I'm reading through a study of rural development policy in Maine and came across the following:
Meanwhile, one of the most visible effects of rail-rate deregulation in 1979 was the loss
of the chicken broiler industry in Maine, which had existed because it was possible to bring grain
from the Midwest to Maine at very cheap, regulated rail rates. When rates were deregulated, the
cost of bringing grain to Maine proved too great for the survival of the Maine industry, and
production again shifted south, nearer the rail centers of Baltimore and Norfolk. Transportation
deregulation along with great improvements in shipping technology, refrigeration, and
containerization opened American markets to fruits and vegetables from all over the world.
This is one of the most definitive descriptions I have ever seen that explains the traffic drop off on the B&ML.
Here is the paper information:
This essay was originally published in Maine Center for Economic Policy, Health Care and Tourism: A Lead Sector Strategy for
Rural Maine, David Vail and Lisa Pohlmann, editors, Augusta ME, April 2007, Chapter 2. Copyright 2007 MECEP. For the full
report, see http://www.mecep.org/SpreadingProsperity.asp
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Chapter 2 was written by Charles Colgan and Richard Barringer.