• 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 BandA
 
If the freight has dwindled to close to nothing, they could run non-FRA equipment on a time separation basis. Such as European equipment or even railbuses. Still have the same or more worry about grade crossing crashes. Or since they aren't running "west" of Brunswick they could use midwest style bilevels with low boarding platforms and still achieve handicap access.
  by NHV 669
 
That sounds like a needlessly expensive idea, coupled with the fact that the only two platforms that exist on the route are hi-level, including the one in Bath that is a temporary setup on a trailer.
Screenshot_20231204_194744_Maps.jpg
A couple of regular passenger cars is good enough for a service that hasn't moved beyond trial runs. There's frankly no need to spend money the operation can't sustain on oddball equipment.
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  by Emmett
 
theres one like that at rockland station
  by JBlaisdell
 
Since Portland doesn't have a direct rail-to-ship container service without a truck transfer, maybe the Rockland pier should be developed into a container facility...
  by NHV 669
 
That hardly makes any sense, given the complete lack of space on the pier needed to support the needed infrastructure for such an operation. Especially in an area that is all beachfront homes, with the exception of Dragon's former barge ops, and the marine business next to it.

If an existing service like the one at Portland can't garner any useful rail traffic at a purpose-built facility, why on earth would anyone waste money to build one at Rockland? Saint John and Halifax are the ones moving all the containers by rail.
  by markhb
 
NNEPRA has been discussing the Rockland Amtrak service at their recent board meetings, so it may be that Midcoast is simply getting out of the way. Passenger traffic this time of year would be dead anyway.

Regarding the Portland container operation, my understanding (from reading this forum) is that the intermodal stacking area is too small to be truly useful, even with the double-track. Plus, if "direct rail-to-ship" means what it literally says, then that's not possible because the tracks don't cross under the bridge, so they're out of reach of the cranes.
  by MEC407
 
Amtrak had concerns about some of the bridges on the Rockland Branch, with regard to handling the weight and speed of typical Amtrak equipment and service. I know that MaineDOT put at least one or two of those bridges out to bid for repairs, but I'm not sure if they've been repaired yet.
  by Emmett
 
I understand their concern but with all regards a RDC is much heavier than AMTK F40 cabbages etc. and are they planning to just continue the downeaster or use different equip
  by NHV 669
 
Emmett wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 11:09 am I understand their concern but with all regards a RDC is much heavier than AMTK F40 cabbages etc.
This is absolutely false... and it's exactly the opposite.

A single RDC-1 is 118,000 pounds, whereas a powered F40PH is around 260,000. The P42DCs used to power today's runs are roughly the same. Then add in the coaches, etc.

Emmett wrote:and are they planning to just continue the downeaster or use different equipment
It would be a seasonal extension of the Downeaster, there's no need to use a different set of equipment to service <60 miles on the same route for less than half a year.
  by Emmett
 
wouldn't a *cabbage* F40 be less than 260k pounds 🤨. literally no engine or motor related components. also what on the RDC broke
  by Red Wing
 
They tend to add cement blocks in the same weight as the equipment that was removed.
  by NHV 669
 
That's entirely irrelevant, given that the P42DCs powering the train weigh 260k anyway, making the cabbage weight a moot point.

No idea what broke on the 2003, but that's also a moot point given its days hauling passengers on the Rockland Branch are finished.
  by Emmett
 
not trying to make a row here but the B23-7's on FGLK being operated doubleheader style as per usual would be weighing 506,000 pounds, 253,000 each. a P42+F40 cab ALONE would be 528,000. a single downeaster weighs 908,000 pounds, and at the peak of FGLK operation (train length wise, about 20 cars lets say) the train weighed 610,000. so i'm interested in what they will have to do to make the bridges compliant.
  by Emmett
 
Red Wing wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 12:53 pm They tend to add cement blocks in the same weight as the equipment that was removed.
I see. thats actually good to know.
  by NHV 669
 
Emmett wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 12:59 pm a single downeaster weighs 908,000 pounds, and at the peak of FGLK operation (train length wise, about 20 cars lets say) the train weighed 610,000. so i'm interested in what they will have to do to make the bridges compliant.

An empty Downeaster with single P42, cabbage, and 5 coaches would be well over 1.1 million, and 20 empty cement hoppers would be 680,000.

Aside from those figures, the main scope of the repair work would entail making the structural components and supports
able to handle those loads for years to come, especially with today's increased maximum freight car tonnage.

The Carlton Bridge in Bath will be 100 years old in a few years, that is likely MEDOT's biggest concern.
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