• Intermodal to Maine

  • 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 fogg1703
 
In reading an interesting thread on the New England Railfan Forum regarding Maine industry past/present (http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 0#p1240385" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) a discussion arose about intermodal service to/from Maine. While this idea has been tried without success, could the time be right again for a new service with a firm partnership (CSX) and capital investment in upgraded track? It seems the state is not lacking industries that rely on truck for most if not all transportation needs and might be easily switched to containerized shipping. While I have brought this discussion up before, I am curious to here what doomed both the Gelco and TV96 trains of the Guilford days? I have heard of high car hire costs and infrequent equipment turns as a major complication. How does this work with BM being a member of TTX? Are the agreements different for TBOX cars as opposed to a spine car set?

I mentioned CSX as the partner as they seem to be the only line that is truly interested in Maine traffic expansion with their Press Runner service and dedicated daily trains to Rigby, as well as past experiences with the CR era TV96 routing. Obviously major upgrades would be needed on the Worcester branch as well as as trackage north of Portland, depending on terminal locations, with Waterville being the logical and most economical choice due to the aprons being in place. A huge investment would be needed to bring speeds up to a manageable number, however I think the previous attempts might have been aiming at competing with highway speeds, while a more conservative approach this time around might only have a 2-3 trains/week service with a 24 Hr guarantee to Worcester as a start. Perhaps a northbound train one day, a southbound the next and rinse and repeat. Any loadings that need a more rapid transit could be driven. While not ideal, the cars could be taken south to Rigby and attached to a POSE until demand warranted a dedicated train.

There is an awful lot of COFC traffic that could be taken off Maine and NH roads before they hit a railhead to just concede to the competitor.
  by CN9634
 
fogg1703 wrote:In reading an interesting thread on the New England Railfan Forum regarding Maine industry past/present (http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 0#p1240385" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) a discussion arose about intermodal service to/from Maine. While this idea has been tried without success, could the time be right again for a new service with a firm partnership (CSX) and capital investment in upgraded track? It seems the state is not lacking industries that rely on truck for most if not all transportation needs and might be easily switched to containerized shipping. While I have brought this discussion up before, I am curious to here what doomed both the Gelco and TV96 trains of the Guilford days? I have heard of high car hire costs and infrequent equipment turns as a major complication. How does this work with BM being a member of TTX? Are the agreements different for TBOX cars as opposed to a spine car set?

I mentioned CSX as the partner as they seem to be the only line that is truly interested in Maine traffic expansion with their Press Runner service and dedicated daily trains to Rigby, as well as past experiences with the CR era TV96 routing. Obviously major upgrades would be needed on the Worcester branch as well as as trackage north of Portland, depending on terminal locations, with Waterville being the logical and most economical choice due to the aprons being in place. A huge investment would be needed to bring speeds up to a manageable number, however I think the previous attempts might have been aiming at competing with highway speeds, while a more conservative approach this time around might only have a 2-3 trains/week service with a 24 Hr guarantee to Worcester as a start. Perhaps a northbound train one day, a southbound the next and rinse and repeat. Any loadings that need a more rapid transit could be driven. While not ideal, the cars could be taken south to Rigby and attached to a POSE until demand warranted a dedicated train.

There is an awful lot of COFC traffic that could be taken off Maine and NH roads before they hit a railhead to just concede to the competitor.
It's been on the burner for a few years, but the end problem is always... PAR. CSX wanted at least 25MPH from Waterville to Worcester with cutoff times. PAR is having problems getting their own freights going to CSX to make the connection... Look up Maine Line Chicago and you are supposed to make it from anywhere in Maine to Portland in one day, and to CSX by the second. The 48 hour window is hardly met. Actually, the Oil trains did do a good job of the 48 hour window, as I believe that was a stipulation of the deal with CSX (PAR a subcontractor).

