Old 09-07-2013, 06:31 PM   #126
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Thanks for the reply, ShortlinesUSA.

I noticed that in more recent interviews, Mr. Pippin is quoted that he is considering partnering with another railroad company, as an alternative to selling.
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Old 09-21-2013, 04:41 PM   #127
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Latest Newspaper Reports.

The Sun-News, Myrtle Beach, SC, September 12:

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/201...ution-for.html

The News Reporter, Whiteville, NC, September 18:

http://www.whiteville.com/news/poten...9bb2963f4.html
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Old 09-27-2013, 04:34 PM   #128
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The latest article I could find, though nothing has changed, really --

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/201...s-back-at.html
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Old 09-27-2013, 04:41 PM   #129
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The latest article I could find, though nothing has changed, really --

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/201...s-back-at.html
Joe, I saw that article in the local news section of the Sun-News yesterday.

Thanks for saving me the work of copying and posting the link.

I would assume that CSRRs response would be online, as the original complaint was, and would have more details.

I detoured a business trip to Shallotte, NC last week, thru Tabor city, NC, and got 2 local newspapers with stories on the railroad which have more details, and will give those details asap.
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Old 10-05-2013, 04:41 PM   #130
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Here's a link to the internet Trains magazine, of which I'm not a member, so I can't check it out and see if their story, saying that CSRR could be sold by September has anything new in it, or is just a repeat of the other stories posted above.

http://trn.trains.com/Railroad%20New...September.aspx
September has come and gone, we're well into October, and I don't think that any of us are surprised that Carolina Southern hasn't been sold yet.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:16 PM   #131
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September has come and gone, we're well into October, and I don't think that any of us are surprised that Carolina Southern hasn't been sold yet.
I would say that is more because the governments involved are more clueless than the railroad is.
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:50 AM   #132
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Since this is now at the STB level, is the STB affected by the government shutdown?
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:20 PM   #133
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Default Carolina Forrest grade highway crossing

I know we had a post that CSRR had really gotten grown up in weeds and underbrush in Columbus County.

I cross the Horry County owned track in going to and from my work in Carolina Forest, and while the track at that crossing has never gotten too much grown up in underbrish, recently, it looked like what underbrush there was had been cleared out.

A friend of mine at GSW confirmed that the county owned track had received brush cutting to the crushed stone plant at Pine Island.

Yesterday, I finally took some photos at the Carolina Forrest crossing.



Looking toward the connection of Carolina Forrest Blvd, to International Drive, and the bypass.



Looking toward Conway. Notice the cut, browned underbrush beside the track.



Looking down Carolina Forrest Blvd, toward the intersection with US 501.



Looking down the track toward Myrtle Beach.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:46 PM   #134
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Default Newspaper coverage

A bit of stale but still relevant news from the Tabor-Loris Tribune of September 18, 2013, page 1

Railroad work goes virtual

By Joyce Graham

With frustration evident over a lack of public progress in efforts to restore rail service to Columbus, Horry and Marion counties, members of the Interstate Railroad Committee of North and South Carolina(IRRC) are going virtual with their meetings.

Until therer is a pressing need to gather, committee members agreed that they would keep informed via 1-mail for the time being.

IRRC co-chair Dennis Worley said the group has a policy and pattern of openness, and that reporters would receive all of the e-mail correspondence sent to committee members.

Members gathering in Loris Thursday agreed to put off physical meetings several called frustratingly unproductive, especially in the frequent absence of Carolina Southern Railroad(CSR) owner Ken Pippin.

Pippin was absent again Thursday, reportedly in Baltimore for his mother's birthday, and his lawyer arrived well after the meeting got underway. Committee members were behind closed doors when Myrtle Beach attorney Tommy Brittain showed up.

Efforts to sell the railroad are ongoing, Brittain told the committe when open session resumed. At least two possible buyers are showing sincere interest, he said.

Brittain thanked IRRC co-chair Doug Wendell and Horry County Commissioners Chairman Mark Lazarus for taking part in one recent meeting with a potential buyer.

Brittain said he has sought, and received a 10-day extension in responding to charges listed in a complaint filed last month with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB).

