Maine Eastern Railroad (MERR) Discussion

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Otto Vondrak
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Maine Eastern Railroad (MERR) Discussion

Post by Otto Vondrak »

This thread is for the discussion of Maine Eastern Railroad's operations, equipment, and history.

Official Web Site: http://www.maineeasternrailroad.com/

-otto-
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bruceclouette
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Maine Eastern Caboose

Post by bruceclouette »

Over the last couple years there have been a number of pictures posted on the 'net of an extended vision caboose that was supposely going to painted in Maine Eastern colors. Did that ever happen? Or is it still red and unlettered?

Watchman318
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Re: Maine Eastern Caboose

Post by Watchman318 »

bruceclouette wrote:Over the last couple years there have been a number of pictures posted on the 'net of an extended vision caboose that was supposely going to painted in Maine Eastern colors. Did that ever happen? Or is it still red and unlettered?
I haven't been to Rockland in months, but I'll try to remember to look for the caboose the next time I go past the MERR yard. Best I can remember, it's still red.

Watchman318
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (ME) Thread - 2011

Post by Watchman318 »

I was in Rockland this afternoon, and drove past the MERR yard. Driving southward on Rt.1, I took note of all the freight cars in there*, and then remembered the query about the caboose. Reversed direction at Pleasant St., and came back along the south side of the yard to see if I could spot the caboose.
It is sitting near the old freight house, still maroon/red, with no lettering that I could see. The weather was crappy and I didn't feel like getting out of my truck for a closer look. (My camera battery crapped out while I was there, too. :-( Bummer.)

*Four ATSF covered hoppers, a couple of different types, most likely "Chemrocks." The snowplow was sitting there looking bored, with a couple of ballast cars behind it. The longest string of CN 374-series covered hoppers I have ever seen on the Rockland Branch was on another track, maybe a dozen of 'em. I'm used to seeing those mixed in various combinations with the Dragon (DPCX) Flexi-Flo cars, going to Canada with cement or returning empty.
There was also a tamper that I haven't seen before, and another (small) piece of MoW equipment sitting on a stub track that connects to the turntable but has no connection on its east end. The tamper looked recently painted, but was unlettered.

TPR37777
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (ME) Thread - 2011

Post by TPR37777 »

Watchman318 wrote:I was in Rockland this afternoon, and drove past the MERR yard. Driving southward on Rt.1, I took note of all the freight cars in there*, and then remembered the query about the caboose. Reversed direction at Pleasant St., and came back along the south side of the yard to see if I could spot the caboose.
It is sitting near the old freight house, still maroon/red, with no lettering that I could see. The weather was crappy and I didn't feel like getting out of my truck for a closer look. (My camera battery crapped out while I was there, too. :-( Bummer.)

*Four ATSF covered hoppers, a couple of different types, most likely "Chemrocks." The snowplow was sitting there looking bored, with a couple of ballast cars behind it. The longest string of CN 374-series covered hoppers I have ever seen on the Rockland Branch was on another track, maybe a dozen of 'em. I'm used to seeing those mixed in various combinations with the Dragon (DPCX) Flexi-Flo cars, going to Canada with cement or returning empty.
There was also a tamper that I haven't seen before, and another (small) piece of MoW equipment sitting on a stub track that connects to the turntable but has no connection on its east end. The tamper looked recently painted, but was unlettered.
Gee whiz....sounds like you were trespassing....too bad some wannabe cop wasn't around in his pickup truck to chase you out of there....kinda like your truck.....

Watchman318
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (ME) Thread - 2011

Post by Watchman318 »

TPR37777 wrote:Gee whiz....sounds like you were trespassing....
I hate to disappoint ya, but I wasn't.

markhb
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (ME) - Wikipedia Help

Post by markhb »

Hi,
I'd like to get MERR set up in Wikipedia so it can display stations, etc. like any other passenger line (I'm jumping the gun on the 2012 connection to the Downeaster). I've submitted what I think are all the necessary templates -- Lines, Stations, Color (I used the gold from their website), and the left and right termini. I'm wondering if anyone is in a position to start pages for the Bath and Wiscasset stations; Bath's would obviously be more interesting (I believe Wiscasset is currently just a platform), but if anyone has info on the historical station there that would give the page a bit more meat. Maine Street Station in Brunswick and Rockland Train Station already have their own pages. TIA.
"...And then I thought, every time some company creates a more powerful locomotive does Superman become more powerful as well or is he stuck at 1938 locomotive power levels?" - A friend of mine elsewhere
Anything I post here is mine alone and does not represent the views of my employer.

bruceclouette
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (ME) Thread - 2011

Post by bruceclouette »

Watchman - thanks for the update.

Watchman318
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (ME) - Wikipedia Help

Post by Watchman318 »

markhb wrote:I'd like to get MERR set up in Wikipedia so it can display stations, etc. like any other passenger line (I'm jumping the gun on the 2012 connection to the Downeaster). I've submitted what I think are all the necessary templates -- Lines, Stations, Color (I used the gold from their website), and the left and right termini. I'm wondering if anyone is in a position to start pages for the Bath and Wiscasset stations; Bath's would obviously be more interesting (I believe Wiscasset is currently just a platform), but if anyone has info on the historical station there that would give the page a bit more meat.
Cool. I dunno if I could start a page, but I might be able to dig up some data for someone else. If GPS location or anything like that would be useful, let me know.