Large volumes of traffic going to CSX in the past few years is a product of Pan Am Southern. Shortly after the deal, CSX stepped up its game and offered a better deal to PAR for traffic out of Maine. Apparently prior to PAS, the RR was very close to selling the whole property to NS. A big part of the tradeoff with CSX and NS is NBSR. There was talk with both to NBSR in terms of traffic and ultimately CSX won out. NBSR traffic is blocked at Selkirk and you see the SEPO/POSJ (Bluenose) service (And the vice versa return service). This paved the way for CSX to get the NBSR oil contract as well (traffic could have gone NS as well).

Ultimately, the future of Maine traffic is a result of a few things. One, track speeds and reliability. The goal is to get Danville to Portland 40MPH in the near term and eventually 40MPH to Waterville. From Waterville to Keag will go up to 25MPH and pending the Irving deal, the line east of Old Town could see some changes. I believe intermodal will come back to Maine, and not just the Eimskip service. I believe you will see boxes move out of Waterville or depending on who gets the MMA line, even Bangor (perhaps not a PAR service either).

In two weeks, the face of Maine railroading will change quite drastically with the pending MMA transaction result is made public, set to be finalized to the purchaser in mid-March.
  by newpylong
 
I will echo was CN said. PAR is catering to both Class 1s. The increased traffic to/from NBSR is a result of a deal with CSXT for improved service. Things could get interesting there in the next few months.

Regarding pre PAS, NS was only ever interested to Ayer, and only if they could gobble up the D&H South End, which honestly has always been for sale, but too priced far too high. The PAS deal was a stopgap to get into New England without over committing.
  by fogg1703
 
So the answer seems to be, the service would attract customers, however major improvements would need to be made. I'm curious if at some point down the road a bill might be proposed to either infuse money into roadbed north of Portland or subsidize a train in order to facilitate increased capital in crews and equipment. A delicate dance would be needed to pacify the trucking and Turnpike lobbyist. Perhaps those involved are content on waiting to see if any passenger service (ie major track upgrades) will ever occur to foot the bill.

While Waterville would be a great initial terminal, NMJ would be even better with improved track speeds. It is centrally located to both mills and industries and depending on what comes out of the sale of MMA, could dovetail right into a fluid system of through freight between the maritimes and the eastern seaboard.
  by CN9634
 
fogg1703 wrote:So the answer seems to be, the service would attract customers, however major improvements would need to be made. I'm curious if at some point down the road a bill might be proposed to either infuse money into roadbed north of Portland or subsidize a train in order to facilitate increased capital in crews and equipment. A delicate dance would be needed to pacify the trucking and Turnpike lobbyist. Perhaps those involved are content on waiting to see if any passenger service (ie major track upgrades) will ever occur to foot the bill.

While Waterville would be a great initial terminal, NMJ would be even better with improved track speeds. It is centrally located to both mills and industries and depending on what comes out of the sale of MMA, could dovetail right into a fluid system of through freight between the maritimes and the eastern seaboard.
I could never see, nor would I support, the State funding the operation of trains for a private freight railroad in any direct way and there would be no need for it as PAR makes plenty of money to support their own ops.

LMS and Iron Road tried intermodal out of Bangor and volume was very low. Who knows, depending on what happens to the MMA situation the next suitor could try again via CP. Chances are such a service would compete with PAR/CSX/NS service out of Maine although CSX/NS mostly bring traffic southeast. Something out of Bangor would have to be going to Vancouver, Chicago or a point on CP's system in the Midwest.
  by CPF363
 
CN9634 wrote:
fogg1703 wrote:So the answer seems to be, the service would attract customers, however major improvements would need to be made. I'm curious if at some point down the road a bill might be proposed to either infuse money into roadbed north of Portland or subsidize a train in order to facilitate increased capital in crews and equipment. A delicate dance would be needed to pacify the trucking and Turnpike lobbyist. Perhaps those involved are content on waiting to see if any passenger service (ie major track upgrades) will ever occur to foot the bill.
I could never see, nor would I support, the State funding the operation of trains for a private freight railroad in any direct way and there would be no need for it as PAR makes plenty of money to support their own ops.
I can't agree more; no public subsidies to support repairs and or upgrades their rail lines. They have their own money to invest into the route to attract new intermodal business to the route themselves.
fogg1703 wrote:In reading an interesting thread on the New England Railfan Forum regarding Maine industry past/present (http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 0#p1240385" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) a discussion arose about intermodal service to/from Maine. While this idea has been tried without success, could the time be right again for a new service with a firm partnership (CSX) and capital investment in upgraded track?