Filed in chicago attorney Thomas McFarland, and the complaint accuses CSR of abandoning 76 miles of track in Columbus, Horry and Marion counties, and of failing to act in the last year to lift an embargo it filed on Aug. 27, 2012 "suspending service over its rail lines."

That embargo came a year after the railroad stopped running when seven of its bridges were found to be deficient by federal inspectors.

CSF "has performed virtually no ongoing track maintenance during the two-year period that its rail lines have been out of service," the complaint said.

Britain said the process through the STB would be lengthy, and selling the railroad was the best available option for Pippin and for those formerly served by CSR.
City governments in Loris and Myrtle Beach have joined the STB complaint since it was filed on Aug. 27. Three counties, five municipalities and one business were listed on the original complainant. They include Horry County, Columbus County, Marion County, Tabor City, Fair Bluff, Chardbourn, Whiteville, Conway, and Metglass, Inc. of Conway, a distributor of transformer electric steel and other items.

- Includes reportinig by Duece Niven
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:12 PM   #135
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From The News Times, a free newspaper, September 18, 2013, page 01.

Potential buyer taking look at Carolina Southern

Additional parties join federal action

By Allen Turner
Staff Writer

One unnamed buyer is looking to purchase the idled Carolina Southern Railroad (CSR) and another potential buyer has expressed interest, it was revealed Thursday at a meeting in Loris, S.C. of the Interstate Railroad Committee (IRC).

In addition, two more parties have signed onto a complaint filed last month with the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) seeking a resolution to get rail service restored to Columbus, Horry and Marion counties.

"We're working hard to try and sell the railroad," said Myrtle Beach attorney Thomas Brittain, who represents CSR owner Ken Pippin. Pippin could not attend the meeting due to family obligations out of state. Brittain said that Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus and IRC Co-Chair Doug Wendel had met with the unnamed potential buyer.

In addition, Brittain said discussions also are underway with a "quasi-public entity" about a purchase of the railroad. "I hope that will materialize. We've been talking back and forth and are waiting to hear from them," Brittain said. Although no one would comment for the record, the "quasi-public entity" description sounds very much like South Carolina Public Railways, a division of the S.C. Dept. of Commerce which already operates three common carrier railroads.

"We're working really hard to sell it," Brittain said. He said that selling the railroad to a motivated buyer is the best possible outcome, as opposed to having the STB order a forced sale. Brittain said that it was only about a week before last month's IRC meeting that Pippin came to the realization that a sale of the railroad will be required to resolve the impasse and get rail service restored in the three counties.

"I think that our purposes are similar, and that what will be good for you also will be good for my client," Brittain told the committee. "I really feel the big moment in this was when (Pippin finally) decided to try and sell the railroad," Brittain said.

Carolina southern Railroad has been idle for a little over two years due to infrastructure problems, mainly involving bridges over the nearly 100-mile freight rail line which runs through Columbus, Horry and Marion counties.

The IRC was formed just over a year ago to explore ways of restoring rail service and consists of representitives of county and municipal governments in those three counties.

At their meeting last month, the committee agreed to pursue action with the STB, seeking to force the railroad to resume operations or to force the sale of the railroad to someone with the financial ability to get the rail line up and running again.

A complaint was filed on Aug. 27 with the STB with the counties of Columbus, Horry and Marion, the municipalities of Whiteville, Chadbourn, Tabor City, Fair Bluff and conway, and Conway-based Metglass, Inc., a railroad customer, listed as plaintiffs.

Since then, the cities of Loris and Myrtle Beach, S.C., railroad customer New South Companies, Inc. of Myrtle Beach, and Amoco chemical Co. have filed "petitions for leave to intervene" in the STB complaint against the railroad.

Amoco Chemical alleges that 17 of its hopper cars are trapped in the CSR service area, that the railroad charged Amoco a $50 "interchange fee" per car and, for a time, charged them storage payments of $2.50 per day per car, despite the fact that no way exists to get the cars out of the area due to bridge problems.

