• Grade crossing rehab in District 1

  • 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 MEC407
From today's Morning Sentinel (Waterville, Maine) newspaper:
FAIRFIELD - Rough railroad crossings throughout Fairfield are a source of constant complaints to town officials. But because the railroad is privately owned, the town can't repair the crossings. Officials' latest solution is to let aggravated drivers know who can fix them.

The Town Council voted Wednesday to spend $300 on two signs to be posted near railroad crossings in town, on a rotation. ... the signs will direct complaints to Pan Am Railways and provide the company's toll-free phone number.
Read the rest of the article at: http://www.onlinesentinel.com/news/bad- ... 12-23.html
  by jaymac
From the same article:
"If nothing more, we'll embarrass them, I guess," said Giroux.
PAS, because of NS, might be subject to embarassment, but I'm not sure that PAR has yet made that corporate culture change. If anything, complaints might provide behavioral reinforcers.
Having gotten close to gratuitous Guilford-and-descendants bashing, Happy Holidays to all who look forward to polished rails!
  by Trinnau
Unfortunately, that toll-free number will probably be the PAR Chief Dispatcher's number or the Disptacher's number - the ones given to fire and police agencies for emergencies. So now people with crossing complaints (an engineering problem) will be calling the operations department and tying up a phone line that could potentially be blocking an emergency call to stop a train. Nevermind that they are calling the wrong people to address the issue to begin with.
  by MEC407
We don't know that that's the case, but if it is, it could have been prevented by Pan Am returning the Fairfield town manager's phone calls instead of stonewalling them and forcing them to take "creative" measures.
  by gprimr1
We had to do this with CSX in Maryland. It was surprisingly effective so I hope the same results for them.
  by MEC407
Looks like they've gotten Pan Am's attention.

In today's Morning Sentinel:
Morning Sentinel wrote:Pan Am spokeswoman Cynthia Scarano said Thursday that the company's engineering department wanted to meet with the town, though a meeting hadn't been set yet. She also clarified that it is Pan Am's responsibility to maintain and repair the crossings, despite other company officials telling the town it was not.
The two signs set up by the town of Fairfield near the crossings read: "Caution, rough RR xing, suggested speed <10 mph, complaints? Pan Am Railways, 1-800-955-9208." Reny said the signs are intended to warn drivers to slow down at the crossings and to inform them that the town cannot repair the crossings — only Pan Am can do that.

Reny has said that some Pan Am officials have told the town it's up to the state of Maine to maintain the crossings, but both the town and state say it's Pan Am's responsibility.
Read more at: http://www.onlinesentinel.com/news/pan- ... 03-31.html
  by MEC407
Fairfield's crossings still haven't been repaired, and the neighboring town of Clinton is dealing with the same problem... but Clinton is taking a slightly different approach:
Morning Sentinel wrote:CLINTON -- What does it take to get Pan Am Railways to fix a crumbling, pot-hole-ridden railroad crossing in central Maine?

Town officials in Clinton have found one answer: split the cost with the company.

Repair work on the town's Railroad Street crossing began Thursday and will resume this coming week, finishing up Wednesday The town is chipping in about $4,000 toward the railroad work, plus another $20,000 for repaving the road on both sides of the crossing.
Read more at: http://www.onlinesentinel.com/news/town ... 10-08.html
  by gokeefe
After months of complaints from people in town the Main Street crossing in Winthrop, ME will be rebuilt on October 25 & 26, 2011.

One of the more creative manifestations of dissatisfaction with the state of the crossing was a "donation" box with a sign that said "only 10+ more ft. to China". There was a thin piece of lumber and a white styrofoam "donation cup".

The box sat there for several days. Recently the pothole in the eastbound lane of main street has worsened. It is in the right tire track, heading eastbound as your cross the first rail and is probably three feet wide and about a foot to a foot and a half deep and goes right up against the westerly rail. As one might imagine the rest of the crossing isn't in much better shape either.

I felt it was important to record the presence of the "donation box" for posterity. :-D
  by MEC407
From the Kennebec Journal (October 19):
Kennebec Journal wrote:"Right now, the railroad crossing is very, very hard on vehicles because of its condition," Town Manager Jeff Woolston said. "The railroad and the Maine DOT will resolve that condition and make it so, when you cross the crossing, your car is not adversely affected.

"By the 27th of October, when you drive across it, it will be a pleasurable experience."
Read more at: http://www.kjonline.com/news/crossing-t ... 10-18.html
  by MEC407
Since Pan Am seems to now be doing multiple crossing rehabs in various parts of District 1, I figured I'd combine these two threads into a consolidated District 1 crossing rehab discussion.

And with that in mind, there's this item from the Sun Journal:
Sun Journal wrote:JAY — Pan Am Railways will fix the railroad crossing on Crash Road, near the intersection of Riley Road, next week, company Executive Vice President Cynthia Scarano said Wednesday.

Jay and Maine Department of Transportation authorities have fielded more than 15 complaints about the crossing in the last month, Jay Town Manager Ruth Cushman said. Cushman and the DOT sent a joint letter to Pan Am on Oct. 11 asking that the crossing be repaired properly.

The letter followed several unanswered emails and telephone calls to the company, according to the letter.

Cushman and the DOT said the crossing was “a very serious safety issue that is causing a great deal of damage to peoples’ vehicles and could possibly cause bodily injury, also.”
Read more at: http://www.sunjournal.com/news/franklin ... ek/1104241
  by KSmitty
I see G'Okeefe beat me to the Winthrop crossing repair...That crossing really is atrocious.

Also about a month back now, the crossing in Monmouth on 132/Main St. saw some work, reportedly not to fix the road since the road had been rebuilt about 3 years back, but to fix the track. It may hold title as the one crossing construction project PAR takes on that actually results in a bumpier crossing. Supposedly, the rails were popping up and trains were "rocking excessively." Who decides what "excessive" and "popping up" means remains a mystery. Seems to me rails sink and rise under the weight of GP40's and boxes of paper...oh well I digress.
  by gokeefe
Honest assessment: I was at Main Street the other night when one of the TT WEST-bound trains was rolling by and the boxcars were heaving side to side at what had to be 20°+. One of them went by I thought for sure it was going to tip over. I was also watching the wheels as they went through the crossing TT EAST to TT WEST and could have sworn I saw one truck briefly lift wheels a few inches off the rail.

The pumping action is very severe on the tracks closest to the Winthrop Fuel Co. office. Compass wise that would be the NW corner of the crossing.
  by gokeefe
Just for the record the grade crossing reconstruction in Winthrop was completed on or ahead of schedule on October 26, 2011.

The crossing was extensively rebuilt. I didn't spend a lot of time watching the whole process and couldn't tell if they installed a new panel track or not. I would imagine the next edition of the Clipper will have a full writeup.

The crossing is indeed extremely smooth now, perhaps more so than any other railroad crossing I know of anywhere in New England.

Why the superlatives? The rebuild team did such a good job that I can roll over the crossing at speed right now and barely notice it at all. The only noise is the tires crossing the tracks. Furthermore, the track was given a very gently crowned profile that one hardly notices. Most crossings feel like you're going over a speed hump. Main Street in Winthrop now barely registers at all.

On top of all that I'm not aware of the town having to spend extra money to get PAR to fix the crossing.
  by KSmitty
Noticed it was done this past weekend, I too can attest to the quality of the crossing!

Now if only they would finish the crossing on Main St. in Monmouth...
  by Mikejf
Depot St. and Mill St. in Gray have both been redone recently. This was the section the also installed the CWR back in July or August when it was so hot. Very nice job compared to what it was.