• Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad (BML) 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

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  by conductorvern
 
lets hope some day they run freight again and they could make a rail and a trail like in ellsworth they could have made a smaller sea port like Searsport in Belfast.
thanks~vernon
  by mwhite
 
MEC 52 is operating on the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad today (9/26/15) and tomorrow between Unity and the MOFGA fairgrounds on the shuttle passenger train.
  by MEC407
 
Wow! That's pretty neat. First time a B&M GP9 has ever run on those rails, I assume?

(Or a GP9 of any kind, for that matter? And would this also be the biggest diesel to ever operate on the BML?)
  by douellet
 
I believe a Bangor and Aroostook GP 7 or 9 ran on the B&ML many years ago. It must have put a stain on their track.
  by oibu
 
don't quote me, but I think I recall reading or seeing something about B&ML actually having had an MEC GP38 on the line briefly. I may be wrong, but for some reason I think that may have actually happened.
  by gokeefe
 
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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.

Chapter 2 was written by Charles Colgan and Richard Barringer.
  by Cowford
 
The link is broken, but so is the logic of the authors, if the excerpt is any clue. First of all, the Staggers Rail Act wasn't signed into law until late 1980. The broiler industry was in decline before that, as the industry migrated to the Delmarva peninsula. And while I'm no authority on historic grain rates, I know enough that deregulation did not cause Maine-destined grain rates to increase... They actually got more competitive over time. It's pretty well documented that Maine's poultry industry had a decades-long battle with MEC over freight rates and that the Northeast was always disadvantaged. Interestingly, below are some articles talking about the relief the MEC and B&M were giving the industry (one pre- and one 1-yr post-dereg)... some would say, too little, too late. But it was a very short-lived industry in the state, having taken off only post-WWII... doomed from the start?

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid= ... 0918&hl=en" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid= ... 5801&hl=en" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Cowford
 
Couldn't help but do more research on this. Here is a great article on a producer barging around MEC... in 1960!

http://mainejews.org/images/OOB2011/Lip ... ry_002.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Lipman suffered a further disadvantage. The Interstate Commerce Commission regulated railroads and grain
freight rates. The commission's policy protected national and regional feed manufacturers by maintaining the
out-dated "miller in transit" bill of lading. This allowed a miller to halt a 60 ton rail car at an upstate New York
feed mill and ship it on later as finished-feed in 20 ton cars to three different customers all at the same rate that
Lipman paid for one car. As a "point of use" operation, milling in transit rates placed Lipman at a comparative
disadvantage.
  by VaCentralRwy
 
The chicken industry didn't return to the Delmarva Peninsula. The modern broiler industry started there in the 1920s. Sussex County Delaware has been the #1 broiler-producing county in America since they've kept records. One advantage: it's surrounded by farms growing corn and soybeans (i.e. chicken feed) that has supplemental amounts shipped in from the Midwest. Maine's industry had to basically import all of its feed. The energy crisis didn't help as keeping them warm in Maine was a major cost.

John
  by b&m 1566
 
Watchman318 wrote:
FLRailFan1 wrote:Now, Is the BML still in business? Or is it a tourist railroad?
No more freight, and it doesn't go as far into Belfast as before, but they haven't "thrown in the towel." http://belfastandmooseheadlakerail.org/joomla/index.php
Legally, I believe the railroad is gone, it no longer exists as a railroad on paper. BPS preserves the history of the railroad using the name and some of the original equipment that remains. Through a lease or operating agreement with MEDOT, they are able to offer excursion on the weekends.
  by FLRailFan1
 
b&m 1566 wrote:
Watchman318 wrote:
FLRailFan1 wrote:Now, Is the BML still in business? Or is it a tourist railroad?
No more freight, and it doesn't go as far into Belfast as before, but they haven't "thrown in the towel." http://belfastandmooseheadlakerail.org/joomla/index.php
Legally, I believe the railroad is gone, it no longer exists as a railroad on paper. BPS preserves the history of the railroad using the name and some of the original equipment that remains. Through a lease or operating agreement with MEDOT, they are able to offer excursion on the weekends.
Just wondering, because if someone ever thought of locating a business in Belfast, I wonder if the BML would do a Naugy...
  by gokeefe
 
I have similar thoughts in relation to then potential for moving frozen foods from Belfast via intermodal container. Sounds silly but .....
  by newpylong
 
gokeefe wrote:I have similar thoughts in relation to then potential for moving frozen foods from Belfast via intermodal container. Sounds silly but .....
Rehabbing 30 miles of excepted trackage to handle a few pigs a week sounds like something Maine would go for...
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