a truck, while creating a Roadrailer train can take a good chunk of time to put together since it isn’t your standard knuckle coupler and your good to go sort of deal. Another thing is that the equipment Roadrailers use is getting worn out to the point that you would need to do some major overhaul on a few things to keep an already outdated way of transferring freight from going extinct. Get them while they last they’re some of the last Roadrailers in the nation and when their gone their gone for good.

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M.D.Bentley
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Re: NS Roadrailer service coming to an end?

Unread post by M.D.Bentley »

GTW Dude wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 10:19 pm
David Collins wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 8:51 pm
I just talked to a buddy of mine that’s a conductor for NS and he’s told me that NS’ contract with triple crown will be ending soon, does anyone happen to know a timeline as to when the contract ends and also why they’re not extending it?
In one if their most recent issues, Trains Magazine actually covered the last of the road railers which are in Michigan and operate over the old Wabash line through Romulus. One of the main reasons the contract will not be extended is simply because there are many more ways of transferring freight that are time and cost effective such as shipping via container which can be loaded from a train onto a flatbed on a truck, while creating a Roadrailer train can take a good chunk of time to put together since it isn’t your standard knuckle coupler and your good to go sort of deal. Another thing is that the equipment Roadrailers use is getting worn out to the point that you would need to do some major overhaul on a few things to keep an already outdated way of transferring freight from going extinct. Get them while they last they’re some of the last Roadrailers in the nation and when their gone their gone for good.
FAST service! Trailer can show up at the last minute and be put on the train. As fast as a train arrives and is broken down the trailers can be delivered. Container trains have to be spotted if there's room. Switching takes time. It was a good concept at the time, innovative. Still a good service, but the railroads are pushing everyone to container service.

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justalurker66
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Re: NS Roadrailer service coming to an end?

Unread post by justalurker66 »

Early proponents of Roadrailers suggested dropping and adding trailers at team tracks or even crossings as trains passed through rural towns. The service became a yard to yard service with unit trains instead of a mixed load service.

The additional demands on a Roadrailer trailer provide an additional limit. The standard trailer needs to support its own weight and load connected to a tractor. Some standard trailers are designed to run double or triple length and can handle the additional stress of trailing a trailer. The Roadrailer trailer has to have the strength of a rail car able to handle the mechanical stress of a long string of trailers pushing or pulling at each connector through the frame of the vehicle.

COFC/TOFC separates the challenge of managing the dynamics of a two mile long string of rail cars usually with distributed power from what is needed for a trailer moving over the road. COFC/TOFC does not require super strong trailers.

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Re: NS Roadrailer service coming to an end?

Unread post by CSXBOY »

Eventually NS will do away with 255 and 256. But at the same time it all determines if Ford demands a specific product that is needed. We all know the triple crown trains will be gone within the next 1-2 years. But be happy with 255 and 256 while you still can! What does not make sense to me is that the service is so efficient and railroads like CSX and NS thrive on efficiency when it comes to railroads these days with PSR. I am surprised we did not get more of them when NS adopted it. I know it sounds crazy but that's just my conspiracy.

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Re: NS Roadrailer service coming to an end?

Unread post by Saturnalia »

CSXBOY wrote:
Mon Feb 07, 2022 5:03 pm
Eventually NS will do away with 255 and 256. But at the same time it all determines if Ford demands a specific product that is needed. We all know the triple crown trains will be gone within the next 1-2 years. But be happy with 255 and 256 while you still can! What does not make sense to me is that the service is so efficient and railroads like CSX and NS thrive on efficiency when it comes to railroads these days with PSR. I am surprised we did not get more of them when NS adopted it. I know it sounds crazy but that's just my conspiracy.
It takes roughly the same amount of effort to load a trailer onto a spine car as it does to setup a RoadRailer.

Throw in the tare weight savings from using a normal dry van, plus the fact that ANYBODY can book a regular TOFC train but only RailRailers *if* you have the right trailer, and then it becomes very obvious how it boiled down to really just one customer on one route.
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