There is an awful lot of COFC traffic that could be taken off Maine and NH roads before they hit a railhead to just concede to the competitor.
Is Norfolk Southern simply not interested in any of the Maine intermodal business? It would be a logical extension to their Ayer intermodal trains. How about Canadian Pacific? They still own the D&H and could try to get a piece of this business also.
CN9634 wrote:It's been on the burner for a few years, but the end problem is always... PAR.
It is going to come down to PAR showing good will and making the real investment into the line to get the business running, whether via CSX, NS, NBSR or CP.
CN9634 wrote:CSX wanted at least 25MPH from Waterville to Worcester with cutoff times. PAR is having problems getting their own freights going to CSX to make the connection.
It takes over two hours to get from Worcester to Ayer. It is another several hours to Lowell Junction, then get in line behind all of the passenger trains.
CN9634 wrote:Apparently prior to PAS, the RR was very close to selling the whole property to NS.
Never heard that NS was interested in the entire system, where did that come from?
CN9634 wrote:Ultimately, the future of Maine traffic is a result of a few things. One, track speeds and reliability. The goal is to get Danville to Portland 40MPH in the near term and eventually 40MPH to Waterville. From Waterville to Keag will go up to 25MPH and pending the Irving deal, the line east of Old Town could see some changes. I believe intermodal will come back to Maine, and not just the Eimskip service. I believe you will see boxes move out of Waterville or depending on who gets the MMA line, even Bangor (perhaps not a PAR service either).
Big dollars will be required to do all of this to include installation of thousands of new quality railroad ties and at least 100 miles of new welded rail. All of this on top of getting the Conn River finished for Amtrak this year. Many more pieces of M.O.W. equipment and personnel will be required to do all of this work. Is the Stoney Brook, Lowell Branch and Worcester Routes included also?
  by CN9634
 
CPF363 wrote:
CN9634 wrote:
fogg1703 wrote:So the answer seems to be, the service would attract customers, however major improvements would need to be made. I'm curious if at some point down the road a bill might be proposed to either infuse money into roadbed north of Portland or subsidize a train in order to facilitate increased capital in crews and equipment. A delicate dance would be needed to pacify the trucking and Turnpike lobbyist. Perhaps those involved are content on waiting to see if any passenger service (ie major track upgrades) will ever occur to foot the bill.
I could never see, nor would I support, the State funding the operation of trains for a private freight railroad in any direct way and there would be no need for it as PAR makes plenty of money to support their own ops.
I can't agree more; no public subsidies to support repairs and or upgrades their rail lines. They have their own money to invest into the route to attract new intermodal business to the route themselves.
fogg1703 wrote:In reading an interesting thread on the New England Railfan Forum regarding Maine industry past/present (http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 0#p1240385" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) a discussion arose about intermodal service to/from Maine. While this idea has been tried without success, could the time be right again for a new service with a firm partnership (CSX) and capital investment in upgraded track?

