• 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 TomNelligan
 
george matthews wrote:A question then arises: could Boston North handle sleepers?
Amtrak has no service facilities at North Station or its associated storage yard and engine terminal (which are an MBTA operation). Downeaster equipment is deadheaded across town to Amtrak's Southampton Street yard near South Station for maintenance and inspections .
  by SouthernRailway
 
I saw the NARP news article about Golden Eagle. I certainly wish them well, but they need some people with significant railroad experience to run their company, as start-ups run by people with significant experience in their industries perform much better than those that don't. As for the other: who could even hope that a train with "multiple dining cars" could be profitable as a regularly-scheduled train?

Not expecting long-term operations from either of these railroads, sadly, but maybe they could be re-worked as infrequent tourist/heritage trains?
  by artman
 
Some new stuff (but not a lot) new on the proposals from today's (Manchester) Union Leader: http://www.unionleader.com/article/2013 ... /131129544" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Railway company proposing Montreal to Portland service through northern NH -

he possibility of passenger rail from Montreal to Portland, Maine, is gaining momentum in the North Country. Two plans to use the rails are awaiting a nod from St. Lawrence and Atlantic.

The Golden Eagle Railway Corporation is proposing a commuter-type day train between Portland and Montreal. It would go from Portland to Montreal one day and back the next day. Its proposed route through New Hampshire would include the towns of Conway, Berlin, Gorham and Groveton.

David Schwanke, president of Golden Eagle, said there would be several stops. Eventually Golden Eagle would like to provide commuter service back and forth four times a day, perhaps more on the weekends.

He said if approved by St. Lawrence and Atlantic, the company would also be looking for a place for a restoration facility and corporate headquarters.
and
The second proposal comes from Francois Rebella, a former representative on the National Assembly of Quebec, who has teamed up with former Maine State Senate President Richard Bennett. They are proposing a night train that would run between Montreal and Portland. That train would leave Montreal at dinnertime and would include dining cars, lounge cars, a coach and sleeper cars. It would arrive in Portland in time to connect with the Amtrak Downeaster to Boston.

The train would return to Portland that evening. Rebella met with Gorham selectmen a couple of weeks ago. He said he is hoping for a three-month pilot program next summer. Because the train would be going through New Hampshire in the middle of the night, it is not clear yet whether other stops would be made.
  by p42thedowneaster
 
So...let me get this straight....they plan to go to Conway, Berlin and Gorham?
So then,...does the train leave Portland on the Mt Division?....stops in Conway, goes up the notch, reverse moves at Hazen onto the NHCR, stops at Groveton. Next it goes onto the SLR to Berlin and Gorham where it reverses direction on the SLR backtracking until Groveton, and heads for Canada.

Going thru the notch would be nice if its a seasonal run, but if so, it must be better to go via St. J right?
Last edited by p42thedowneaster on Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by snowskier
 
I didn't see this posted yet....Interesting article in the Bethel (Me) Citizen - Bethel selectmen endorse 'train hotel'

By ALISON ALOISIO
Nov 21, 2013 12:00 am
"We are excited about this new mode of transportation and its potential for bringing visitors to and generating economic investment in our community. We also hope that it will become an alternative means of commuting for residents of our town who work in communities along the rail line as well as for residents of other communities who are employed in our town. We look forward to the day when the Train Hotel is operating!"

A letter with those words, signed by Bethel Town Manager Jim Doar, will go to Montreal passenger rail entrepreneur Francois Rebello, following a unanimous vote Monday by the Board of Selectmen.

Rebello is proposing an luxury overnight passenger train service carrying travelers from Montreal to Boston, with a possible stop in Bethel."

Read the entire article here - http://www.bethelcitizen.com/news/story ... rain-hotel" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Ridgefielder
 
newpylong wrote:A "commuter-type day train" between Montreal and Portland? Surely this is not for real...
Why not? Who wouldn't want to spend 6 hours riding 300 miles in a used Comet? :wink:
  by MEC407
 
I almost wonder if this was a case of the news reporter using the wrong terminology. I've seen many articles in which the reporter refers to any non-freight train as a "commuter train."
  by p42thedowneaster
 
Ridgefielder wrote:
newpylong wrote:A "commuter-type day train" between Montreal and Portland? Surely this is not for real...
Why not? Who wouldn't want to spend 6 hours riding 300 miles in a used Comet? :wink:
Check the web site again....looks more like RDCs to me!
In all honesty, I hope they use the CNL when season/weather permits. I could see myself riding a Downeaster-type train to Montreal from N. Conway.
  by gokeefe
 
snowskier wrote:I didn't see this posted yet....Interesting article in the Bethel (Me) Citizen - Bethel selectmen endorse 'train hotel'

By ALISON ALOISIO
Nov 21, 2013 12:00 am
"We are excited about this new mode of transportation and its potential for bringing visitors to and generating economic investment in our community. We also hope that it will become an alternative means of commuting for residents of our town who work in communities along the rail line as well as for residents of other communities who are employed in our town. We look forward to the day when the Train Hotel is operating!"

