• Montreal - Portland passenger service, past and future

  • 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 Rockingham Racer
 
I checked in on the website, and right: not a confidence builder at all for this venture. Three of the four links would not let me in. And in the "About Us" section, I would respectfully submit that the writer needs to tune up the grammar and punctuation a tad.
  by newpylong
 
"Without the mentality of Amtrak" - quite large words from a guy who has never worked for a railroad in his life.

Should be a quick trip at 59 mph lol.
  by gokeefe
 
newpylong wrote:"Without the mentality of Amtrak" - quite large words from a guy who has never worked for a railroad in his life.
I think that particular segment is worth addressing because most of us in these forums know better.

Amtrak's "mentality" of late has been so strongly focused on improving their fiscal picture that in the current fiscal year they had a budget surplus in spite of sequestration.

Amtrak's "mentality" has made intercity passenger rail successful today in a way that many never believed possible.

Finally, unlike this guy, Amtrak's "mentality" is thoughtful, responsible and professional.

To me that is why if there is ever going to be service to Portland from Montreal ever again I am quite confident that it will in fact take an "Amtrak mentality" to do it.
  by Cosmo
 
MEC407 wrote:
FatNoah wrote:Also, here's the website:
http://goldeneaglerailwaycorporation.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Wow. That web site is not at all confidence-inspiring, and does little to address my fears that this is just another pie-in-the-sky proposal similar to what we saw a few years ago with the so-called "New England Railroad" or whatever it was called. (Does anyone else remember what I'm talking about? There was one man behind it; I believe he was from the midcoast area. The web site was fairly elaborate, but it seemed to be nothing more than this one man's fantasy. He would frequently show up at public meetings and tout his grand plans.)

Edit: I found the original thread on the proposed "New England Railroad." http://railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=126&t=33897
Oh yes, I remember that guy. I believe it was some kid named "Don Addams" (no relation to the Get Smart tv star) that was trying to actually promote his own model RR's story as if it were real life... or some such.
  by markhb
 
I had a better-looking site than that when I was using *Prodigy's Personal Web Pages, nearly 20 years ago! And I was still learning how to create an anchor tag by stealing peeks at "HTML For Dummies" in Bookland!

The "stick the Photoshopped Maine Eastern engine on an Amtrak consist" technique is pretty entertaining, though. :)

Thanks for the link to the Berlin newspaper article, though. It's an intriguing read.
  by p42thedowneaster
 
Looks like he is a fan of F units.....isn't there an F3 in Maine with uncertain future plans??

In all seriousness, Don Provenchor and Ray Burton are great NH railroad promoters, so I would give this some level of credit. I think this could work as a luxury train route. Perhaps CSRR could run the rdc from Groveton to Fabyan to provide service to Bretton woods, Mt Washington hotel, Cog RR and even connecting to N. Conway via CSRR Notch service. The bretton woods area at least has excellent Omni-hotels bus service, maybe they could even meet the train in Groveton.
  by S1f3432
 
In today's edition of the Advertiser-Democrat, the local weekly newspaper in the Norway-Paris
area of western Maine, there is an article announcing a press conference in South Paris on Sept. 4
where Tony Donovan and Glen Holmes are to announce plans for a "hotel train" between Portland
and Montreal, to start in 2014. More at this link:

http://www.advertiserdemocrat.com/news/ ... ome/613059" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by ThinkNarrow
 
I notice that the Advertiser-Democrat article quotes Mr. Holmes as saying, ".....that has been the motivation since representatives from Golden Eagle, the likely train operator, approached the Western Maine Economic Development Council." Read a few posts back in this thread for more on "Golden Eagle," and "It's déjà vu all over again" to quote Yogi Berra.
  by Noel Weaver
 
Those of you who want to ride this interesting and scenic route should ride this train IF it ever makes it to start up. I would suggest you ride it as soon as possible after start up as I think its chance of success in the long term is very slim.
Noel Weaver
  by MEC407
 
RAILROAD.NET member BM6569 asked me to post these articles on his behalf. Thanks for the links, BM6569!

The first is from The Bethel Citizen:
The Bethel Citizen wrote:Four proposals to possibly return passenger rail service between Portland and Montreal - one of which specifically describes stops in Bethel starting in 2014 - were outlined Tuesday in information provided through the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce.
. . .
A businessman from the Canadian Province of Québec is conducting an assessment of operating a passenger rail service between Montreal and Boston, Mass. referred to as “the Night Train” or “Hotel Train.” The concept is based on a service departing Montréal at dinnertime. The train will consist of a locomotive, multiple dining cars, lounge car(s), a coach and up to nine (9) sleeper cars. The operation will be at night and, based on current track conditions, will travel at allowable speeds perhaps not to exceed that of freight train operations on the route. By traveling at night, passengers will not be impacted by the longer travel times as they dine, lounge and sleep on the way.

