• St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad (SLR/SLQ)

  • For discussion of the various Class II and III Lines of the Genesee & Wyoming Inc. Railroad Holding Co. short-lines which do not have their own forums as noted:

    Providence and Worcester

    Their website is here: GWRR.com
    A list of their holdings is here: Wikipedia List
For discussion of the various Class II and III Lines of the Genesee & Wyoming Inc. Railroad Holding Co. short-lines which do not have their own forums as noted:

Providence and Worcester

Their website is here: GWRR.com
A list of their holdings is here: Wikipedia List
  • 1864 posts
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  by S1f3432
 
Latest addition to the family at Lewiston Jct. Saturday AM.
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  by PeteB
 
For anyone interested in the late CN and Emons eras that preceded G&W's operation of the SLR there is a new book titled Along the Old Grand Trunk 1982-2002. The following is the information provided to booksellers, basically an abbreviated history of the line..

By the mid-1800’s, Canadian and Maine interests viewed Portland as a potential seaport for Montreal. Two railroad companies were chartered to link the cities. The Atlantic & St. Lawrence Railroad was organized in September, 1845 to build the section in the US and construction from Portland commenced on July 4, 1846. On December 4, 1848, the A&SL opened to present-day Danville Jct. where a forerunner of the Maine Central, the Androscoggin & Kennebec Railroad, was under construction. The St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad was chartered to build eastward from Montreal to the US border. The A&SL opened to the Canadian border in February, 1853. In July of 1853, the combined A&SL and SL&A opened between Portland and Montreal. A month later, on August 5, 1853, the Grand Trunk Railway, a new Canadian corporation, leased the A&SL and the SL&A for 999 years.

Once the St. Lawrence River froze up in winter, traffic was diverted at Montreal to rail and heavy wheat and produce tonnage moved over the Grand Trunk to the wharves and warehouses on the Portland oceanfront. In the spring, when the St. Lawrence was navigable again, the GT lost much of its business and reduced operations until the next winter rush. The City of Portland became a major port on the Atlantic Ocean.

In 1863, GT leased the first grain elevator erected on the Portland waterfront. In 1875, GT built a larger grain elevator. Within a decade the grain business had outstripped the elevator’s capacity. In 1897, Portland businessmen built a 1,000,000 bushel grain elevator which was leased to GT. GT’s terminal could now handle seven steamships, a capacity equal to that of any other Atlantic seaport. On January 1, 1902, GT leased a newly erected 1,500,000 bushel elevator, largest on the east coast. Grain export traffic peaked at 42,911,940 bushels in 1915 as 244 steam ships were loaded at Portland. The grain elevators dominated the Portland seafront skyline and freight traffic but there were other significant commodities moving through the port. By 1875, the Brown Company’s mills at Berlin, NH were originating a daily special train of 22 carloads of timber destined to the company’s Portland wharf. Lumber was still being shipped by the Brown Company to Portland as late as 1925.

GT’s ambitious plans to compete coast-to-coast with the Canadian Pacific Railroad were financially draining and the Canadian Government, as receiver, took over the GT in 1919/1920. The eastern sections of the GT were absorbed into the new Canadian National Railway System under an agreement of January 30, 1923. Portland now had to compete with the Canadian ocean ports of Halifax and St. Johns. In the period 1921-1923, GT handled an average of 600,000 tons annually to Portland’s seafront, 98% of the port’s total commercial tonnage. In 1924, GT only delivered 339,431 tons and within a decade GT delivered almost nothing while the port’s total tonnage was down to a mere 21,120 tons. The two large elevators on the Portland seafront were taken down in 1943 and sometime after 1968, respectively.

For decades, southern Maine was served by the same trio of major railroad systems. The B&M ran northward to Rigby Yard in South Portland to interchange with MEC. MEC operated two main lines to Waterville and one beyond to Bangor as well as a line westward to St. Johnsbury, VT. The third system was CN’s GT which entered the United States at Norton, VT and ran eastward through New Hampshire to Portland. The Portland to Island Pond segment was designated the “Berlin Sub-Division”. The St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959 and offered a year-round route to the Atlantic Ocean. Portland declined as a major seaport but a prospering paper industry had arisen to become the major traffic generator for all three carriers. NH’s Coos County region of Cascade, Berlin and Groveton was now the tonnage producing center on CN’s aptly named Berlin Sub-Division.

And then the 1980’s arrived. In June, 1981, MEC was acquired by Mellon’s Guilford Transportation Industries. On June 30, 1983, Mellon bought the B&M. MEC and the B&M were eventually combined into the non-union Springfield Terminal. In 1989, CN sold GT’s US trackage to a short line operator, Emons Holding which operated the old Berlin Sub-Division as the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad (SLR) until Genesee & Wyoming acquired the Emons Transportation Group in 2002.

This book covers the last years of CN operation of the old GT between Danville Jct. and Island Pond and the entire lifetime of the Emons St. Lawrence & Atlantic. Wide cab CN M420’s and GP40-2’s on the daily pair of symbol freights gave way to a rainbow mix of GP9’s from CV, GT, NHN, W&W and SLR followed by GATX MP15’s (ex-CR, ex-RDG), then GATX GP40’s (ex-B&O) and even ex-CN M420’s. Finally, SLR was moving to an all GP40 variant roster when G&W took over.

