Author Topic: Honda Plant News Archive  (Read 57577 times)

Cheviot_Hill

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Honda Plant News Archive
« on: June 27, 2006, 10:45:05 PM »
Here in Cincinnati they are reporting on the news (Fox 19) that Greensburg Indiana is the site that was chosen for the new Honda Plant.
Great news for Greensburg!!! The offical anouncement will come tomorrow. Honda officals will be there tomorrow to anounce it. :)
Now is everbody ready to watch the MOW trains work the CIND line??? :o
« Last Edit: July 04, 2007, 12:23:14 PM by CIOR »

indrr

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Re: Honda Plant update!!!
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2006, 11:43:16 PM »
An early article from the Indianapolis Star:

Japanese automaker Honda today is expected to announce it has chosen Greensburg, Ind., as the site for a massive auto assembly plant that will employ 1,500 workers, possibly sparking an economic boom in the state's southeastern corner.

Honda has scheduled a news conference today to make an announcement in Greensburg. Gov. Mitch Daniels cut short his trade mission in South Korea and flew out Tuesday to attend the news conference.
The $400 million plant is expected to create at least 1,500 high-wage jobs in a farming and industrial community that has suffered during Indiana's manufacturing decline. A Honda plant would lead to a regional hiring boom and could attract applicants from as far away as Indianapolis to Cincinnati.

Honda's assembly line jobs pay about $24 an hour, which would make the plant among the top-paying employers in Greensburg and Decatur County, where the average wage is about $15 an hour.

Speculation about Honda coming to Greensburg has run high since The Indianapolis Star reported in May that the company was buying options on land at three sites near Greensburg, as well as in Ohio and Illinois.

The company acknowledged on May 17 that it was searching for a plant site in the Midwest, but Tuesday declined to confirm it had chosen Greensburg.

Even so, a flurry of actions pointed to Indiana landing one of its biggest economic coups in almost a decade:

Owners of farm tracts where Honda previously had secured options to buy the land were invited by telephone to today's meeting with Honda officials. Landowner John Corya said he was invited and was told that Honda representatives would attend.

Koichi Kondo, president of Honda North America, is expected to make the announcement.

Honda suppliers in Indiana have been suggesting since at least Friday that Honda would choose Greensburg.

Zoning officials today are scheduled to consider a request to rezone 1,600 acres for a Honda site in Greensburg.

Honda's news conference is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. today at the Greensburg Community Learning Center, 422 East Central Ave.

Honda officials would not explain why Kondo, a Honda board member and the company's senior executive in North America, was expected in the small city.

In making a site decision, Honda worked quickly, and came up with a location one month ahead of the late July deadline for announcing the choice.

When The Star disclosed in mid-May that Honda was considering sites in Indiana and Ohio, industry analysts immediately favored Van Wert, Ohio, for logistical reasons. Analysts estimated state and local incentives could total $50 million for the project.

"It sounds like if we get it, it will be the biggest success of Mitch Daniels' tenure,'' said John Mutz, a member of the board of directors of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., the state's job-creating arm. "It's coming to an area that's been depressed economically. And it puts Indiana on the upside of the automobile industry with a high concentration of Toyota plants and now Honda.''

Toyota's $1-billion-plus truck complex near Evansville was begun in the late 1990s. Since then, it has grown to 4,600 employees and has been the biggest industrial plum in a state hungry for factory jobs after losing 98,000 manufacturing positions since 2000.
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NSyorktown

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Rail lines near Greensburg?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2006, 08:42:01 AM »
Anyone want to describe the rail arteries near the Greensburg area.  Would rail traffic from a new Honda plant be routed toward Cincy?  Indy?  Louisville?

I'm not very familiar with the RRs in the Decatur County area.