There is an awful lot of COFC traffic that could be taken off Maine and NH roads before they hit a railhead to just concede to the competitor.
Is Norfolk Southern simply not interested in any of the Maine intermodal business? It would be a logical extension to their Ayer intermodal trains. How about Canadian Pacific? They still own the D&H and could try to get a piece of this business also.
CN9634 wrote:It's been on the burner for a few years, but the end problem is always... PAR.
It is going to come down to PAR showing good will and making the real investment into the line to get the business running, whether via CSX, NS, NBSR or CP.
CN9634 wrote:CSX wanted at least 25MPH from Waterville to Worcester with cutoff times. PAR is having problems getting their own freights going to CSX to make the connection.
It takes over two hours to get from Worcester to Ayer. It is another several hours to Lowell Junction, then get in line behind all of the passenger trains.
CN9634 wrote:Apparently prior to PAS, the RR was very close to selling the whole property to NS.
Never heard that NS was interested in the entire system, where did that come from?
CN9634 wrote:Ultimately, the future of Maine traffic is a result of a few things. One, track speeds and reliability. The goal is to get Danville to Portland 40MPH in the near term and eventually 40MPH to Waterville. From Waterville to Keag will go up to 25MPH and pending the Irving deal, the line east of Old Town could see some changes. I believe intermodal will come back to Maine, and not just the Eimskip service. I believe you will see boxes move out of Waterville or depending on who gets the MMA line, even Bangor (perhaps not a PAR service either).
Big dollars will be required to do all of this to include installation of thousands of new quality railroad ties and at least 100 miles of new welded rail. All of this on top of getting the Conn River finished for Amtrak this year. Many more pieces of M.O.W. equipment and personnel will be required to do all of this work. Is the Stoney Brook, Lowell Branch and Worcester Routes included also?
The T lines aren't that bad if you run freight at night. Actually, the route miles and track speeds wouldn't be so bad if the power was more reliable... that is another problem is not being able to get power that runs (or runs properly) everytime. NS was very interested in the (whole) property from after Conrail split (CSX getting to Boston) until about the PAS deal. PAR wanted an arm and a leg so they settled fro the middle ground (PAS). Where do you think they need welded rail? The system from Waterville to Portland is actually in pretty good shape and this spring it should see vast improvement.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
CPF363 wrote:Big dollars will be required to do all of this to include installation of thousands of new quality railroad ties and at least 100 miles of new welded rail. All of this on top of getting the Conn River finished for Amtrak this year. Many more pieces of M.O.W. equipment and personnel will be required to do all of this work. Is the Stoney Brook, Lowell Branch and Worcester Routes included also?
Stony Brook, Lowell Branch, and Worcester Branch are outside of PAS limits, so that's all PAR's bag.

On PAR's own weight limit map shows the SB and LB as being 286K-rated, so when the rest of the Patriot Corridor to the west gets its ongoing uprate finished (website says this year) they will be able to transport heavier loads across the system as far north as Danville Jct. That could give the those two branches some pending state-of-repair love. The Merrimack River Bridge may have some ginger speed restrictions or limits on how many consecutive 286K cars it can hold without spacers until its big reconstruction is done in 3-4 years, so a sizeable bump in intermodal volumes to Portland may time more with that bridge project's completion than 286K to Ayer. Otherwise all other MBTA and Downeaster territory is up to spec or in process of finishing the double-tracking work. Those two PAR-only branches then become the biggest bottlenecks south of Portland, and pressure will be on to get them some substantial rehab. Even though it's outside PAS's purview, I would expect NS to start exerting pressure after the current slate of big, labor-intensive projects are done.

As for MBTA congestion, it largely disappears. The Fitchburg Line gets solved by all the double-tracking work and Class 4 uprates inside of Willows. Even with the commuter rail extension to Wachusett it's a much more resilient T schedule for staying out of the freights' way on the outer portion of the line. Haverhill Line's DT project is taking forever, but that likewise solves the most painful conflicts where commuter rail and Downeasters perpetually have to get juggled around interference. The last project they have to do is the reconfiguration of Bleachery which moves most of the junction behind Lowell station and cleans up the mass of switches. Will eliminate some further, minor conflicts...albeit at cost of emptying out Bleachery even further to consolidate most of those freight ops at Lawrence. No timetable for when they're going to do that. That project will put more pressure to speed up the Stony Brook and Lowell Branch since fewer trains laying over in Lowell puts higher priority on making decent time between Ayer and Lawrence.


