• Brunswick Branch Activity

  • 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

  by NaugMOW
WCSH-6 reported tonight that Amtrak's Downeaster ran from Portland to Brunswick today to connect to the Rockland-Brunswick rail service. I think someone said in another post that Guilford wanted $70 million in liability to do such a thing. It seems like the track north of Portland is in such rough shape that I can't imagine the FRA allowing Amtrak service on it. BUT, recently someone reported seeing an FRA test car somewhere around Portland, could it have been testing the track for passenger service????

What do you all think.

  by CSX Conductor
The FRA 'T-2000' inspection vehicle did head toward Portland after hitting Guilford's property............perhaps that is one of the trip's purposes.
  by wolfmom69
That was indeed one of the purposes of the FRA track inspection car,as well as continuing up the recently rehabed Rockland Branch,so the OK was given. Guilford had been working doing tie replacements for 10 straight days before yesterdays trip,but obviously in "spots".The 3-4 times a week Guilford way freights up the branch travel at 10 mph,the whole length(with even a couple of 5 mph restrictions)-so we were amazed when the Downeaster was doing 25 mph,by my speedometer alongside Route 1 highway. In fact,for most of the trip,except for stops. Besides the tie work just done; a)every crossing had either a GRS or local cop,or signal person to stop traffic in event of a non working crosssing. People are used to the plodding freights,so couldntve judged the Downeasters 2 times speed.b)the lower road has remained in pretty good shape,since a major rehab in 1983(and has seen little use since).c)There are only a couple of switches(at the SLR diamond/inactive interchange @ Yarmouth Jct.) to contend with,so no industrial sidings & the 1 major passing track at Hillside just west of Brunswick,has had both frogs removed years ago. But I dont expect to see the GRS freights doing 25 mph,the crossings remain a major issue. All in all,a great day to see a revival after nearly 44 years,especially talking to people in their 70s & 80s,who were once regular rail passengers. Thanks to State of Maine,Guilford & Maine Eastern! Bud :P

  by CSX Conductor
WolfMom, first off, it is common practice to have 2 different speeds for the same temporary speed restriction (i.e. 25MPH for passenger & 10MPH for freight)

secondly, good move on the railroads part by posting people at each highway crossing...........but I have no sympathy for someone that misjudges the speed of a train and then gets hit by running the crossing when lights and or gates are on..............not only is it a risky choice, but it is also illegal.

  by NaugMOW
Who managed to talk Guilford out of collecting for insurance?
  by nygiants21
the old branch line that runs through Freeport, Maine is supposed to have amtrak passenger service going sometime soon. unfortunately, it has been put off a while due to lack of funds. can anyone tell me the current estimate of when the passenger service will ACTUALLY happen and when upgrades will ACTUALLY be made (e.g. gating some of the rr x-ing's in freeport, upgrading the 10 mph branch to faster speeds, etc.)

p.s. i know that the freeport branch is active, but how often do trains run through there?
  by wolfmom69
The "branch line" that runs through Freeport,was NOT a branch line for roughly 150 years(ended in 1984),but the Lower Road,from Portland to Waterville via Augusta. This and the Back Road,via Lewiston,met again at Waterville. Brunswick was a major rail junction,with a Lewiston Lower Branch(inactive since late 1987) radiating from there,the active Rockand Branch,and of course the Lower Road(currently not active).

Guilford has been "tardy" in making connections with the current operator of the Rockland Branch,Maine Eastern(I was railfanning in Brunswick today,and Guilford has not sent a train to Brunswick,in well over a week. one was due today,after Guilford finally ran a "critter plow" up there yesterday;todays promised train was very late,if it showed at all!!(Maine Eastern engine waiting patiently,and close to 30 cars awaiting pickup by Guilford) This is NOT good for the cement traffic from Thomaston,that Maine Eastern is trying to increase! But once the few remainingl debris are removed from the Maine Yankee Atomic Power Plant site,there will be virtually NO consignees on the Rockland Branch.

When the line from Rockland to Brunswick was being rehabed,and Maine Yankee was first being demolished,2-3 Guilford trains a week,but not any more! Ironically,the Lower Road,from Royal Jct. in Cumberland,where the Back Road(Guilford freight mainline) 'split",was rehabed a little this summer,for "1" Amtrak special train",with speeds (except through crossings in Downtown Freeport/Yarmouth) (,up to 25 mph!!!-from 10 mph.

Sorry for the long post,but I don't think you will see "regular" passenger service from Portland to Brunswick for quite a while.(unless we continue to drive "trucks".wasting our imported fuel!!!). There would be a slight demand for Portland to Freeport(for the many shopping outlets),but not much to do in Brunswick. I wouldn't rate the weekend excursion trains Brunswick to Rockland last year a great success either. So,who knows!? Bud :(

  by bwparker1
When I am up in maine this May, I am going to shoot a letter off to Gov. Baldacci and request that the State seize the Lower Road by eminent Domain. That way they can actually get some use of it. Good or Bad, Guilford doesn't deserve to run this line anymore, nor should the be allowed to run freight service in Maine (Not to slight the T&E employees, it is the management who just don't seem to get it)

Former Freeport Resident

  by trainhq
Remember, Guilford only owns the tracks from Yarmouth Junction to Brunswick; the proposed
Downeaster Route goes down the Maine Central
from Yarmouth Jct.

Not that matters much either way; the real issue
is lack of $$$. Either route will require considerable
upgrade for Downeaster style service, which won't happen any time soon. They're still trying to get
a fifth train on the current line and pay for that;
an extension to Brunswick in my opinion is more
than 3 years away.
  by henry6
...that the folks at Guilford have taken to heart the railoroad non operating rules laid down by Conrail, in which, according to Rule 10, paragraph 4, on page 69: "where there is track that might be usable by some other entity, be it a railroad or community industrial agency or commuter or travel authority or other business which might generate traffic, and we don't want to operate it because it either means we have to invest money, time, and personell, or that we feel it won't bring in 300% return on investment within the first week or it takes away from the profit of the main business of saving money, the track and situation will be ignored. Under no circumstance will the track be sold, leased or given to anyone else, and in no way will we officially abandon the track less one of the above get it. We don't want it, but we don't want anybody else to have it."

  by trainhq
Remember, Amtrak has (or had? will it soon be in the
past tense?) the authority to run passenger trains on
any freight lines. They've already negotiated (albeit
very contentiously) with Guilford over the existing
Downeaster tracks, and I'm sure they'll do the same
over the tracks from Yarmouth to Brunswick. The
issue is $$$ from the state of Maine or the feds. The
rest will follow (albeit, again, contentiously) once that

  by bwparker1
Well said Henry!! That is there exact philosophy.

  by MEC407
Article in today's Portland Press Herald:

http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/ ... tion.shtml

  by arsenall79
I think that would be great if they could connect Brunswick. With Bowdoin right there, there would be a lot of potential traffic to Portland (especially on the weekends). Its nice to see that there is some community support, so hopefully this plan will be able to move quickly.

Since this plan has been in the pipes for a bit, would the Brunswick stop be an extension of the Acela or would it operate as its own branch?