TIA!

christian hostetler(Guest)

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Re: Honda Plant update!!!
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2006, 09:47:03 AM »
I would imagine that the rail traffic would come from either direction as many of the parts suppliers are located in ohio, and i think some of their suppliers are out west of decatur county. As for railroads the only thing left is the single track former big four main. At one time there was a roundhouse, coaling tower, a decent sized yard, and a crossing and connection with the southern part of the NYC's Michigan division to westport and anderson. And now, thanks to the coming of penn central and avon yard, everything in greensburg is gone except for the main and one siding (part of the former NYC columbus line) to serve the grain elevator along highway 3. I think that in the near future the CINDy will fade out of the picture and it may become contest between NS and CSX. I say that only because the shortlines cannot provide a quick enough shipment for the MOST time sensitive thing that is carried by rail. Just my 2 cents. I will say i wouldnt mind seeing two NS dash 9's running an auto train at 60 mph shelbyville and indianapolis.

CIOR

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Re: Honda Plant update!!!
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2006, 03:04:04 PM »
Greensburg is now a ONE railroad town.  Actually it always was, with the NYC being the player.  The line from Goshen-Marion-Anderson-Louisville crossed the Cincinnati-Indianpolis line here.  Today only the Indy-Cincy line remains, owned by RailAmerica, under operation of CIND (on paper).  Most of the traffic goes to Cincinnati, CSX and some NS.  From what I was told by CSX conductor, they are still interchanging with CSX at Shelbyville.  RA only owns the line to Shelbyville and CSX owns it to Indy.  RA has trackage rights, has then all the way to Frankfort via the I&F.

I seriously would play this as a waiting game as to how much Honda uses rail.  Its biggest reason for locating there was the interstate, with Indy and Cincy gateways within an hour.  I am sure RA will get a healthy chunk of this traffic, as to whom and where it goes from there, its anyones guess.

blue2golf

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Re: Honda Plant update!!!
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2006, 08:38:04 PM »
Quote

Toyota's $1-billion-plus truck complex near Evansville was begun in the late 1990s. Since then, it has grown to 4,600 employees and has been the biggest industrial plum in a state hungry for factory jobs after losing 98,000 manufacturing positions since 2000.

I work at the Toyota plant (Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana) in Gibson County.  That plant has made a significant difference in the regional economy, not to mention my own family's well being.  I am greatly heartened to hear about Honda coming to the state and wish Honda and those eastern Hoosiers well.  

Also, you can expect increased rail traffic in the form of car carriers, of course, but also raw matriels such as rolled steel going in, scrap steel going out and prehaps bulk shipments of resin pellets.
No train expert here fellas, just your average history buff...

Jim(Guest)

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Re: Honda Plant update!!!
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2006, 02:01:29 PM »
I keep seeing people thinking NS or CSXT will just waltz in and take over the CIND.   The fact that what most alalysts said where the three leading sights for this plant (Greensburg, Octa OH, and Van Wert OH) are all Rail America's I&O System served speaks volumes to Honda not wanting to be tied to a single class one carrier, and the trust they must have in Rail America.  

As someone who deals daily with all the class ones and numersous shortline, I can tell you that I if where putting in a new facility that was going to be rail dependant, I sure the heck would NOT locate it where I was tied to a single class one carrier.  I would make sure that I was located in the switching district where other class ones or regionals could market my traffic, or I would make sure I had a contractual agreement with my serving class one that allows other carrier to market my traffic, or I'd just build on a shortline or regional with multiple connections.  Under no circumastances would I limit my self and become captive to just a NS or CSXT, BNSF, or UP, or whoever.   Just 2 cents from someone whos work at a RR or RR related industry for the plast 17 years.

Cheviot_Hill

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Re: Honda Plant update!!!
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2006, 05:12:05 PM »
All I keep hearing is CSX or NS buying it. I just don't understand the thought process. I agree with everything Jim(guest) had to say.

