• Rockland Branch Discussion

  • 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

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  by JBlaisdell
 
Finger Lakes' reasoning doesn't make sense. If Dragon's barge traffic stops, but production remains the same, wouldn't that mean more carloads to Brunswick, and more ton-miles?
  by CPF66
 
Production may remain the same, but it doesn't mean that Dragon will continue to sell to the customer in the Boston area.
Last edited by MEC407 on Wed Sep 08, 2021 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quoting
  by NHV 669
 
It makes plenty of sense; they have no guarantee that that those production numbers will equal outbound carloads, or even be compatible with Pan Am's reliability in getting those cars back and forth in a timely manner.
  by CN9634
 
It’s a timing issue— they need a volume commitment from Dragon. I think it will happen, with no barge Dragon will need a low cost mode such as rail. Transit time of course is the concern, all the better when Pan Am goes away and CSX comes to town.
  by MEC407
 
Dragon's announcement about ending the Thomaston-Rockland cement shuttle came on August 19. But as of August 24, the two Finger Lakes locomotives were still en route to Maine:
NHV 669 wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 10:39 am Just saw video of them from yesterday, enroute to Solvay, NY. Still carrying FGLK reporting marks, but lettering indeed gone.
Did FGLK not get the memo, or did someone forget to send them the memo? And where are those two locomotives right now? (Hopefully not in Selkirk where CSX will lose them for a few weeks and then "accidentally" misroute them to Miami)
  by Trainman14
 
The FGLK locomotives never left FGLK property. They are still in use on FGLK trains.
  by NHV 669
 
2310 was on the same job (GS-2) to Solvay last week, from a video I found on YT.
  by MaineCentral252
 
Sounds like someone forgot to tell someone something important. I don't doubt it will work out, probably in their favor, but now they need to take a look and make sure the carloads and financials will still work before they continue. You really can't blame them for wanting to be cautious here.
  by MEC407
 
I don't blame them at all.

However...
Railfan & Railroad wrote:[Finger Lakes President Mike Smith] is also optimistic that they’ll be able to develop other traffic on the Rockland Branch. When that happens, Smith said, Finger Lakes would be ready to take over the operation.
What other traffic does Mr. Smith think he'll be able to develop that Maine Coast Railroad, Safe Handling, Maine Eastern Railroad, Central Maine & Québec Railway, and Canadian Pacific Railway were unable to develop? I'm asking sincerely. What traffic can they develop that five other railroads couldn't develop?

In light of the history of this branch and the last five companies that operated it, it's hard not to view Mr. Smith's statement as hubris.
  by markhb
 
Given that formerly gritty Rockland has gone full "Art Gallery City," I'm hard-pressed to think of anyplace east of Rock Junction that would embrace the sort of industry that rail is good at serving. Unless there's some more BIW traffic they could divert. I could see maybe some theoretical new traffic out of BNAS but even as the originating carrier how much money is there in a 2 mile haul to Church St.?
  by newpylong
 
JBlaisdell wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 4:12 pm Finger Lakes' reasoning doesn't make sense. If Dragon's barge traffic stops, but production remains the same, wouldn't that mean more carloads to Brunswick, and more ton-miles?
No, because currently that traffic is the highest paying type of a carload there is, originating AND terminating on the same railroad. That coupled with no tonnage guaranteed, I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.
  by NHV 669
 
And BIW isn't doing much rail-wise these days either, it seems.
  by CPF66
 
There has been a rumor of a scrap yard looking to build a scrap yard in Thomaston, but there hasn't been anything concrete to verify that. Which if it were true, I imagine it would be either Grimmel or AIM, since they seem to be the two dominant scrap companies in the area.
  by MEC407
 
Do you happen to know whereabouts in Thomaston they're looking to build it?

There's currently a business in Thomaston called Thomaston Recycling, located down in back of Dragon, and the Rockland Branch runs along the back side of their property. On Google Maps it looks like they've got quite a bit of land if they wanted to expand the operation...
Screen Shot 2021-09-14 at 17.00.36.png
If the rumor is regarding Thomaston Recycling, that would make sense because they're already there and already abutting the railroad. If the rumor is about a different company that doesn't already own rail-adjacent land in Thomaston, that would make less sense to me; IMHO such a company would be better served somewhere on the PAR mainline and could probably find some industrial land elsewhere at a lower price than in Thomaston.
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