• Portland Waterfront Rail Ops (Yard 8, Intermodal, etc)

  • 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 markhb
 
Actually, per the submission I linked to (see Att. F in the embedded Table of Contents), "This area will continue to function as an LP gas distribution facility into the future under a long-term lease agreement." There was a decent-sized consist of what I assume are LPG cars down in that yard this week. In addition, there is also an 8" gas main going to South Portland that goes under the property that Unitil is potentially going to move away from the boatyard.
  by markhb
 
bwparker1 wrote:I believe this is a photo of the location in question.

Gas Works
Sure is, thanks! That's Clark St. on the right; it went all the way to Commercial prior to the Casco Bay Bridge construction. Interestingly, according to the city tax maps, that bend in the road that you see (now by Nova Seafood) is actually the point where the street changes from Commercial to West Commercial. I have no idea why they named that section as a separate street.
  by MEC407
 
From the Bangor Daily News:
Bangor Daily News wrote:An Icelandic company has signed a contract with the Maine Port Authority to offer container service out of Portland harbor, expanding access for Maine companies to markets in eastern Canada and Europe.

The Icelandic company, Eimskip, will add Portland as a port of call at the end of March, replacing Norfolk, Va., the company said in a media release Monday. Container ships will call in Portland once every two weeks.
. . .
Eimskip will partner with Pan Am Railways to offer cost-competitive access to North American markets.

“We are very excited to be working so closely with Pan Am Railroad [sic] through Portland, Maine,” said Eimskip’s CEO, Gylfi Sigfusson. “Pan Am has been very helpful working with us to make this possible, and we believe that our work together is critical for success moving forward.”
Read more at: http://bangordailynews.com/2013/02/12/b ... r-service/
  by B&M 1227
 
Sounds like we might be getting a MOPO/POMO again! Cool. Also, this quote sounds promising for the company as a whole- “Pan Am has been very helpful working with us to make this possible...”
  by pnolette
 
I wonder how they will load these containers.There is no intermodel ramp in Portland and the tracks do not go into the Port.
  by MEC343
 
The key question is how much will they ship by rail compared to trucks. This has the potential to be a pretty good revenue boost for Pan Am if the majority of the containers are shipped by rail.
  by Brian4449
 
Maybe trucks will take it to the "Maine Intermodal Transportation Inc" in Auburn, ME, and Pan Am Railways will take it west from there.
  by newpylong
 
pnolette wrote:I wonder how they will load these containers.There is no intermodel ramp in Portland and the tracks do not go into the Port.
Isn't this the terminal just on the other side of the Casco Bay Bridge? As in, about a couple hundred yards from the propane company and end of track of Yard 8? I think the answer may be quite simple, they will just extend the tracks into the terminal. I don't see it being feasible any other way...

From one of the articles: "Details about the contract, the number of jobs to be created and the location of the warehouse will be announced Wednesday at a 10 a.m. news conference at the terminal on Commercial Street".
  by CN9634
 
Let's analyze this from the point of view of Eimskip. They are moving from Norfolk, VA to Portland, ME. Why?

What sort of advantages does this hold? Where were products moving through Norfolk, VA heading? If it is a rail product, it will most likely be a long distance haul. So what system would they be working with, CSX? A reasonable assumption is that NS served them at Norfolk, so maybe this is a switch to a CSX friendly port?

Maybe the port fees were lower, and the port is less congested? The article says the main reason for choosing Portland "is it is well situated for Eimskip’s liner system in the North Atlantic and suitable for its customers’ needs." But also look at the frequency of the service, once every two weeks. How many TEUs are we going to move per trip? Will it be enough to sustain a rail service?

Look at all the factors at play here and this is a complex deal. Look at the players involved and what they are planning to do. It sounds like this deal has been in the works for some time, as things of this complexity don't just come out of no where. I would expect a soon start up date, but being in the heart of winter, rail construction into the port may not come at first prompting a temporary solution.


Now let's also consider the future implications of this. We are now opening a rail container operation in Portland which other shippers will watch with envious eyes. Let's say Eimskip is highly satisfied with the service. We could see more frequent visits and potentially other shippers come to the port. Also, what about inland shippers? Maybe we will see truck to rail intermodal processing in Portland from Maine shippers. If the service is properly executed and prioritized, it could be the start of a large intermodal presence in Portland. But between now and that possiblity, there is much to be done.
  by fogg1703
 
What's not stated in the press release is wether they will still call on Everett (Boston) or if both Norfolk and Everett will be consolidated in Portland? Meaning they are consolidating expensive port fees into a port eager to have them. Interesting Davisville was very close to securing the contract but lease/contract confusion led to a fall out. Given that the ships are capable of unloading themselves onto bogies, not that much infrastructure is needed and in Everett it looks like less than 50 containers are loaded/unloaded at a time, note the small stack on any GE or Bing map in the Preferred Freezer lot, and on some Bing views a ship is viewed dockside. Preferred does use rail service however its unknown if its Eimskip related.
  by MEC407
 
Now we just need to get Icelandair to come to PWM. I know at least one other RAILROAD.NET member who would be as excited about this as I would be. :wink:
  by CN9634
 
fogg1703 wrote:Interesting Davisville was very close to securing the contract but lease/contract confusion led to a fall out.
Didn't know this was public information but yes, there are some details there.
  by markhb
 
From the "count your blessings" department, it's worthwhile to note that the new Portland Yacht Services boatyard that has been approved for the western end of Yard 8 where NNEPRA formerly considered building a new station did not originally include a rail ROW through to the container terminal and Commercial St. However, at least one person (not me) submitted a letter to the Portland Planning Board (with MDOT cc'd IIRC) pointing this out, and the final site plan did, in fact, include a 25' ROW that Phin Sprague had worked out with Pan Am that the railroad said would meet their needs. I don't know how far along the talks were with this shipping concern at the time, but it's definitely fortuitous that the capability for providing rail service was preserved.
How many TEUs are we going to move per trip? Will it be enough to sustain a rail service?
I have no idea; it's unfortunate that White Rock in Lewiston is closing down, as I believe they were a major container shipper when the service was made available previously.

For those who may not know the area, this shows the current end of track at left by the gas facility, and the shipping terminal at right with the freshly-paved parking lot. The cleared area is where the Portland Yacht Services project is going to go, and I believe the rail ROW will essentially parallel the edge of the street.
MEC407 wrote:Now we just need to get Icelandair to come to PWM. I know at least one other RAILROAD.NET member who would be as excited about this as I would be. :wink:
I would find that to be wicked awesome.
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