Ken(Guest)

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Re: Honda Plant update!!!
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2006, 08:58:13 PM »
Jim is exactly correct. NS and CSX will not buy this line. First off, why would they buy this. For NS, it does not fit their system. They do not operate into Indianapolis and why would they want to run 70 miles up an essential branch for them when CIND would be doing that and simply handing off the traffic to them at Cincinnati.
For CSX, again, why would they want this line, they already have access to Indianapolis, it would have one large customer, and as with NS, CIND will hand the traffic off to them anyway. It does not fit their systems. Besides, Honda choose this for the purpose of avoiding being tied to a class 1.
From what the early discussions from crew members and people at I & O, there is already talk of more traffic coming into Cincinnati from the DTI Sub (with some coming via the CF&E and some coming from Midland.) Railamerica is already preparing for this plant and have been since the sites were narrowed down.

NSyorktown

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Honda Plant & Maps
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2006, 09:07:16 PM »
To answer my own question that I posted the other day, these maps off the RailAmerica website show the lines between Cincy and Indy.  They are well positioned to move a lot of cars both directions.

http://www.railamerica.com/railmaps.htm

(Click on the Indiana and Ohio RR circle in southeast Indiana)

rogerhensley

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Re: Honda Plant update!!!
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2006, 08:19:58 AM »
Quote
Jim is exactly correct. NS and CSX will not buy this line. First off, why would they buy this. For NS, it does not fit their system. They do not operate into Indianapolis

NS does run into Indy with a daily train in and out.
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Ken(Guest)

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Re: Honda Plant update!!!
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2006, 09:05:05 AM »
Yes, NS operates into Indy, via trackage rights. They own no facilities, track or anything in Indy. These trackage rights were granted to NS as a condition of the CR breakup to increase competition into Indy. It is not a high priority for NS, thus it does not fit their system.

christian hostetler(Guest)

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Re: Honda Plant update!!!
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2006, 09:56:56 AM »
I think that one of the reasons NS would have been a contender for the CINDY is that they handle 70% of all auto traffic handled by the railroads in the US. Also, because norfolk southern also takes great and rightful pride in the way that their track is maintained. i dont think that the CINDY has the resources and CSX sure is heck isn't going to spend very much money on the line. Wouldn't the line have to become one or the other because the CINDY no longer has (?) trackage rights to indy. Wouldnt that become a time problem for honda, seems as how auto traffic is the most time sensitive thing on the rails?

 Just a fan who wants never to see csx in shelbyville or indy again,
                                  Chrsitian

DRLOCO

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Re: Honda Plant update!!!
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2006, 11:08:30 AM »
christian wrote:
I think that one of the reasons NS would have been a contender for the CINDY is that they handle 70% of all auto traffic handled by the railroads in the US. Also, because norfolk southern also takes great and rightful pride in the way that their track is maintained. i dont think that the CINDY has the resources and CSX sure is heck isn't going to spend very much money on the line. Wouldn't the line have to become one or the other because the CINDY no longer has (?) trackage rights to indy. Wouldnt that become a time problem for honda, seems as how auto traffic is the most time sensitive thing on the rails?  
 
 Just a fan who wants never to see csx in shelbyville or indy again,
                                 Chrsitian

He's entitled to his opinions, so I'm going to throw my opinions out there too...and debunk alot of your thoughts.  don't take offense, Christian, I'm just trying to shed some light on the situation for you.

NS will NOT, I repeat, NOT buy this line just to have the plant.  Why? think of the economics of the situation.  When you can pay a shortline non-union crew $10-15 an hour to do the industrial plant work that a unionized $25-35 an hour crew gets, it becomes quite obvious that the Class 1's are NOT interested in switching anymore, and are quite happy to let shortlines do the grunt work, and then interchange the cars to the class1's for it's long haul shipment.  Also, NS isn't the perfect railroad you think it is. All class ones have problems, even though some aren't as obvious as trackwork.