A letter with those words, signed by Bethel Town Manager Jim Doar, will go to Montreal passenger rail entrepreneur Francois Rebello, following a unanimous vote Monday by the Board of Selectmen.

Rebello is proposing an luxury overnight passenger train service carrying travelers from Montreal to Boston, with a possible stop in Bethel."

Read the entire article here - http://www.bethelcitizen.com/news/story ... rain-hotel" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I have to confess I was somewhat surprised by this especially as my impression has been that the hotel train wasn't a serious proposal. I am assuming this support was the result of some significant behind the scenes work by the operating partners.
  by artman
 
gokeefe wrote:
snowskier wrote:I didn't see this posted yet....Interesting article in the Bethel (Me) Citizen - Bethel selectmen endorse 'train hotel'

By ALISON ALOISIO
Nov 21, 2013 12:00 am
"We are excited about this new mode of transportation and its potential for bringing visitors to and generating economic investment in our community. We also hope that it will become an alternative means of commuting for residents of our town who work in communities along the rail line as well as for residents of other communities who are employed in our town. We look forward to the day when the Train Hotel is operating!"

A letter with those words, signed by Bethel Town Manager Jim Doar, will go to Montreal passenger rail entrepreneur Francois Rebello, following a unanimous vote Monday by the Board of Selectmen.

Rebello is proposing an luxury overnight passenger train service carrying travelers from Montreal to Boston, with a possible stop in Bethel."

Read the entire article here - http://www.bethelcitizen.com/news/story ... rain-hotel" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I have to confess I was somewhat surprised by this especially as my impression has been that the hotel train wasn't a serious proposal. I am assuming this support was the result of some significant behind the scenes work by the operating partners.
It was mentioned in the Union Leader article I quoted 3 items above, also
  by markhb
 
Today's Press Herald reports that the "hotel train" -- you guessed it -- "gains steam".
Advocates of an overnight passenger train that would connect Montreal with Boston, Portland and Old Orchard Beach have about two months to reach an agreement with freight railroads that own the route if they want the service to start next summer.

If the group misses that deadline, it will try for the summer of 2015, said Francois Rebello, the Montreal entrepreneur behind the project, called the “hotel train” or “night train.”

“We hope we can still do it by next summer, but it’s not the end of the world if we have to wait,” Rebello said Thursday after meeting in Montreal with more than 30 supporters of the project, including officials and business leaders from New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

Many at the meeting gave Rebello $250 checks made out to “Fondation Trains de Nuit,” which means “Night Trains Foundation.”
  by gokeefe
 
Although the project wouldn’t require tax dollars, Rebello could use political help in getting the railroads to consider the proposal, Betke said. The key player is the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad, which owns the portion of the route between Auburn and the outskirts of Montreal.

Rebello would also have to negotiate with the Canadian National Railway, which owns the short stretch that connects with Central Station, Montreal’s major intercity rail station. Pan Am Railways owns the tracks between Auburn and Plaistow, N.H. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority owns the tracks in Massachusetts.
I can't see how this project can move forward if the investors need political assistance negotiating with the host railroad. I think they have gone public way too soon with this proposal. "Night Train" is not Amtrak and doesn't have the same access rights.
Rebello said the train would be stopped at the border for only a hour.

“It’s not perfect,” he said. “But it’s something you can live with.”
Based on previous discussions I have read about the Adirondack I do not find this a credible statement in the least.

I'm am moderately concerned about what appear to me to be some warning signs of a project that doesn't really have backing and the use of the word "foundation" to describe a for-profit entity. I could see how the phrase "foundation" could refer to "beginning" but in that case I don't see why this is being done without the benefit of even a shell corporation or LLC on the books.
  by MEC407
 
From the Sun Chronicle:
Sun Chronicle wrote:OLD ORCHARD BEACH – A proposal for an overnight train from Montreal to Boston that would make several stops in Maine, including Old Orchard Beach, has the full support of the town’s government and business leaders.
. . .
Those backing the idea say a round-trip ticket on the train would be less costly than flying into Portland or Boston, and the service would take full advantage of the public-transportation-savvy young adults living in Montreal, 30 percent of whom do not have a driver’s license.
. . .
According to the official presentation Rebello and Bennett have put together, the hotel train would leave Montreal at 6 p.m. and make several stops in Canada, Vermont and Maine before arriving in Old Orchard Beach at 7 a.m., and then going on to Boston for a 9 a.m. arrival.

The cost for a round-trip ticket would depend on the accommodations chosen by the passenger. The most expensive would be an individual sleeper, at about $300, and the least expensive would be a coach seat, at $180.

That’s less than it would take to fly from Montreal to Boston, which is about $410 round trip, and comparable to the bus, which is $180 round trip, according to numbers put together by Rebello and Bennett.
Read the rest of the article at: http://www.keepmecurrent.com/sun_chroni ... f887a.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

(Observation: there is no air service from Montreal to Portland, so I'm not sure what they're getting at when they say it would be less costly than flying to Portland. [Less costly than a private jet?])
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