There is a small cinder-block building next to the platform at Wiscasset which in Maine Coast days was their ticket booth. The main portion of that building is public restrooms near the town pier, and the corner with windows was used by MC. That's now the harbormaster's office.
bruceclouette wrote:Watchman - thanks for the update.
You're welcome. Let me know if you want photos, etc.

markhb
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (ME) - Wikipedia Help

Post by markhb »

Watchman318 wrote:
markhb wrote:I'd like to get MERR set up in Wikipedia so it can display stations, etc. like any other passenger line (I'm jumping the gun on the 2012 connection to the Downeaster). I've submitted what I think are all the necessary templates -- Lines, Stations, Color (I used the gold from their website), and the left and right termini. I'm wondering if anyone is in a position to start pages for the Bath and Wiscasset stations; Bath's would obviously be more interesting (I believe Wiscasset is currently just a platform), but if anyone has info on the historical station there that would give the page a bit more meat.
Cool. I dunno if I could start a page, but I might be able to dig up some data for someone else. If GPS location or anything like that would be useful, let me know.

There is a small cinder-block building next to the platform at Wiscasset which in Maine Coast days was their ticket booth. The main portion of that building is public restrooms near the town pier, and the corner with windows was used by MC. That's now the harbormaster's office
Watchman, that would be fantastic. If you take a look at the existing Infoboxes (the stats box on the right) for Portland and Rockland (although Rockland uses a NRHS template), you can see the kinds of things that would be good to include:
  • Street address and/or GPS coordinates
  • Any available parking and if it's charged for
  • Is the platform wheelchair-accessible? Lit? Covered?
  • Number of tracks going through the station area (I imagine 1 in Wiscasset)
  • Any bicycle racks? (I doubt MERR actualy accepts bikes on board but is there a rack there?)
  • If you can take a photo that you'd be willing to upload under WP's standard licensing, that would be awesome!
The full list of things WP has in their station template is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Infobox_station , but many of them won't apply (unless we think MERR is going to electrify the line in the next few years :) ). I know I've listed a bunch of stuff, but really, anything at all you could supply would be appreciated!

I think I am going to post a request in the WW&F thread as well; they might know something about former Wiscasset station facilities that might help expand that page.
"...And then I thought, every time some company creates a more powerful locomotive does Superman become more powerful as well or is he stuck at 1938 locomotive power levels?" - A friend of mine elsewhere
Anything I post here is mine alone and does not represent the views of my employer.

DelLackWestern
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (ME) Thread - 2011

Post by DelLackWestern »

I was in Rockland today with the family, mostly to eat lunch but also caught a glimpse of the the freight yard on the way out of town. We are going to try the Brunswick or Wiscasset to Rockland run later in June or July. Today's run ran the wrong way for us (outbound from Rockland in the AM and then back in the PM).

I always thought that the existing ROW through Rockland was a bit odd--a large, almost circular loop that winds south of town and then along the waterfront. Leaving town today, it occurred to me that this was likely a waterfront track and not the old mainline into some sort of in-town terminal.

Just now, looking at Google Earth, it appears that their was a large yard coming up through the Union Street area. It looks like there may still be track (or at least ties) in place in some areas. (Forgive me, I have spent very little time in the town). Is the large building at the junction of Union and Rt. 1 the old passenger station? If so, when did MEC cut off the original trackage into the core of downtown?

Having been a NJ Transit commuter years ago, it was also interesting to see a Comet car in the yard, plus a turntable in the aerial view!

ChrisU
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (ME) Thread - 2011

Post by ChrisU »

489 was back at Whippany on the Morristown & Erie on 6/5/11.
http://i677.photobucket.com/albums/vv14 ... C_2090.jpg

FatNoah
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (ME) Thread - 2011

Post by FatNoah »

Just now, looking at Google Earth, it appears that their was a large yard coming up through the Union Street area.
I think some of the yard trackage is still active as the Rockland Station is on Union street. The Google satellite seems out of date. If you look at street view, you can see that grade crossings are intact and there's even a train in the station.

gokeefe
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (ME) Thread - 2011

Post by gokeefe »

Over the last couple of years it seems that we've had a shortage of information regarding operations on the Rockland Branch by Maine Eastern.

This may be due to personnel changes or something else. I for one would like to know what ridership has been looking like on the trains, how far along the latest tie replacement project is, and what the overall state of the line is.

If anyone out there knows or has a good idea please feel free to post (yes lurkers this means you too!).

This railroad has a (potentially) very important role to play in the upcoming arrival of the Downeaster to Brunswick and in essence is going to be an incubator for the first intra-state rail service in Maine since the mid-1950s. Knowing how they are doing prior to the arrival of the Downeaster will certainly make it easier to judge whether or not the Downeaster is having a year over year impact by relative comparison.
gokeefe

emtpjimd
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (ME) Thread - 2011

Post by emtpjimd »

I was up there this past weekend for the first time....I didn't notice trackwork being donem but the track appeared in great shape, CWR on the entire route; ridership was low however. Speaking with a crew member, the ridership is slowly picking up this year. Power was the 488; they said the 489 has been MIA in NJ and there's no word on when it could be returned. No food car on the train, apparently the A/C was out, but we did ride aboard the parlor/obs car....quite a nice trip.

The new Brunswick station is beautiful, platforms still under construction. The contact I spoke with stated there is consideration at year round ops to connect with the Downeaster once it comes to Brunswick; I can tell that is to be seen still.

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