CIND does still have trackage rights to INdy, although they do not use them at present.   IF you did a little looking at the RailAmerica website, you will see they actually advertise a seamless connection between the ISRR and CIND/IORY via Indianapolis.  They let CSX handle the cars from Indy to shelbyville.
What I see happening is CSX and perhaps NS (Althought doubtful) crews handing off trains to the CIND to take up to greensburg.  
ALso, nobody has said exactly WHAT this plant will be producing. THat will make a big difference as to how much rail traffic it gets. If we're talking Honda Lawn mowers, I doubt you see much rail traffic. If we're talking Honda Ridgeline's...well then, you've got yourself some trains to see!

ANd another thing...Be grateful that CSX/CR kept the tracks that still run thru Shelbyville...otherwise, we wouldn't even be discussing greensburg, and it would be like thousands of other midwest towns that become economically depressed with no hope of a recovery after the railroad leaves town.
CSX is here to stay. Get used to it. I have.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2006, 11:09:26 AM by DRLOCO »
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Jim(Guest)

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Re: Honda Plant update!!!
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2006, 04:11:23 PM »
"ALso, nobody has said exactly WHAT this plant will be producing. THat will make a big difference as to how much rail traffic it gets. If we're talking Honda Lawn mowers, I doubt you see much rail traffic. If we're talking Honda Ridgeline's...well then, you've got yourself some trains to see!"

It is an auto plant.  Honda says a fuel effecient 4 cylinder car. Rumor is CIVIC or the new FIT.  Production is to be 200000 units per year.  Published reports have Honda saying 80% of finished product will go via rail.  80% of 200000 is 160000.  18 cars on an auto rack is 8889 loads per year - if you squeeze 21 on the rack, your still looking at 7619 per year.  If you figure 250 production days per year, that 31 to 36 loads per day, and equall number of empties coming in.  

If it all goes east to CSXT or NS, or stays on I&O system for a longer ride, you're probably looking at a daily (days plant is operating) rack train.  If some goes west to CSXT, who knows how they'd handle (I would presonally be surprised if much goes to Indy - based on rates I deal with, I can't see CSXT being very competitive on shorthauling themsleves to Chicago or St Louis vs what I&O would charge to Chicago via CFE).  Wiid card will be hom much ram material and parts comes in by rail - I would think some basic raw material would (steel) but I bet most parts come via truck.  

My guess is there will be yard job based at Greensburg that will handle plant, other local work, and CSXT/ISRR interchange, and that there will be a daily train operating Cincinnati-Greensburg with a block of racks and mised freight.

Good thing is CIND will get some much needed track work (remeber, they are not the small local company they used to be in the 90's - if all RailAmerica lines where merged into one company, they would be in the small class 1 range).  A better. more reliable track with more frequent service may grow more non Honda business - nothing creates growth like growth.

Jim(Guest)

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Re: Honda Plant update!!!
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2006, 04:23:58 PM »
One last thing least we forget - the traffic you are currently seeing moving between CIND and CSXT at Shelbyville is (with the execption of the DJJX gondolas) primarily IORY to/from ISRR traffic.  All the tankers you see are ethanol cars to/from ISRR, plus there has been some grain and steel business move that way.  CSXT just handles this as an intermediate for a flat nominal fee.   RailAmerica activly markets ISRR,CIND,IORY,and CFE as one seemless system.  Using the Honda plant to improve the CIND can't do anything but help in the abilty to market line as a through route.

Cheviot_Hill

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Re: Honda Plant update!!!
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2006, 05:08:20 PM »
Jim I got a question for you. Do you think that CSX/Rail America might rebuild the old Hill Yard for interchange of the traffic going west to Indy? Also I wonder to what extent Rail America will rebuild Greensburgs old yard. I wonder if Rail America will get most of the support traffic (raw materials) in Ohio for shipment to the Honda Plant? I can see the motors that will be coming from Anna Ohio being delivered (trucked) at a site in Quincy, where I&O runs through. I also can see CSX delivering the engines to Queensgate to be delivered to the CIND line. I know this is all speculative at this time, but it does make for some good what if's. Any thoughts?
« Last Edit: June 30, 2006, 05:10:03 PM by Cheviot_Hill »

Jim(Guest)

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Re: Honda Plant update!!!
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2006, 11:59:09 AM »
Doubt you'll see much of any physical plant investement by any Class 1 in Indy or Cincinnati.  Let face it, 35 car loads of cars and any associated inbound material is not really that big of a deal in a terminal like Indy or Cincy.  