The vast majority of the images in this all-color book were taken by the author, Pete Brill, in the late summer and concentrated on CN and SLR main line activity between Danville Jct. and Island Pond. Guilford trains with MEC, B&M and Guilford/ST power are shown at Danville Jct. There is also some coverage of the Berlin Mills, New Hampshire & Vermont, North Stratford and New Hampshire Central railroads as well as a detailed SLR history covering 1988-2002 compiled from.Railpace.

220 pages, glossy paper, soft cover, 279 color images, 6 maps and 14 illustrations.

The book is currently available exclusively from Ron's Books and is expected to be available at the West Springfield show.

Thank you.

Pete Brill
  by MEC407
 
Sounds like a great book!
  by Fritz
 
Hello,
Today's SLQ westbound 393 departed Island Pond at 0800 with the following:

GP40-2 3008
GP40-2 3047
RM-1 803
GP40-3 3803
2 centerbeam flats
2 boxcars
9 hi-cube boxcars
14 tank cars
27 propane cars

That's 54 cars total, including 4 loads and 50 empties.
Have a great day,
Fritz
  by Fritz
 
Hello,
Today's SLQ westbound 393 departed Island Pond at 0746 with a decent train:

QG GP40-2W 3014
GP40-3 3804
RM-1 805
GP40-2 3035
2 centerbeam flats
1 bulkhead flat
4 covered hoppers
7 tank cars
43 propane cars
3 boxcars
6 hi-cube boxcars

That's 66 cars total, including 1 load and 65 empties. Lots of propane empties!
Have a great weekend,
Fritz
  by gokeefe
 
Might as well call it the "St. Lawrence & Tankcar" ... :-D
  by PeteB
 
Tank car traffic, especially haz mat, is very remunerative. So, compared to lumber or fertilizer, for instance, propane will bring in a lot more money per carload. It's a good business to have but brings an extra layer of expense and complexity such as having your people haz mat qualified; maintaining an emergency response plan; keeping the ROW in good shape because a lumber car derailment pales in comparison to a propane car derailment, etc.
  by gokeefe
 
Well ... It's good to know that SLR has a steady source of revenue. Propane is almost certainly paying the bills right now.
  by NHV 669
 
Temperatures have dropped quite low in the last two weeks, the coldest its been all winter I'd guess. Although it certainly has been a mild winter so far up here, air temp-wise. We could be in for a rough February.
  by Fritz
 
Hello,
I got a late start and didn't catch up to them until Norton Pond, but today's SLQ westbound 393 reached the U.S. Canada border at 0830 with the following:

GP40-3 3805
RM-1 804
GP40-2 3035
2 centerbeam flats
1 bulkhead flat
23 propane cars
9 tank cars
11 boxcars
5 covered hoppers

That's 51 cars total, including 2 loads and 49 empties.

It also looks like last night's 394 set out 12 cars in the yard at Island Pond, possibly to reduce tonnage before heading farther east.
Best,
Fritz
  by Fritz
 
Hello,
On this cold morning, today's SLQ westbound 393 departed Island Pond at 0810 with the following:

QG GP40-2W 3014
GP40-3 3804
RM-1 805
4 centerbeam flats
5 hi-cube boxcars
1 boxcar
4 tank cars
13 propane cars
2 scrap gons

That's only 29 cars, including 1 load and 28 empties. A very short train! It didn't appear that there were any cars from the Lewiston Branch, so I wonder if there might have been some "issue" there last night. It did sound like they were going to pick up 40 more cars from the CMQ interchange in Sherbrooke.
Have a good day,
Fritz
  by Fritz
 
Hello,
On this mild but damp morning, today's SLQ westbound 393 departed Island Pond at 0915 with the following:

QG GP40-2W 3014
GP40-3 3804
RM-1 805
8 centerbeam flats
2 hi-cube boxcars
6 tank cars
10 propane cars
1 covered hopper
2 scrap gons

That is again only 29 cars, all empties. Another very short train!
Have a good day,
Fritz
  by Fritz
 
Hello,
Today's SLQ westbound 393 departed Island Pond at 0750 with the following:

GP40-3 3803
RM-1 803
QG SD40U 6904
8 covered hoppers
12 tank cars
21 propane cars
7 boxcars
6 hi-cube boxcars

That's 54 cars total, including 4 loads and 50 empties.

In the yard was another 53 cars waiting to go east. Apparently, they ran another extra out of Richmond last Sunday.

Apparently they also ran a plow extra last night.
Have a great day,
Fritz
  by Fritz
 
Hello,
Today's SLQ westbound 393 departed Island Pond at 0802 with the following:

GP40-2 3007
GP40-3 3805
RM-1 804
7 centerbeam flats
10 propane cars
8 tank cars
2 boxcars
7 hi-cube boxcars
2 covered hoppers

That's 36 cars total, including 5 loads and 31 empties.

Short train ... I have heard that the track blockades west of Montreal are delaying many cars en route to SLR.

However, there are still roughly 40 cars in the yard at Island Pond waiting to go east.
Best,
Fritz
  by NHV 669
 
No trains tonight, nothing to run due to the above mentioned protesters preventing any inbound traffic to Richmond.
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