Conley Terminal cranes arriving

BostonTrainGuy

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I'm guessing from this story that those ships are coming through the Panama Canal so they are hitting the southern ports first. Anything coming through the Suez Canal should reach Boston first and if we had decent rail service maybe some traffic could be shaved off the top. Looking at a map ships going to Saint John have to dip way down below Nova Scotia and then turn back north. The distance to Boston doesn't seem to be that much further. If much smaller Saint John can do it, Boston can do it.

I know the usual argument is that Boston freight stays local and Massport only serves New England, but there is ample capacity to add to that local traffic now that we can handle bigger ships. It will be really sad after this pier and crane investment if Boston can't attract long haul business especially since the other ports are so congested. A congestion-free port has to be a unique selling opportunity for Massport.

And yes we may have to get a little creative until a rail line actually reaches the port but there are possibilities. For instance Adesa/CP Yard in Framingham could be operational almost immediately. Also there looks like there is room is Westborough Yard to add a few tracks.

Massport has to justify this massive expansion. Maybe they put the cart before the horse here? An unsuccessful "build it and they will come" approach is going to be a very embarrassing and inept move. Did Massport have any commitments before this expansion was planned? Major pieces are now in place. Let's hope Massport succeeds in putting this puzzle together.
 

citydweller

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Conley will always be a niche terminal based on it's footprint and complete reliance on short-haul trucking. The other aspect is that the "seaport" has transitioned from a seaport to a tech business park and luxury condos. I can remember the days of rats scurrying about at Jimmy's Harborside, how things have changed.
 

BostonTrainGuy

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Conley will always be a niche terminal based on it's footprint and complete reliance on short-haul trucking.
Yeah but Saint John is an even smaller footprint niche port with very difficult tides. After seeing what they are doing there I no longer believe that Boston can't grow its long distance reach. Even if stuff has to be scattered out by truck to Worcester, Ayer, Framingham (Adesa), Westborough, etc., until rail is extended directly to Conley.
 

PT1987

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The situation at Saint John is completely different than at Boston. The CPRS has no Atlantic Port presence other than at Saint John (indirectly through the Irving Railroads), so that was their only option for developing business with the shipping lines. CSX and NS, who would be the potential rail carriers doing business with the Port of Boston, already have multiple East Coast options in place so they have zero incentive to try and develop business at Boston. In addition, there is no way Boston can compete with the likes of NY/NJ, Norfolk or Savanah when there needs to be an hour plus dray just to get to the nearest Intermodal terminal, not to mention other institutional challenges that the port faces.
 

Tallguy

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Whatever happened to talk of developing NB/FR for shipping?
 

citydweller

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Perhaps is the angle of the satellite image but it looks like they need to extend the loading/unloading area further West. Has anyone seen those supersize container ships arrive yet?
 
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