Last I saw the interchange agreement (and I doubt it's changed much since then), interchange point is Beech Grove IN (and I know it still is on paper and for revenue purposes) and the designated interchange track is (if I remeber correctly) called the wall track - it is the siding between Emerson Ave and Sherman Ave immediatly adjacent to the main line.   Since the J774 would work this track as well as Shelbyville, CIND and CSXT entered into a carrier convienence agreement to do physical interchange at Shelbyville, since volume is light.   Shold volume grow, physical interchange would revert to track at Beech Grove.  I remeber correctly (it's been 7 or 8 years since I saw the agreement), should CIND interchange grow to an amount greater than can be accomidated at Beech Grove, arangements would be made for CIND to operate into Hawthore.  So basically, there are procedures in place already that should handle the traffic - no need to reinvent the wheel.

As for Greensburg, there will be a yard I'm sure - doubt it will be where the old yard was though.  When Decatur County rezoned the groud this week, there was a language which addressed construction of rail support facilities.  Also, the plans that are starting to be made public show among other things a relocated main line in the plant area - Looks like 2 or 3 miles of main line west of Vandalia raod and east of Adams IN will be swung considerable south around plant.  If you're relocating the main, not that big a deal to grade in and build a nice yard while you're at it.

If Honda follows the model used by Toyota and others, the assembly plant itself will NOT be rail served.  However, the auto load out faicilty will be rail served and various support plants (metal stamping, plastic extrusion, etc) will likely he rail served.  Honda's releases say there will be metal stamping and plastic extrusion facilities as part of the deal, so I could see coild steel and pellets. However, only thing Honda has said so far about rail is 80% of output wiill go via rail.

Ken(Guest)

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Re: Honda Plant update!!!
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2006, 02:24:26 PM »
Jim, what do you think. Here is what I see as for operations on CIND.

Rack Train: 30-40 racks into Honda per day
Rack Train: 30-40 out of Honda per day

This should be a spot and pull by the same crew.

On this train I would think you could see the following.

1-5 parts box cars (If any parts will move by rail)
2-6 Plastic pellet cars
2-6 steel coil cars.

That will make you about a 50 car train each way per day.

Also, I would think with the upgrade of the line you will see more traffic moving via CIND west and east, so I could see a road freight being put on per day.

You will have a local based at Greensburg and the locals at Valley Jct.

I would think that this move will make the line fairl busy. Jim do you think they may need to extend the siding at Sunman and possibly put in a siding somewhere, otherwise you would have little flexibility in operations as you could not make meets out there as the sidings are too short.

Jim(Guest)

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Re: Honda Plant update!!!
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2006, 02:49:47 PM »
Ken,

If you are the Ken I think you are (that would mean I'm the Jim you think I am), then you know you only looking at 50 miles from Valley to Greensburg.  Talk right now (and you know what I mean) is upgrade to 40-45 standards, so you would be loking at less than 2 hours Valley to Greensburg, sso passing track(s) may be mute.

Your opearating plan is right in line with what I am thinking and hearing - HOWEVER, depending on what all plays out, the racks may move in dedicated service.

Early official indications are Sunman siding will remain it's same little weed choked self and continue to be used as an inspection/storage/light repair track for a certain somebody cars.  If some sort of passing track is needed, it will likely be built new on the existing roadbed of the old #2 main somewhere.

As for track repairs, etc., it is my OPINION that some of the millions earmarked for the region by the state for variuous Honda related infrastructure imrovements will trickle into I&O to assist in track work.