• 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 NHV 669
 
2310 was WB with one perlite empty at 8:28 through Finntown Road in Warren.
  by MEC407
 
Not sure if it's still happening, but a few years ago PAR started transloading propane at Rigby Yard. There weren't any racks or permanent structures, just some portable equipment that allowed them to transfer propane from tanker cars directly into trucks. A similar setup could work on the Rockland Branch.
  by CPF66
 
At least from google maps, it looks like it is still taking place. By the looks, they have the unloading racks mounted to a couple of old delivery trucks. But there is a market I would think for an lpg transload somewhere on the Rockland Branch. Either you have to pull from Westbrook, Lewiston Jct, Waterville, or Hampden. The midcoast area has had quite a bit of population growth the past few years. So if someone were to put in an LPG transload for just the cost of the unloading racks, it could be quite profitable. Or even if the railroad did it, and sold the LPG directly to the larger fuel companies or the smaller distributors, they might make quite a bit.
  by NHV 669
 
2310 was eastbound through Bath with 11 hoppers at 14:58.
  by CSRR573
 
So I found this interesting tidbit at work tonight. For a few months now, Amtrak has been uploading head-end ride videos to their intranet for physical characteristic training on the routes we run. They just uploaded a 2+ hour video taken from a Hi-Rail of the entire Rockland Branch. I wonder if test trains will start running for crew familiarization.
  by CPF66
 
Interesting,
If they could run year round service to Hardings/Bath they could probably get a good deal of ridership from BIW. Between the two locations and the area offices BIW employs close to 6,000 people.
  by newpylong
 
What has to happen for BIW to get more inbound steel? They sure seem to build a lot for the lack of inbound raw steel coming in via rail. Do they truck it over from that new customer now instead of direct at Hardings?
  by Goddraug
 
I’m under the impression that the steel comes from ASA, and they just truck it over. In fact, 2310 was parked on the ASA spur all weekend and then headed over light to Rockland today assumedly for tomorrow’s move (or so says the Facebook group).
  by NHV 669
 
2310 was west with 3 cement hoppers through Finntown Road in Warren at 08:25.
  by CPF66
 
newpylong wrote: Mon May 06, 2024 11:53 am What has to happen for BIW to get more inbound steel? They sure seem to build a lot for the lack of inbound raw steel coming in via rail. Do they truck it over from that new customer now instead of direct at Hardings?
All the steel for Hardings goes to ASA now, except for a few moves per year of heavier material which is unloaded at Hardings still. When they expanded the fab plant a few years ago, they lost a lot of the storage space so they worked a deal with ASA to unload there so they could truck it to Hardings or the ship yard.

BIW is already doing a ton of steel by rail, quite a bit gets transloaded at Casco Bay Steel in S. Portland (Or at least it used to when CP was refusing to install a switch for ASA) and I want to say they unload some down in Saco as well. When ASA first opened I heard they wanted to put in a second track from New Meadows road and I think a short spur on the east end of the facility as well to unload more steel, however thats the last I heard of it. The current operation, results in FGLK spotting the cars one day and tying down there for the day. Then the following day they take the empties back to the interchange so the cars don't sit idle for long. BIW/ASA crews work overnight to unload the cars and they pull material as its needed out of the facility as time goes by.
  by newpylong
 
Thanks.
  by CPF66
 
Nothing official has been stated by FGLK yet, but there have been rumors that Midcoast is pulling up the tent stakes in the not too distant future.

There has yet to be any sort of word from the railroad, but I wouldn't be surprised if its true. The Rockland-Hardings section of the railroad is a lot of distance for just a handful of perlite cars per month. Thats even if Dicaperl or Decaperl, or however you spell it continues to take the same amount of inbound cars once Dragon is shut down. It was always my understanding that they sold most of the product to Dragon and sold smaller amounts to the various batch plant operators.
  by newpylong
 
Was this under the radar or did I just miss it? The plant is not closing but changing from production to distribution: https://cementproducts.com/2024/03/13/d ... al%20media.

It was also in the Bangor news behind a paywall.

Is a 3 railroad move feasible to economically shuttle the product there from Searsport? Might get pricy once everyone's gotten their cut.

Could they barge it from Searsport to Rockland then to their plant similar to the previous operation?
  by Goddraug
 
Three’s kinda nuts for a move like that, from what I’ve heard and has been said in articles. I’ve also seen people say that the Rockland dock area is too shallow for the kind of ships they’d be bringing in.

My idea is that CSX could retain the line up to ASA or BIW if they so desire, and from Bath east could be some variety of tourist operation. Not sure if CSX would bother with the Rockland Branch past Bath, if even up to there.
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