• Activity on the Mountain Branch (Portland to Westbrook)

  • Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.
Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

Moderator: MEC407

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  by roberttosh
 
If the state rebuilt track to accommodate every proposed forest product manufacturer that never came to fruition it would be bankrupt. Even if that facility was built I think there was some serious doubt as to how much if any they would use rail. Why not wait until they at least break ground before starting the rebuild vs going on pure speculation? This wasn't some drop in the bucket expenditure but more like several million dollars we're talking about here.
  by gokeefe
 

BandA wrote:I thought ties lasted about 40 years?
That's the correct number if you're talking about active rail use. Brand new ties with nothing running over them? Completely different question.



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  by gokeefe
 

roberttosh wrote:Why not wait until they at least break ground before starting the rebuild vs going on pure speculation?
My working assumption is that they did more or less exactly that. Changing market conditions or an unexpected event (such as loss of financing) would explain project failure. Same with scenarios such as personal illness of the owner or a death in the family that changes future business plans.



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  by Cosakita18
 
I find it weird that I've never seen or heard anything about the plant itself. Nor can i find any info about it online. You'd think a substantial industrial proposal so close to Westbrook and Portland would get at least SOME media attention, not to mention robust opposition from nearby residents...which of course generates more media coverage. On top of that, that there are no maps, renderings, planning documents, DEP perments....nothing.

All of this makes me think that it was never a particularly serious plan, or at least was in the VERY early stages of development.
  by gokeefe
 
I recall some information was in Maine DOTs grant applications (TIGER maybe?) to USDOT. It did not get much media coverage at the time. The track restoration got a fair amount but that was it.

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  by oibu
 
Is there any traffic left on this segment of the Mountain besides Sappi? Does anyone know the frequency or predictability of service? I'm guessing it's hit and miss with PO-whatever just delivering cars "as needed".
  by Cosakita18
 
I'm not sure how much volume Sappi is doing right now but they take at least a few inbound loads per week. Dead River has a distribution facility just west of Larrabee Rd which is a fairly consistent operation and probably a larger customer than Sappi at this point .

A local works the branch usually twice a week although that varies. Might be a bit more in the fall and winter when demand for heating oil is high.
Last edited by MEC407 on Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quoting
  by S1f3432
 
Shutting down the paper machine at Sappi probably won't help the inbound chemical traffic any.
  by gokeefe
 
My thoughts as well. Dead River is probably going to be the last customer anywhere on the Mountain Division.

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  by markhb
 
According to a post on another forum, the Westbrook Planning Board has a site plan on its docket that indicates that Pan Am has sold the connecting pieces to Sappi's east (outbound) side: the little stretch between Main and Cumberland Sts. that had long since turned into someone's yard (visible here), and the loop from the MD that led to it (coming from behind the POV in that link). Both are going to be redeveloped, one of which is what is before the PB. Apparently the tracks across the rotary have been removed already.
  by MEC407
 
I was over there a few weeks ago and saw workers and heavy equipment ripping up the tracks. It didn't appear to be a railroad crew.
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