• 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

  by roberttosh
Any indication on what the volume could be on this lane? I doubt it's replacing the barge move to Boston in its' entirety?
  by GP40MC1118
Actually, CSX has operated east of Framingham a few times to Beacon Park. Yesterday, they delivered a car of stick rail to the MBTA.
  by craven
Regarding CSX delivering cars directly to Millis when heading South, if the Framingham yard assembled the train with cement cars on the rear. There is a siding just before the Milli switch that could be used. Lead engine runs around siding, picks up cars on rear and pushes them onto the spur.
  by NHV 669
https://www.mainepublic.org/business-an ... enger-line

Fair use quote:
The subsidiary, Midcoast Rail Service, is proposing to use a self-propelled rail car to carry passengers between Rockland and Brunswick. The trips would be timed to connect with Downeaster trains in Brunswick.

A co-founder of Finger Lakes Railway, George Betke, said it could have multiple benefits.

"It would provide better intra-state connectivity between Rockland and certainly Portland, as well as other potential destinations in southern Maine," he said. "It would also be a pioneering experiment from Amtrak's standpoint."

Midcoast Rail would also carry freight on the line. But a major source of freight revenue, Dragon Cement in Thomaston, has said it is no longer shipping product from its plant to Rockland by rail.

Still, Betke said his new company would like to begin operating by this summer and has already acquired a rail car it could use on the runs.
It appears that FGLK hasn't thrown in the towel completely. Looks like they still want to send at least the one former AEAX Budd car they've acquired back east.
  by Arborwayfan
Is there room at the Brunswick platform for an RDC and a regular Downeaster set? That would make transfers easy. I assume the RDC would be able to keep to schedule--not much interference. Can an RDC accommodate wheelchairs and do any of the other stops on the line to Rockland have at least a mini-high?
  by BobbyT
Other then those cars that were shipped to Tresca Brothers a few weeks back, has there been any more cement railed out of Dragon lately, especially now that the barge is history?
  by BandA
I've read about some refurbished RDC's having a door wide enough for a wheelchair. So I assume a stock RDC, with a stock bathroom, are not HP accessible.
  by CPF66
The RDC that FGLK has came from Vermont and was slated to be part of the proposed commuter service on VRS. Without digging too far, IIRC those cars were rebuilt with handicap accssable features prior to being sold to the company in Vermont.
  by BandA
Yes, unlikely that they would propose non-hp equipment for a new service.
  by MEC407
From the Bangor Daily News:
Bangor Daily News wrote:A representative from Finger Lakes Railway gave a conceptual presentation to the board of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority — which manages Amtrak’s Downeaster service in Maine — at its meeting Monday.

That was only preliminary, though. A formal proposal is still being fleshed out, and its ultimate fate hinges on agreements between multiple parties, including the rail authority, the Maine Department of Transportation and multiple railroad companies.
. . .
The service would offer one daily trip along the route from November to April. From May to October, a second daily trip would be offered Friday through Sunday. Proposed stops include Bath, Wiscassett, Newcastle and Rockland, according to Betke. A stop in Waldoboro could also be added.
. . .
Moulton said another assessment may need to be done before passenger rail service returns to the tracks.

“I don’t think it’s likely there’s any major hurdles, it’s more of going back out there and assessing and then them proposing speeds they could run and confirming with [Federal Railroad Administration] and others that they can run those speeds,” Moulton said.
Read the full article at: https://bangordailynews.com/2022/01/30/ ... oam40zk0w/
  by Arborwayfan
Can't tell from the article what kind of schedule they are imagining. Rockland-Brunswick-Rockland? Brunswick-Rockland-Brunswick? Long or short layover between the two halve of the trip?

One trip isn't much, but it could be set up to allow day trips from some places to some other places, or not.
  by Trinnau
With PTC requirements now they have to be careful to make sure it's still considered a tourist or seasonal operation. If it starts to look like regular service it'll be dead without PTC.
  by markhb
Trinnau wrote: Tue Feb 01, 2022 5:48 pm With PTC requirements now they have to be careful to make sure it's still considered a tourist or seasonal operation. If it starts to look like regular service it'll be dead without PTC.
With CP out of the picture, I would think it might receive the same sort of PTC determination that Pan Am did: essentially. too small an operation for PTC to be required.
  by Trinnau
That determination was made as part of the transition into PTC and is no longer available, consider it a 1-time "grandfather" situation. The regs clearly state that any new commuter or intercity service that intends to start after Dec 31, 2020 requires PTC.
49 CFR 236.1005(b)(6) wrote: 236.1005 Requirements for Positive Train Control systems.
(b) PTC system installation -
(6) New rail passenger service. No new intercity or commuter rail passenger service shall commence after December 31, 2020, until a PTC system certified under this subpart has been installed and made operative.
  by MEC407
FGLK must think they're exempt, otherwise they wouldn't be proposing to have the service running as soon as May of this year:
Bangor Daily News wrote:A New York-based rail company has proposed a concept to test passenger train service to Rockland, possibly as soon as this summer . . .
. . .
“We proposed this as a test. The discussion on Monday was of a possible two year test with real equipment, real people, real communities to see what the reaction is,” Betke said.

Betke said the hope is that the service could be up and running by May 1, if all of the pieces fall together.
(emphasis added)

Is there an exemption in the law for "test" passenger services?
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