The Worcester Branch has other dependencies that unfortunately kick it to the back burner. There's a 263K restriction on the P&W-owned portion south of Barbers that prevents a contiguous link to the interchanges. That may have to get some state intervention since the 3 users of that line are perpetually irked and territorial at each other over this branch. Then there's simply the large number track miles from Barbers to Ayer that would have to be rehabbed to make it useful. Really can't see that one punching into the upper tiers of the priority pile anytime soon.
  by KEN PATRICK
 
unfortunately, road axle limits doom any economic intermodal in maine. intermodal moves under 500 road miles never work. further, rail miles are about 20% longer than road thereby presenting another economic hurdle. 286 grl is not a factor since the combination of road gvw and available business is volume not weight sensitive. no one should chase 286 to generate cofc/tofc business. railroads can never compete with trucks on transit times. their only weapon is pricing. i really wonder how profitable intermodal is . growth in intermodal doesn't seem to increase the bottom line propotionately whereas a drop in, say coal loadings, is always offered as an excuse. railroads do wonderful things with bulk and weight.that's one of the reasons oil should be given top priority in operations and equipment. ken patrick
  by Engineer Spike
 
PAR could be a extension of the intermodal services of both NS, and CSX, which now terminate in Wustah, and Ayer, respectively. I agree that railroads, especially with the east's short hauls are slower than truck. The decision of a traffic manager between road or rail may be based on price, speed, but must also by VOLUME.

A shipment which absolutely MUST be somewhere quickly may be worth spending the extra to truck. Look at the volume of Hunt trailers on the Ayer pigs, on the other hand. UPS pays dearly, to the railroads for speed. Hunt and UPS also ship in volumes where it would be impractical to truck.

PAR could get out of many branch operations with intermodal. The mills could dray trailers to a central point. The chemicals used in paper making could come in tank containers. Even if the mills just received the bulk raw materials by rail, the railroad could get a larger piece of pie by offering an expedient route, via intermodal, of finished goods. This would also facilitate shipments to customers without direct rail sidings.

As I stated on the "What Do You Think Will Happen in 2014?" thread, they only have a few areas to fix up. District 1, Royal Jct.-Waterville, Lowell Branch, Brook, and WN&P. If these segments were brought up to a reasonable level, it could work. The rest of the route to Mechanicville is at least partially maintained with outside funding.

One poster mentioned NS' involvement in running over the D&H. They run more trains than D&H already, on D&H's track. Back in about 2006, CP had D&H for sale. We were afraid that it would get taken over by a shortline holding co., like RA, or G&W. The rumor was that NS and CN showed up with their checkbooks. This supposedly got CP scratching its head wondering why its main competitors would want it so badly. I am in no position to be privileged to know this, but I suspect that NS' need to run over D&H was the leverage to get NS to grant Detroit-Chicago trackage rights.

With both CSX and NS fixing up their coal routes for double stack, there would be even more potential of long haul intermodal to Maine.

I think someone already mentioned connecting with Irving's railroad at 'Keag. This would give Irving many more options. For western shipments, their routes are mainly Montreal, Toronto, Detroit....., via either CN, or MMA-CP. The most practical southbound route is to Montreal, then either D&H, or via CN-NS, on D&H trackage rights. Someone ought to figure out the mileages via Montreal, vs. cutting diagonally southwest via Pan Am. The latter is easy MP 467 is in Mechanicville.

Western shipments would have the alternative of CSX, and NS, and not be stuck with just the Canadian roads.
  by CN9634
 
Engineer Spike wrote:PAR could be a extension of the intermodal services of both NS, and CSX, which now terminate in Wustah, and Ayer, respectively. I agree that railroads, especially with the east's short hauls are slower than truck. The decision of a traffic manager between road or rail may be based on price, speed, but must also by VOLUME.

A shipment which absolutely MUST be somewhere quickly may be worth spending the extra to truck. Look at the volume of Hunt trailers on the Ayer pigs, on the other hand. UPS pays dearly, to the railroads for speed. Hunt and UPS also ship in volumes where it would be impractical to truck.

