PAR/CSX: First Merrimack Station Coal Arrives

Eighty Loads of Coal Delivered without Incident at Merrimack Station. First of a Dozen or More Unit Trains Expected Through December to Replenish Stock for Venerable Peaking Plant. CSX Routing Nearly All the Way.

29 November, Bow NH – Loaded with coal dug from one or more operational mines along the Monongahela, Loveridge Secondary, or Fairmont Subdivision lines on the Monongahela lines on the PA/WV border, CSX N618-27 was identified on mid-morning, 27.November heading east out of Willard OH yard, bound for Bow NH via Buffalo, Selkirk and Worcester. The Willard location led to some speculation that the loads originated from the Powder River Basin (WY) region. Later it was confirmed that the train had originated in Newell PA.

Pennsylvania – West Virginia border

The Monongahela Railway lines pinch the heart of western Pennsylvania/West Virginia coal country. NS acquired both the Mon and Loveridge tracks from Conrail, but CSX retained operating rights. There have been numerous operating arrangements between the two rivals since then. Currently CSX and NS crews trade off one anothers’ trains as far north as Brownsville. As of late last year, CSX trains operating on the Loveridge secondary and on the Monongahela division between Newall PA and Catawba Jct. WV typically operated with CSX crews {commenter, Trainorders 22.Aug.2018. Map: CSX, annotated by ANRP}.

Newell PA

Best route was determined to be entirely on CSX track until Worcester. Willard is about 200 miles (by crow) west of Newell. The yard serves the CSX main line.

Willard OH

Next stops were Buffalo, Selkirk, Worcester, where the train was picked up by the PAR crew who delivered the load to Bow {CSX; annotated by ANRP}.
The final leg on PAR. CSX 466, 831, ??? locomotive trio retired in Ayer; MEC 7500, 7594, 7534 led the loaded train to Bow, and brought empties back down.

After weeks of speculation, the train wasted no time along its route. It probably departed Newell on 26.November, and was out of Willard around ~1030 on 27.November, arriving Selkirk 0500 28.Nov, and departing ~1115 behind CSX 466, 831, [unknown]. At ~1810m on 28.November, the train swung north at Worcester, and at 1815 pulling up past Barbers for a crew change. In Ayer the locos were switched out for MEC 7500, 7594, 7534. By early afternoon on 29.November, the trio was resting at the Perini siding, and by 30.November were pulling the empties south.