The train is expected to arrive at the Portland (Maine) Transportation Center in time for connection to the early morning Amtrak Downeaster service to Boston.
Read more at: http://www.bethelcitizen.com/news/story ... nning-2014" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


The second article is from today's Bangor Daily News:
Bangor Daily News wrote:Representatives from two passenger rail proposals looking to link Montreal to Boston through Western Maine say regular train service could start as early as next year.

Speaking at a meeting of the Androscoggin, Oxford and Coos Counties Corridor Committee on Wednesday, George Schwanke and Bob Steele of Golden Eagle Railway Co. and Francois Rebello, an entrepreneur from Montreal, said their projects were ready to go as soon as a lease agreement could be reached with the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad, which owns the majority of the tracks through Western Maine.

Rebello, a former politician, said he wanted to begin a night train that would link Montreal and Boston, with possible stops in Bethel and on the southern Maine coast.

An overnight train was attractive for tourists, who could fall asleep in one city and wake up in another, ready for a full day of activities.

Aside from tourists, however, Rebello thought a night train could be a sell for entrepreneurs — compared to the high costs of airfare, rail travel might be a sell for people doing business across the U.S.-Canada border, he said.

His project had investors ready to jump in, and as soon as he could work with the Quebec government and the rail companies to secure access rights to the tracks, the business could take off.
Read more at: http://bangordailynews.com/2013/09/05/b ... -the-year/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by ferroequinarchaeologist
 
I keep hearing Robert Preston in the Music Man: "I can deal with this problem, friends, with a wave of my hand - this very hand!" ... or maybe it has more in common with the Springfield monorail from The Simpsons.

I haven't studied the potential for passenger traffic between Montreal and Portland, but I do question (and maybe some contributor to this forum has the answer) whether in fact there is any significant potential for rail travel between those two cities. Prohibition has been repealed, the jet airplane has been invented, the Interstate and the Trans-Canada highways have been finished, and even the Saint Lawrence Seaway has been open for some time for cruises. Border customs inspections would probably add hours to the elapsed time, so I can't see any existing or potential demand for this service. We've all seen this movie. Anybody wanna gimme an Amen?

PBM
  by Ridgefielder
 
ferroequinarchaeologist wrote:I keep hearing Robert Preston in the Music Man: "I can deal with this problem, friends, with a wave of my hand - this very hand!" ... or maybe it has more in common with the Springfield monorail from The Simpsons.

I haven't studied the potential for passenger traffic between Montreal and Portland, but I do question (and maybe some contributor to this forum has the answer) whether in fact there is any significant potential for rail travel between those two cities. Prohibition has been repealed, the jet airplane has been invented, the Interstate and the Trans-Canada highways have been finished, and even the Saint Lawrence Seaway has been open for some time for cruises. Border customs inspections would probably add hours to the elapsed time, so I can't see any existing or potential demand for this service. We've all seen this movie. Anybody wanna gimme an Amen?

PBM
Although remember, at the end of the Music Man River City actually does get a marching band. :-D

And Montreal is the second-largest city in Canada and the eight-largest in North America (after Houston and Havana).

That said, I'll believe this when I see the first train pull into Portland...
  by TomNelligan
 
ferroequinarchaeologist wrote:Anybody wanna gimme an Amen?
Amen.

Maybe there is some market for high-priced recreational travel (i.e, a weekend cruise train) that sold scenery and luxury service rather than transportation as such. But as for "normal" travelers, if there was a commercially meaningful market between Portland and Montreal the airlines and bus companies (which don't have to worry about infrastructure improvements or equipment availability) would already be capitalizing on it, which they're not.
  by george matthews
 
A Sleeper would need a city at each end. Thus Montreal-Boston, perhaps via Portland, would be the route. Portland itself is not big enough to be attractive for passengers to Boston, who would prefer a through carriage without changing, especially if it's early in the morning. A question then arises: could Boston North handle sleepers?

(Yes, there is a sleeper in Britain that ends up in a rural area, but it's the sleeper to Fort William; a special case).
  by RRBUFF
 
Many many years ago I was fortunate enough to go on a Canadian Railway Historical Society trip from Montreal to Portland and return behind their steam engine CN6218. It was an all day trip each way with an overnight hotel in Portland. Unless this new service can cut down the transit time I don't feel that too many people would go for the train and there is very little midpoint traffic along the line. Customs also will delay the train also.
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