• CSX Track Upgrades & Infrastructure of Pan Am

  • 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 A215
 
newpylong wrote: Tue Oct 11, 2022 8:41 pm A few negatives to that:

-they don't own between Brunswick and Augusta
-it would bypass both Leeds and Danville junction. They would have to maintain both routes. May not be cost effective.
-Currently no double iron to pass Amtrak between Royal and Brunswick.
Counter argument to this may be the Lower Road becomes exclusive to I/M if it ever materialized. No traffic to fight between Waterville and Royal other than fitting the Amtrak schedule, and it's a pretty short run from Brunswick to Royal at 40mph.
  by CN9634
 
MaineDOT would probably long term lease it to them for $1 a year plus maintenance costs. No tax burden either.

I suspect in this scenario that Leeds Jct to Oakland gets abandoned. Then Royal to Rumford becomes a branch line with a pair of roadswitch jobs handling the Rumford and Danville traffic daily.
  by A215
 
CN9634 wrote: Wed Oct 12, 2022 1:32 pm I suspect in this scenario that Leeds Jct to Oakland gets abandoned. Then Royal to Rumford becomes a branch line with a pair of roadswitch jobs handling the Rumford and Danville traffic daily.
With the grant in play for Royal-Waterville rehab I kinda doubt this would happen, the work is supposed to begin next year.
  by F74265A
 
Rehab now of the backroad is not inconsistent with a later rebuilding of, and movement of traffic to, lower road. Back road needs maintenance now and csx is still years away from moving DS from SJ over the pan am system. There are lots of clearance and track issues to be fixed on the route from Worcester to mattawamkeag first. Query if the big bridge in Augusta is still in decent shape. Cost of rebuilding lower road would be much higher if a new bridge was needed
  by Cosakita18
 
Danville-Rigby is already DS / Autorack cleared, and there can't be so many clearance issues between Danville and Waterville that spending $100 million + to rehab the lower road would be the easier option.
  by S1f3432
 
F74265A said "I read somewhere that mec preferred to run eastbound trains on the lower road bc of the grade."

It was the other way around- eastbounds RB1, RB3, B11 on the Back Road via Lewiston and BR2, BR4 and B12
westbound on the Lower Road via Brunswick. On the Back Road there is a curvy 1%+ grade westbound
between Waterville and Oakland while the Lower Road ruling grade westbound is a shorter, less severe grade
up through Deep Cut at Hillside, west of Brunswick.

The State of Maine's long term dream of passenger service expansion has always seemed to favor the Low
Road Via Brunswick and Augusta to Bangor. With the State already owning Brunswick to Augusta along
with a closely situated rail trail Augusta to Gardiner, negotiations could certainly be interesting.
  by F74265A
 
I think it is a very intriguing idea.
Perhaps ME financially helps csx restore lower road in exchange for cooperation on Amtrak extension north from Brunswick. I know passenger rail north of Brunswick has been a long government goal. This would allow it to serve Augusta albeit at the expense of auburn and Lewiston. Amtrak on the back road never made sense to me

The rail trail can be addressed. I don’t think the route was ever formally abandoned so the trail people can, well, just move out of the way

And I was 1/2 right about better grades on lower road
  by BM6569
 
This makes a lot of sense. Would be fun if it actually happened! LOL
  by NHV 669
 
They'd have to rebuild an entirely new bridge, abutments and all, over Route 24 in Richmond as well.
  by NYC27
 
The state doesn't want freight trains through downtown Augusta and they certainly don't want to give up the parking lot they have built on the ROW there. They also have "temporarily" torn out a bridge in the Brunswick area. As for show stoppers, the bike trail is too close to the tracks for comfort on many stretches....and they are looking to extend. The state's silent sabotage of the right-of-way has effectively killed it as a freight line.

The Back Road is cleared for stacks between Portland and Danville Jct. and there aren't many bridges between there and Waterville. I think there is actually only a single low bridge. There are also only four trains a day between Leeds and Royal, it isn't like they are starved for capacity and if they need it, much cheaper to invest in sidings than a directional double track.
  by F74265A
 
Do they prefer Amtrak svc to Augusta more than they like a bike trail and a small parking lot? I don’t know. But I do know things can get moved by government if it is so inclined
  by CPF66
 
CN9634 wrote:I'm told CSX is seriously interested in the Low Road. Sounds as though it has less obstructions relative to double stack clearing. I guess when you have to rebuild everything from the ground up anyways you can pick the most long term advantageous line.
I heard that CSX is going to also reopen the Mountain Division to haul unit water trains to Montreal.
But in all reality, for the cost of the Lower Road rehab, it would be about the same to get the clearances up on the back road. To my knowledge CSX doesn't like to lease trackage and the state doesn't like to sell (Irving has made several attempts to purchase the exMMA trackage). But I really don't see this ever happening, as the legislature passed a bill last summer to convert the Lower road into a trail, which its just pending approval from an engineering firm before it goes out to bid. As part of the bill which was passed that paved the way for every state owned piece of track in Maine to have a trail group fighting to remove it, the legislature added some fine print which makes it much easier for trails to be built. And on the flip side, so the state doesn't waste millions on a trail that might have to be torn up before its lifespan is over, should the rail line be reactivated, the legislature added some criteria for line reactivation. Although I don't think its been fully worked out yet, I know that it mainly hinges on what the public wants, which I highly doubt anyone in the growing towns along the route have any interest in freight trains going by. There was also some previsions that required the railroad to haul x amount of tonnage from industries located directly on the line, to be a Canidate for reactivation but I think that wording was removed. At the end of the day, you will see bicycles and walking clubs going down the Lower Road before you ever see another freight move.
  by johnpbarlow
 
At around 0530 Wednesday 10/19/22, M426 breezed through Springfield Union Station with what looks to be ballast cleaning equipment on the marker. Perhaps headed for work on the freshly rejuvenated Worcester Main? Or Rigby yard? Or further north? Anyone know?
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  by sextant
 
I would walk the right of way and find rotting ties that crumble under my feet and hands. I would find date nails from 1800s. Freight Trains would sit for days on near Shelburne Falls MA waiting for crews. Guilford would abandon branch lines with active customers with little or no notice. Guilford also tried taking over the D&H to mine coal tailings from its right of way. Guildford broke a strike by saying that the entire railroad was a entity called Springfield Terminal and parked all of its assets under a ghost 5 mile short line in Vermont. The Words Fink and Tim Mellon and Guilford are poison to most railroaders ears.. :( ... Maybe just maybe CSX will put some money into this operation to make it a real railroad again.
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