• Maine Commuter Rail

  • 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 newpylong
 
Probably better than the Berkshire Scenic going behind the scrap yard, the oil dealer, Holland Chemical, the sewer plant, and Specialty Minerals :-D
  by trainsinmaine
 
I think the folks at the MRTC qualify as more "pro-rail" than most of us, given that they're the ones pushing the idea. (For the record, their idea is to essentially run DMU's like buses on the nearly-unused St. Lawrence & Atlantic from Auburn to Portland.)
The SL&A track, despite its lack of use, is actually in pretty good shape, isn't it?
  by MEC407
 
As recently as the early 2000s the SLR line from Danville Junction to Portland was good for 25 MPH freight, but I'm not sure what the current speed limit is.

Nevertheless, compared to some sections of the Pan Am mainline up north, it is indeed in pretty good shape.
  by markhb
 
kilroy wrote:I guess MRTC thinks since they wouldn't have to pay for using a highway, they won't have to pay to use the right of way? Rail ain't cheap even if you don't have to build it.

Perhaps a trip to NJ is needed so they can see what real traffic looks like (and yes, I've driven Rt 1 through Wiscasset in the summer).
In this case, the rail they're talking about using is already owned by the state, and the lessee has applied to cease freight operations since they only have one customer, at the very end of the line (the aforementioned B&M Baked Beans plant, and I'd happily make an excursion there if it included a factory tour). So essentially the state owns an existing line that is in some sort of usable shape but is almost totally vacant.

I discovered that they have actually submitted a TIGER 6 grant for money "for financing the completion and updating of the existing environmental assessment for the extension of passenger rail service from Portland North on the state-owned St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railway."
  by Cowford
 
This cracks me up:

http://bangordailynews.com/2014/08/13/n ... f=comments" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"Participation in the [three-year] pilot was expected to cost Cumberland $27,000 each year... Councilor Shirley Storey-King said she recognizes the need for some mass transit, “but this model isn’t it. The math doesn’t work out for me.”

Yarmouth buys in, but Cumberland opts out and Freeport stalls on a decision. Isn't it bizarre that AVCOG thinks it's wise to spend $1.35 million on a(nother!) commuter rail study, but local town councils crap all over actual execution of a public commuter trial in the area that is a fraction of the study's cost.
  by Cosmo
 
Wait,... you're saying that a study on commuter rail feasibility- that is, a study to see if CR would be COST EFFECTIVE...
...costs LESS than just RUNNING TRAINS to see if anyone RIDE$S?

SAY IT AINT SO!! :P
  by NHV 669
 
Cosmo wrote:Wait,... you're saying that a study on commuter rail feasibility- that is, a study to see if CR would be COST EFFECTIVE...
...costs LESS than just RUNNING TRAINS to see if anyone RIDE$S?

SAY IT AINT SO!! :P
Well, you'd be asking politicians to use common sense....and that wouldn't work out well at all
  by Cosmo
 
NHV 669 wrote:
Cosmo wrote:Wait,... you're saying that a study on commuter rail feasibility- that is, a study to see if CR would be COST EFFECTIVE...
...costs LESS than just RUNNING TRAINS to see if anyone RIDE$S?

SAY IT AINT SO!! :P
Well, you'd be asking politicians to use common sense....and that wouldn't work out well at all
Oh yeah, good point. ;)
  by markhb
 
Cosmo wrote:Wait,... you're saying that a study on commuter rail feasibility- that is, a study to see if CR would be COST EFFECTIVE...
...costs LESS than just RUNNING TRAINS to see if anyone RIDE$S?

SAY IT AINT SO!! :P
Your point is extremely well-taken, but I'll just note that the Freeport-Yarmouth-Cumberland proposal that Cowford mentioned is actually for setting up a commuter bus service on a trial basis, not rail, and that trial would indeed cost less than the L-A rail study.
  by Cowford
 
Correct Markhb. That's exactly what I meant: Running an actual live trial commuter bus service for three years is significantly cheaper than funding a second commuter rail study. Cosmo my friend, I don't know how you misinterpreted that, but... IT AIN'T SO.
  by NH2060
 
I'm sorry, but how is this proposal still alive?? Unless there are that many residents between Portland and L/A who 1) have no car 2) go into either city frequently and 3) stay out late at night I don't see how even hourly peak and bi or tri-hourly off peak service is sustainable here. Portland-Freeport-Brunswick, et al might have as much, if not more, of a shot of having enough of a potential ridership pool to draw from if a service were to be set up there.
  by markhb
 
How is it still alive? Take a look at the MRTC's blog. They are True Believers.
  by markhb
 
Yeah, as I was saying.... (from today's Press Herald):
Maine Voices: Sustainable Portland: the waterfront and the railroad
The recently published India Street Neighborhood Plan for regulating the development and historic preservation of this unique area of Portland misses the city waterfront’s equally historic importance as a commercial transportation hub.

While needed to protect India Street neighbors from unwanted development, the India Street Neighborhood Plan’s impacts on the waterfront are unknown, and the plan could have serious unintended consequences for what may be the most valuable real estate on the Eastern Seaboard....

Many Portland residents and visitors are not aware that there is a railroad from Montreal to India Street in Portland, established in 1853, known as the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad, and that the right of way still exits. The Portland peninsula section, wholly owned by the state of Maine, is currently used by Portland Trails and the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. tourist rail under a leasing agreement with the Maine Department of Transportation.

The state of Maine has a plan in place to operate passenger service on this rail route. It has already spent millions of dollars on the engineering and environmental assessments for the operations.
  by Cosmo
 
The state of Maine has a plan in place to operate passenger service on this rail route. It has already spent millions of dollars on the engineering and environmental assessments for the operations.
...it has? Wait- WHAT?
  by gokeefe
 
I'm surprised they aren't throwing in reconstruction of the Union Branch just for good measure.
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