• Official Maine Eastern Railroad Thread (ME)

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

  by csrrfan86
Quick question....Does Beaver and O'Hara in the Rockland yard still receive boxcars of salt?
  by mwhite
FYI A groundbreaking ceremony will be held in Brunswick this coming Tuesday, October 14, for the new railroad station that will be used for the Downeaster extension. The Maine Eastern passenger train will serve as a backdrop to the festivities which (I believe) will be held around 1:30pm. Here is a website describing the project: http://www.brunswickme.org/ecdev/mssic/index.htm
  by CJPat
OK, I will be the first to ask. Why does the Architect's picture in the link show a woman and small child standing in the middle of the pedestrian grade crossing with a train just arriving and while both crossing gates are down? Someone should raise hell with the Architect for putting up a picture that basically condones ignoring the crossing warnings.
Last edited by CJPat on Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by mwhite
I noticed that too. Also, given the point of view, there should be a cabbage car not a Genesis unit on the west end of the train. Oh well...
  by MEC407
Well, if you're going to really nit pick, how come nobody mentioned that the equipment is in Phase III paint? :P

Seriously, the architect most likely isn't a railfan... let's at least give them kudos for using an Amtrak diesel and not Thomas the Tank, which is what most non-railfans think of when they think of "train"...
  by mwhite
There have been some very busy days during the fall foliage season this year requiring all six cars.
  by shadyjay
So I'm confused... there are two wyes in Brunswick, correct? And I am assuming they use the easternmost one to turn the trains - the one that is actually the Lewiston Lower Branch. And it is in the middle of this wye where their boarding platform is?

Next question - does PAR and ME co-exist "between the wyes"? Where does PAR end and ME begin?

And last question (for now): how far up does the ME go on the line to Augusta? On the Lewiston Lower wye?

  by gokeefe
The Augusta Lower Road is a former Main Line of the Maine Central railroad from Brunswick to Waterville. The ownership of the line was split in the late 1980's when GRS sold the southern portion of the line from Augusta south to the state of Maine. The state owned portion of the line extends all the way up through Augusta from Brunswick and stops literally just a few feet before the bridge over the Kennebec River. GRS still operates on the northern portion from North Augusta through Vassalboro and Winslow into Waterville. They have several customers in North Augusta including, Cives Steel, Blue Seal Feeds, a scrap yard and North Center PFG Foods. I don't know if North Center still receives a lot of rail traffic but generally speaking the rest of the other businesses do. Suburban propane and Augusta Tissue also used to receive rail cars but I do not believe they do so anymore.

I don't know if the state owns the bridge or if GRS/PAR does. The line itself is then 'graveled' over between the bridgehead and just south of the footings for the Memorial Bridge which carries US 202 over the Kennebec River as well as several other numbered state routes. The gravel allows the Augusta Parking District to provided spaces for permit parking in close to downtown Augusta in the vicinity of Water Street. It is a combination of fine loam soil and dirt with loose large sized gravel that can easily be removed in the event of a service activation to Augusta. Supposedly I've heard the agreement is 48 hours removal upon notification by MaineDOT that they want the tracks back.

Realistically speaking it would be a week's worth of work by Maine DOT crews and also an earth moving contractor. The crossing signals are intact and still in place but they will probably need a lot of work in order to be reactivated.

The city had a parking garage built right next to the tracks recently on Winthrop Street. I think in essence the garage is there in case they lose all the parking along the railroad ROW.

The state then has contracted with Morristown & Erie to operate the "Maine Eastern Railroad". Who came up with the marketing scheme and so on I don't know. That's porbably a M&E idea considering the fact that the previous contractor, "Safe Handling Inc." ran it as "Maine Coast Railroad".
  by kilroy
Unless things have changed since the Maine Coast days (and Maine Coast and Safe Handling were separate entities. Safe Handling took over from the Maine Coast), the interchange is west/south of the wye at the location of the old Brunswick yard. As for where track ownership changes, I don't know where those points are. Tax records should reveal that.
  by mwhite
There is only one wye in Brunswick - at Cedar Street where the Lewiston Lower comes in. There used to be a wye east of Federal Street overhead joining the Lower Road with the Rockland Branch but that was removed many years ago. State of Maine ownership begins at Church Road which is west of the freight yard. Dispatching is controlled by ST (PAR) from there up to Union Street since ST has 24 hour coverage. Thus, ME passenger trains must request and receive permission on the Brunswick Running Track to get to the passenger platform just west of Union Street. This platform and the parking lot are inside the existing wye formed by the mainline and the Lewiston Lower.

FYI Groundbreaking was held for the Maine Street Station project today. Speakers included Gov. Baldacci, Don Garrish (Brunswick Town Manager), Hilary Rockitt (sp?) (the Developer), Patricia Quinn (NNEPRA) and others. Maine Eastern positioned the passenger train between Union and Maine Streets to provide a great background for the event.
  by bwparker1
Video of the groundbreaking ceremony:


I find this truly incredible, that once again, the State of Maine is going to build a passenger station, without having secured any sort of operating rights from PanAm to operate the Amtrak trains through Freeport. Absolutely incredible... this is from the same show that rehabbed the Lewiston lower branch not once but twice!! with Taxpayer money, yet not once revenue wheel was ever turned. There is a reason that taxes in Maine are high, because they continue to to put the cart before the horse.

Here is an idea. Buy the lower road between Royal Junction and Brunswick first, and THEN build the station. I'll even give that advice free of charge, not need to pay a consultant.

  by shadyjay
Doesn't Maine realize that you don't need a full station (at startup)???

1. The funding for expansion of service
2. The track to run said service on, rebuilt to pax train speeds
3. The rights to run on said track
4. The equipment
5. Platforms
6. Start service
7. Enhancements (station buildings, etc)
  by mwhite
This is not a State project, although I believe the State did provide some grant money to the Town. Also this is not just a project to build a depot, but a multi-use development which includes commercial and residential space as well as a hotel development. The depot is in actuality a multi-modal transportation center for trains, buses and taxis. Lastly, Brunswick has passenger service, albeit seasonal, provided by Maine Eastern, so a depot would be useful with or without Amtrak.