PAR could get out of many branch operations with intermodal. The mills could dray trailers to a central point. The chemicals used in paper making could come in tank containers. Even if the mills just received the bulk raw materials by rail, the railroad could get a larger piece of pie by offering an expedient route, via intermodal, of finished goods. This would also facilitate shipments to customers without direct rail sidings.

As I stated on the "What Do You Think Will Happen in 2014?" thread, they only have a few areas to fix up. District 1, Royal Jct.-Waterville, Lowell Branch, Brook, and WN&P. If these segments were brought up to a reasonable level, it could work. The rest of the route to Mechanicville is at least partially maintained with outside funding.

One poster mentioned NS' involvement in running over the D&H. They run more trains than D&H already, on D&H's track. Back in about 2006, CP had D&H for sale. We were afraid that it would get taken over by a shortline holding co., like RA, or G&W. The rumor was that NS and CN showed up with their checkbooks. This supposedly got CP scratching its head wondering why its main competitors would want it so badly. I am in no position to be privileged to know this, but I suspect that NS' need to run over D&H was the leverage to get NS to grant Detroit-Chicago trackage rights.

With both CSX and NS fixing up their coal routes for double stack, there would be even more potential of long haul intermodal to Maine.

I think someone already mentioned connecting with Irving's railroad at 'Keag. This would give Irving many more options. For western shipments, their routes are mainly Montreal, Toronto, Detroit....., via either CN, or MMA-CP. The most practical southbound route is to Montreal, then either D&H, or via CN-NS, on D&H trackage rights. Someone ought to figure out the mileages via Montreal, vs. cutting diagonally southwest via Pan Am. The latter is easy MP 467 is in Mechanicville.

Western shipments would have the alternative of CSX, and NS, and not be stuck with just the Canadian roads.
Distict one is in pretty good shape. Remember, they ran oil trains over it last year without much (a few mishaps) problems. Waterville to Portland will be ready for 25MPH this spring and perhaps even 40MPH from Danville to Portland. Actually, the biggest challenge will be capacity, especially with Amtrak trains north of Portland. They are looking to extend Walnut about 3 miles west past Royal using the original main line plus a siding.

Irving already offers service from Saint John to Ayer... you can check their website. I'm not sure they really market it fully, but about 4 years ago a few containers ran through. I wouldn't count it out forever... And CSX was pushing for intermodal last year out of Waterville. So, stay tuned.
  by Dick H
 
As far as the north end of District #1goes, PAR dodged a huge bullet
when they put 13 loaded tankers of crude oil on the ground south of
Keag. It could be argued that the 10 MPH speed limit was what saved
the day, as the string of tankers just rolled over on their sides. This
was before the high inflammability of Bakken crude oil was discovered
the hard way in Megantic and elsewhere.

It's possible that PAR would move interchange with the NBSR to Northern
Maine Junction, if Irving gets the MM&A. This would reduce the number
of track miles needed for major upgrading for increase speeds for intermodal
service.
  by fogg1703
 
CN9634 wrote:LMS and Iron Road tried intermodal out of Bangor and volume was very low.
Never heard of this service. Ran out of NMJ or their own sidings? Was this where the Mi-Jack that Presque Isle eventually got came from?
CN9634 wrote:Who knows, depending on what happens to the MMA situation the next suitor could try again via CP. Chances are such a service would compete with PAR/CSX/NS service out of Maine although CSX/NS mostly bring traffic southeast. Something out of Bangor would have to be going to Vancouver, Chicago or a point on CP's system in the Midwest.
I am willing to bet that a good portion of Maine mill traffic is indeed destined for Midwest/Chicago area customers. Any MidAtlantic loads could have either the Selkirk or Mechanicville switch out option for SE moves.
I wonder if US CBP policies have eased for bonded COFC/TOFC movement over the Moosehead? A new MMA suitor may try and resurrect a Train 777 Can-Can movement with pickup in BJCT for a CP delivery in Montreal.

