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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / Delmarva Central assumes operations on a portion of the Bay Coast Railroad NEWSWIRE

Delmarva Central assumes operations on a portion of the Bay Coast Railroad NEWSWIRE

By R G Edmonson | May 23, 2018

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CapeCharlesVa
CapeCharlesVa
Cape Charles, Va.
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CAPE CHARLES, Va. — The Delmarva Central Railroad has notified the Surface Transportation Board that it intends to assume operations on 15 miles of rail line formerly operated by the Bay Coast Railroad. The change will happen before May 29.

Bay Coast has operated the southernmost 70 miles of the former Pennsylvania Railroad line through the Delmarva Peninsula since 2006. Delmarva Central leased the line north of Pocomoke City, Md., from Norfolk Southern in November 2016.

John Heffner, a Washington-based transportation attorney, says that Colonie-Atlantic Co., the rail line’s owner, had reached an agreement with Delmarva Central to operate the rail line between Pocomoke City and Hallwood, Va. There are no customers south of Hallwood. At one time Bay Coast ran a rail barge between Cape Charles and Little Creek, Va., but operations ceased around 2012.

Bay Coast also has customers in the Norfolk–Virginia Beach, Va., area. Heffner said that Colonie-Atlantic is negotiating with Norfolk Southern to continue service there.

The railroad is owned by the Accomack-Northampton County Transportation District, a branch of the counties’ governments. It administered the line through wholly owned Colonie-Atlantic.

Colonie-Atlantic operated the line as the Eastern Shore Railroad, then in 2006 leased it to Cassatt Management, doing business as the Bay Coast Railroad. Heffner says Cassatt Management’s owner expressed a desire to leave the business, which brought about the change in rail service.

According to the transportation district’s records, Bay Coast does most of its business on the Norfolk side of Chesapeake Bay. In March, the railroad moved a total of 102 carloads, 86 in Norfolk and 47 on the peninsula. In February, the totals were 133 carloads, divided between 86 in Norfolk and 47 on the peninsula.

3 thoughts on “Delmarva Central assumes operations on a portion of the Bay Coast Railroad NEWSWIRE

  1. Back in the early 70s when a ship hit the only lift bridge connecting the Delmarva peninsula with the outside rail systems, the Cape Charles car ferry was the only way to get freight to the peninsula’s rail customers.

  2. RE: “In March, the railroad moved a total of 102 carloads, 86 in Norfolk and 47 on the peninsula. In February, the totals were 133 carloads, divided between 86 in Norfolk and 47 on the peninsula.”

    Oops, those March numbers don’t add up. Here are the actual car counts from the meeting minutes of the Accomack-Northampton Transportation District Commission:

    Month: Total/Little Creek/Eastern Shore

    Jan: 76/51/25

    Feb: 133/86/47

    Mar: 102/73/29

    Compare those months to these numbers in Aug 2017:

    Aug: 402/372/30

    285 of those cars were for DCP Midstream. After one more good month the numbers dropped way down when the railroad lost DCP Midstream as a customer. This was followed by Bayshore Concrete in Cape Charles putting its facility up for sale in January. The meeting minutes show no more traffic from Bayshore Concrete after November. The meeting minutes for January also included this line: “Storage negotiations for cars at the Little Creek property are being considered. No agreements in place as of yet.” That does not appear to have panned out.

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