The committee agreed Thursday that economic development directors Gary Lanier of Columbus County, Brad Lofton of Myrtle Beach and Marion county Administrator Tim Harper would meet to work out an equitable formula for splitting legal costs among all the entities involved in the STB action.

Since the formation in August of last year, the IRC has scheduled monthly meetings; however, several scheduled meetings were canceled because there was no new business to discuss.

It was decided at Thursday's session that another meeting would not be scheduled.

Committee members and the news media will be notified via email when developments warrant another meeting.
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:33 PM   #136
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It's hard for me to imagine that some one or some entity would have the financial wherewithal to repair all those bridges and that pitiful roadbed. It will involve millions of dollars to properly repair! They'll never recoup their investment unless a whole lot of companies that require rail service move there. I just don't see that happening.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:36 PM   #137
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Thanks for the post, David. You make some very valid points. I plan to post the remarks to the Interstate Railroad Committee by the Bridge Engineer hired by Carolina Southern, to show more of what challenges the bridge repairs pose to the railroad.

Meanwhile, here is a link to the latest news on CSRR.

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/201...y-to-sell.html
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Old 11-16-2013, 01:39 PM   #138
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Default Thanks to "The Old Man"

I was catching up on some of the more recent post on CS, when I ran across Troy's post. I want to stop and take a moment to thank "the Old Man" who I don't know, but I feel he has been doing an excellent job reporting on the situation. I now live a long way from the area, but have a lot of history on the CS. And this is one operation I have a lot of interest in.

Since about the age of 1-year old, I grew up going to MB every summer with the family. As a young adult, I would often borrow my parent's car to go explore the MB rail line while they spent time on the beach. I took my first ride on the line when it was the Horry County, cab riding on the 44-tonner on the freight train. And on every successive trip I would take in more through the Duval Transp. years and into Mid-Atlantic and now CS.

Troy, I have spent a large part of my life covering government via my job and what is being reported in the actual pace of government and how they do business. I can't say I can remember anyone doing as good of a job keeping a list posted as "The Old Man." Not unless that person drew a paycheck as a reporter!

Troy simply don't read this post/thread. But I can tell you I will read it.

I hope on a future trip to MB, its been about a decade now, that I will have a rail line to check out. My only fear is on-line shipping managers will be very reluctant to go out on a limb for any railroad company that might operate the line based on what has happened in the past.

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Old 11-20-2013, 06:51 PM   #139
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Front page news in the Myrtle Beach Sun-News today-Santee Cooper's cleanup of their now closed electrical plant in Conway, SC, will take ten years.

Would that project be worth buying and reparing the railroad for any potential investor?

And, considering the waste being cleaned up is toxic, how well would the railroad have to be repaired to safely transport such cargo?
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:57 AM   #140
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That depends on how much traffic there is. Ten years' worth is nothing to sneeze at for a shortline, provided it is a steady number of cars per day.

The basic number for shortline economics is 1000 cars per year, per mile (with a "car" being a load) for break even. Add up all the CALA could possibly ship in addition to this traffic, and they'd need around 7000 cars a year.

Construction and demolition (C&D) material and "dirty dirt" are two commodities handled by a number of railroads around the country, though C&D is most prevalent in the Northeast. I don't believe the "dirty dirt" is even considered hazmat for transport purposes. It is not at all volatile, and does not pose much of a hazard if spilled in a derailment, because it is obviously more easily contained than a liquid.

So, this traffic, if shipped by rail, could certainly help the economics of the CALA in the near term. Long term, without the coal shipments to the power plant, that's a sizeable chunk of traffic they no longer have and makes the economics of the line that much worse.
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:53 AM   #141
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I dont know anything about this plant in question, but around here, there have been lots of plants that ended up being superfund sites served by rail that when the plant closed, the entire line was pulled up. The toxic dirt loads wasnt worth maintaining the line for a couple loads a week, which is what it will end up being.
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:08 PM   #142
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Thanks for the posts, Cameraman, ShortlinesUSA, & troy12n.

Just read a Myrtle Beach Herald report with details of the Santee Cooper cleanup, and it mentions trucking the contaminated ashes from the plant. A previous article had mentioned the now lack of railroad service.

