• ex-Maine Central Calais Branch

  • Discussion relating to the pre-1983 B&M and MEC railroads. For current operations, please see the Pan Am Railways Forum.
Discussion relating to the pre-1983 B&M and MEC railroads. For current operations, please see the Pan Am Railways Forum.

Moderator: MEC407

  by Cowford
Just one other thing. You gotta think... This branch has been dormant for 20 years. And the only thing that kept it going for years before that was the Woodland mill and government regulation. The Eastport Branch was ripped up nearly 30 years ago! Nothing has changed since then in Washington County.... other than negative population growth. The railroad faded away with the decline of the county, not the other way around.

  by NRGeep
Would companies along the branch now using trucks consider converting to rail? :-) If not, then the potential for reopening the line seems slim. :(

  by roberttosh
The recent permanent closing of the LP (formerly GP) OSB plant at Woodland, which when operating shipped a steady 5 railcars per day certainly isn't going to help things from a freight potential standpoint; especially considering that almost all the Woodpulp produced at the Domtar plant right next door (also formerly GP) is now exported through Eastport as opposed to being rail domestically. GP's Woodland plants were the lifeblood of this line but now there's unfortunately little potential for freight business for the railroad.

  by Highball
My home area lost all it's branchlines in the late 80's to early 90's. I also have witnessed the idea of multi use recreational trails created from former rail lines, not to be so. Once the ATV's use these trails, especially, in any numbers, then safety for hikers, bikers, etc. becomes an issue.

A more important matter, is that these trails require much more maintenace, with the use by motorized vehicles, such as ATVs. Therefore, the issue of funding comes into the eqation at some point.......who pays ?

I have a picture from a Maine Railroading book, taken in April 1984, at Machias, which I find most fascinating, of the Calais Branch. The train, a long one at that, has a good size block of Intermodal on the headend, in the form of Highway Trailers. The trailers contained beer, originating from New Brunswick.

One of the last attempts of the Maine Central RR to bring more traffic to this line was to try piggyback trailers on the line. Some of the trailers came from the Atlantic Provinces. Moosehead Beer,Paper from the paper mill in Woodland etc. One of the ramps still survive in Woodland where trailers were loaded on flatcars. Now trucks take most of the paper and pulp by truck. Moosehead Beer still moves by rail on the NBSR

  by murray83
in the future i was hopeing to go to Woodland when i'm in Calais the next time i'm down. my question is how far are the plants from the Calais/St Stephen border crossing? its for modeling purposes also anyone know what guilford unit/s are in woodland?

heres another idea.....why won't guilford sell the isolated operation to the nbsr? i can't see why guilford would want an isolated switching operation when its so far from any other of their lines,i know they're payed per car move but i can't see why they'd want to keep an engine and crew tied up there for what little work there is when the nbsr goes down there daily. anyway plus irving would be interested in possibly connecting with Eastport for an alternative to Saint John i'm not sure about the port's rail access but it already deals with forest products i believe and since irving is complaining about Saint John's shipping rates you'd think he'd explore this option and as you've people mentioned excursion service would add additional revenues who knows i'm so surprised shipping companies oversee Eastport as from what i told sadly it was thought of having alot of potentional

  by rb
One more question: how busy is Eastport? I've been to Calais twice and didn't even know there was a port facility down there. The port site says they run 2 tugs of their own, and I am wondering how frequently pulp/lumber vessels actually call there.

The current GRS engine at Woodland is the 208. The Calais to Woodland segment of the old Calais to Bangor route was negotiated by the past owner of the Paper Mill and the OSB mill GP.They pay a set fee to GRS to maintain the line plus carload rates. Perhaps if NBSR was to get the line the freight might get routed off of GRS for the moves in USA.
There are no tracks from Eastport to Ayres Junction Approximately 25 miles, the rail was pulled up about 10 years ago.
As for Eastport the new dock was built outside of town and sees approximately 1 ship a week, for paper and pulp. They have a large warehouse there that can store paper and pulp for each ship in advance.All the product is shipped by truck to the dock. The NBSR has a dock at Bayside NB near St. Andrews that had rail service but was abandoned. Most of the rail is still in place.

  by murray83
thanks :)

i always thought i'd be great if somehow irving could build a branch from st george (the lake utopia paper mill) to the junction of the old cp were it split the name escapes me rite now but 1 line went to bayside and the other to st stephen, lake utopia is a very large mill and busy yet no rail service.

tie it into the st stephen sub,have the nbsr buy out guilfords agreement...run that and somehow get the line to eastport running again at least to the port

irving was upset with the service and rates at saint john so he moved it to bayside (don't ask me why its not much of a dock and you can't get a newer ship in there) so eastport came to mind reading this thread

i know its a pipe dream but if u can think all irving's 3 mills,woodland and any other maine mills close buy could ship out products through east port but oh well maybe in model railroad form it could happen :wink: