• Milford-Bennington Railroad (MBRX) 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 artman
 
BandA wrote:Article says only about $100,000 to start a tourist train. Is that accurate for an equipment lease?
I believe the article said 100,000 to get the track up to shape.
  by b&m 1566
 
He said the line has received extensive rehabilitation, and “it would not take a great deal of money,” maybe $100,000, to get a tourist train running again.
Kind of a vague statement, I suppose he could mean rail rehab or startup cost. From Howard St to Law Stone Quarry the track is class 3 (so I've been told) and class 1 from the quarry to the end of active track at Muzzy Hill Rd in Greenfield.
  by BandA
 
I assumed the quote meant that the track was already "good to go" or just about, and the $100K would cover everything else, but this is my speculation!
  by BandA
 
So, what would it cost to lease or purchase say three coaches & a passenger locomotive (or adapt locomotives that they already have)?
  by thebigham
 
http://www.unionleader.com/article/2018 ... /FRONTPAGE" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Future of Milford-Bennington Railroad Co. threatened by possibility section of track could be discontinued
By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON

Union Leader Correspondent
April 04. 2018 12:48AM

MILFORD — The Milford-Bennington Railroad Company is at risk of losing its freight business if Pan Am Railway’s proposal to discontinue a section of rail track is approved by regulators.

Pan Am Railways has filed a notice of intent to seek adverse discontinuance of Milford-Bennington Railroad Company’s operating authority over a portion of rail line known as the Hillsborough Branch.

The rail line extends about 5 miles from Milford to Wilton; Milford-Bennington previously entered into a contract with Pan Am that permits the rail company to operate trains on Pan Am’s tracks.

“(Pan Am) seeks the proposed adverse discontinuance to extinguish operating authority currently held by MBR and to resume operations over the line, which is owned by (Pan Am),” states the notice of intent recently filed with the Surface Transportation Board.
  by b&m 1566
 
Pan Am's ownership ends at the Wilton station and the state owns from there to the end of the line in Bennington, NH. I guess one of the clauses the state agreed too when they purchased the line was that they (Pan Am/B&M) would retain rights to use the line and can exercise those rights at any point in time. Pan Am, pulled this same move last year but never actually filed.
  by BostonUrbEx
 
So Pan Am is looking to be responsible for maintaining state owned track to Class 3 specs and be responsible for hauling a dinky little seasonal rock train shuttle, all over some personal vendetta against a tiny little railroad?
  by b&m 1566
 
I think this might be half of the reason and the drive to bring back the Wilton Scenic Railroad, it probably looks better on paper when you have more to back you up when appealing to the STB. Even if Pan Am takes over operations, I don't think they can stop a scenic operation on state owned track. It would help if the M&B could get the scenic railroad up and running before Pan Am files and most likely wins. I think this year is out of the question (they don't even have the equipment) but could next year be feasible to bring back the Wilton Scenic? Supposedly either the towns of Wilton/Greenfield and or the M&B are hoping to get a grant to help fund most if not all of the $100,000 needed. I do not know if any applications have been filed for such a grant; hell if you start a go fund me page, I'm sure they would collect money pretty quickly.
  by citystation1848
 
Clarifying some points made recently.
- Matt

BandA wrote:I assumed the quote meant that the track was already "good to go" or just about, and the $100K would cover everything else, but this is my speculation!
The line from the Granite State quarry to Muzzy Hill Road, Greenfield has been maintained to a degree since the Scenic ended in 2005. A new crossing was put in at Zephyr Lake Road, vegetation management has continued on the entire line, and washouts have been addressed when they occur. It wouldn't be a major project like it was to get the line open to Greenfield, but some minimal track work would be needed.
Dick H wrote:This SW900 is the M-B's only operative locomotive. I don't see it "fitting the bill".
Correct. My only comment at this time is that additional equipment is being sought. 901 would still be needed on the stone train if the Scenic is operating.
b&m 1566 wrote:Pan Am's ownership ends at the Wilton station and the state owns from there to the end of the line in Bennington, NH. I guess one of the clauses the state agreed too when they purchased the line was that they (Pan Am/B&M) would retain rights to use the line and can exercise those rights at any point in time. Pan Am, pulled this same move last year but never actually filed.
Ownership ends on the west edge of Howard Street in Wilton. Guilford filed for abandonment of the Hillsboro Branch beyond there with the ICC, which effectively gave up their rights on those tracks. The State purchased the line, with MBRX being chosen as the operator. MBRX then had to develop an agreement with Guilford on operating on their line from Howard Street, Wilton to Westchester Drive in Milford to access Granite State's processing facility.

During the Amtrak Downeaster line upgrades in the late 1990s, an arrangement was made with Guilford to allow them to operate up to Pike (the quarry just north of Granite State) for handling the ballast trains. Today, MBRX is the only operator of the line past Howard Street.
b&m 1566 wrote:I think this might be half of the reason and the drive to bring back the Wilton Scenic Railroad, it probably looks better on paper when you have more to back you up when appealing to the STB.
This was mentioned in the Milford Cabinet article:
But a tourist rail service would conceivably generate favorable public comments to the agency, which always looks at local impacts and it takes public comments, said Leishman, both pro and con. A scenic railroad would definitely be a positive.
- Leishman looks at restarting scenic rail service - Milford Cabinet March 30, 2018
BandA wrote:Saratoga & North Creek has some equipment that is suddenly available.
Nope, not being considered.... but as Eustis22 noted, a BL2 would look pretty freakin cool on the line. I vote for maroon and gold though as there's already an operating BL2 in BAR colors in Pennsylvania on the Stourbridge Line.
  by b&m 1566
 
A BL2 in the B&M BL2 scheme would be sweet! I'd also be happy with an S4 or something like that. How far gone is the other engine that the M&B owns, is it beyond restorable?
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