The story is in the Myrtle Beach Herald of November 22, 2013, Page 10A, and covers three columns.

Santee Cooper agrees to haul coal ashy away from Conway

By Robert Anderson
For the Herald

The fourth paragraph from the top quotes Mollie Gore, manager of corporate communications for Santee cooper:

". . . We think this is a positive solution and look forward to getting underway with removing the coal ash."

Paragraphs five and six continue:

Gore is unsure when the project will get underway, but said the coal ash will be trucked out.

"We haven't worked out the details," she said. "We haven't made any arrangements for trucking."
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:19 PM   #143
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I find myself thinking more and more, just what the net salvage value of the tracks from Mullins to Whiteville & Conway would be.
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:53 AM   #144
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I find myself thinking more and more, just what the net salvage value of the tracks from Mullins to Whiteville & Conway would be.
My cynical side believes this is where we are headed with the CALA. Of course, my optimistic side thought the Gamecocks had Missouri right where they wanted them when it was 17 to 0 Tigers in that game.!
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:51 PM   #145
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My cynical side believes this is where we are headed with the CALA. Of course, my optimistic side thought the Gamecocks had Missouri right where they wanted them when it was 17 to 0 Tigers in that game.!
Joe, I pretty much see it the way that you do.

I have some salvage values from The Myrtle Beach Short Line Feasibility Study," by Hohorst Marine, Inc. and Carlisle Associates, inc, dated January 3, 1984.

These values could obviousl have changed in the 30 years since that study was done, of course.

Page 15:

Net Liquidated Value of the Myrtle Beach Branch

$54,544.80

Property Value

$538,000.00

Total Net Liquidated Salvage Value Track and Property $592, 545.00

Page 21:

Salvage Value of the Chadbourn to Conway Branch

Net Liquidated Salvage Value of track-$1,157,501.80

Real Estate Value is put at $354,000

Total value $1,511,000
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:39 AM   #146
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Oddly enough, I figured about $2 million in today's dollars before looking at this older estimate. It's possibly that number has been floated in the myriad news stories at some point.

Given the status of the line and how many repairs are needed, I think the only way this line can be truly viable for a buyer who wishes to run it would be to be given the line for virtually no cost (the good ol' $1 sale) to allow them to invest what they would spend in the purchase price on the rebuild of the railroad.

With the railroad currently owned by a private entity seeking to recoup at least some of their investment, I think some sort of arrangement such as this (essentially the Pippins deeding the railroad over to someone else) is about as far-fetched as the Redskins making the playoffs this season.

Every day that goes by makes it harder and harder to return this line to service, and I believe we are getting close to the point (if not there already) where it becomes economically infeasible. The closure of the Vulcan rock yard and the Santee Cooper power plant in Conway have left this line with little existing traffic which could attract a buyer.

This is more and more looking like a situation where either the governments involved buy it and run it at a loss in the name of economic development, or the trail folks get a nice long network of mosquito-ridden trails through the swamps of the Carolina low lands.
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Old 12-10-2013, 06:28 PM   #147
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ShortlinesUSA, you put very well, what I have been thinking all along.

Also, note that the 1984 study did not include salvage value of the Mullins to Whiteville track.
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:00 PM   #148
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Today the Sun-News had a front page photo of the Santee Cooper plant cleanup, and here's a link to 15 photos on the Sun-News website.

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/201...n-conway.html#

In one of the photos the railroad is visible, but not the locomotive(s?).
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Old 12-13-2013, 02:43 PM   #149
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Is there any reason they couldnt just leave the plant running until they ran out of fuel? (coal)
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:35 PM   #150
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The plant closings just seem to be made at some set deadline, regardless of the state of the stockpile, etc. I watched this occur at a similar sized plant in Alexandria, VA last year. The last moves I documented at the plant (so far, assuming there is possible C&D debris to be hauled out at some point in the future) were coal LOADS coming out of the plant. They took the effort to use front-end loaders to load up everything they had on the ground into Top Gons and send a couple of trains' worth up to another plant in Pennsylvania.

A shut down date of "when the coal is all burned up" would seem to be a lot easier and make more sense, that's for sure.
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