CPF363 wrote:I can't agree more; no public subsidies to support repairs and or upgrades their rail lines. They have their own money to invest into the route to attract new intermodal business to the route themselves.
Interesting statement. And your thoughts on public money spent on land acquisitions and rebuilding of approx 1500' track for Eimskip?
  by CN9634
 
fogg1703 wrote:
CN9634 wrote:LMS and Iron Road tried intermodal out of Bangor and volume was very low.
Never heard of this service. Ran out of NMJ or their own sidings? Was this where the Mi-Jack that Presque Isle eventually got came from?
CN9634 wrote:Who knows, depending on what happens to the MMA situation the next suitor could try again via CP. Chances are such a service would compete with PAR/CSX/NS service out of Maine although CSX/NS mostly bring traffic southeast. Something out of Bangor would have to be going to Vancouver, Chicago or a point on CP's system in the Midwest.
I am willing to bet that a good portion of Maine mill traffic is indeed destined for Midwest/Chicago area customers. Any MidAtlantic loads could have either the Selkirk or Mechanicville switch out option for SE moves.
I wonder if US CBP policies have eased for bonded COFC/TOFC movement over the Moosehead? A new MMA suitor may try and resurrect a Train 777 Can-Can movement with pickup in BJCT for a CP delivery in Montreal.

CPF363 wrote:I can't agree more; no public subsidies to support repairs and or upgrades their rail lines. They have their own money to invest into the route to attract new intermodal business to the route themselves.
Interesting statement. And your thoughts on public money spent on land acquisitions and rebuilding of approx 1500' track for Eimskip?
Apples and Oranges. Look, what you proposed was to rebuild a freight railroad or pay for their operating costs of an intermodal train. While ambitious, it isn't feasbile or even proper. Now, building spurs and facilitating growth is much different... it provides an incentive to customers and railroads to run new services and grow the business (See Maine DOT IRAP). It's more of a carrot than a stick. And besides, the State of Maine has never been in the business of running railroads, and they will buy trackage only when it is an absolute last resort and in the best public interest. You won't be seeing the state paying to run intermodal trains probably ever.

As for 777 and 778, yes CBP was the issue but from what I heard (Just speculation) MMA wasn't properly doing the paperwork. There are many places in the country where trains enter the US from Canada and then return without being opened. Trust me, this is was not a unique situation, but rather something else going on behind the scenes. And further I saw MMAs prompt to the Govt to get an exception... wasn't very convincing (They didn't quote any precidence or use one of the countless examples of where this happens elsewhere in the country. They should have been able to get it cleared up with proper legal council IMO).

CP directly connects to Chicago so I see no reason why they couldn't run traffic from Maine to Chicago.
  by fogg1703
 
CN9634 wrote:Apples and Oranges. Look, what you proposed was to rebuild a freight railroad or pay for their operating costs of an intermodal train. While ambitious, it isn't feasbile or even proper. Now, building spurs and facilitating growth is much different... it provides an incentive to customers and railroads to run new services and grow the business (See Maine DOT IRAP). It's more of a carrot than a stick. And besides, the State of Maine has never been in the business of running railroads, and they will buy trackage only when it is an absolute last resort and in the best public interest. You won't be seeing the state paying to run intermodal trains probably ever.
For the record I do not and would not support any state subsidy to upgrade track or assist in the running of any new intermodal train service. My point in bringing up state subsidies lies in the fact that MDOT should have a mindset of reducing congestion, increasing safety and reducing wear and tear on its roadways as much as possible. Therefore if an option existed to reduce a fraction of the the truck traffic on Maine's highways, a movement could drive this idea onto a ballot question. Some people may be more apt to vote positively for a reduction in truck traffic as opposed to say, obtaining railroad lines. Think private commuter bus subsidies in metropolitan areas. Again, I agree with all examples provided that this should not be the case in the State of Maine. A devils advocate statement if you will…

As for Eimskip service and upgrades, I believe the folks in Everett have been down that road. They built it, then they left.
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