• What's next for MMA?

  • Discussion of present-day CM&Q operations, as well as discussion of predecessors Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR).
Discussion of present-day CM&Q operations, as well as discussion of predecessors Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR).

Moderator: MEC407

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  by Cowford
 
"With the oil there is great value for that line. Irving will buy it all the way to Montreal"

I respectfully disagree. Why would Irving tread where three predecesors have failed while there are three alternative rail routes (CP/CN, CP/SLR/PAR/NBSR, CP/PAS/PAR/NBSR) in addition to a rail-water option for CP-originated crude. My guess is line abandonment and state takeover. Several years ago I asked, "what would happen if the Onawa trestle collapsed?" I think we're seeing that now.
  by MEC407
 
So let's say Maine buys the line from Brownville Junction to the US/Canada border, Maine solicits bids, EMRY bids and wins. Perfectly logical, since EMRY and NBSR already operate the line east of Brownville. Who buys the rest of the line from the border to St. Jean? NBSR again, perhaps forming a new subsidiary and resurrecting the Quebec Southern name for a third time?

(P.S. for those of you just joining us: New Brunswick Southern Railway [NBSR], Eastern Maine Railway [EMRY], and Maine Northern Railway [MNR] are all subsidiaries of J.D. Irving, Ltd. References to "Irving" in the context of this discussion may refer to any or all of the above-listed subsidiaries, and should not be confused with Irving Oil.)
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
MEC407 wrote:So let's say Maine buys the line from Brownville Junction to the US/Canada border, Maine solicits bids, EMRY bids and wins. Perfectly logical, since EMRY and NBSR already operate the line east of Brownville. Who buys the rest of the line from the border to St. Jean? NBSR again, perhaps forming a new subsidiary and resurrecting the Quebec Southern name for a third time?

(P.S. for those of you just joining us: New Brunswick Southern Railway [NBSR], Eastern Maine Railway [EMRY], and Maine Northern Railway [MNR] are all subsidiaries of J.D. Irving, Ltd. References to "Irving" in the context of this discussion may refer to any or all of the above-listed subsidiaries, and should not be confused with Irving Oil.)
Irving would get completely contiguous connections between all 3 of its area shortlines without having to deal with any foreign-RR owned trackage if it gobbled up just Brownsville-Millinocket. Excellent opportunity for them to gain some operational streamlining and potentially unite all 3 lines under one (or two, like SLR/SLQ) reporting mark for a considerably more impressive- and cohesive-looking unified system map.
  by MEC407
 
^ Agreed.
  by doublestack
 
I doubt you'll see anyone interested in purchasing the Moosehead sub (Brownville to St. Jean) anytime soon. It will be a cold day in hell before the residents of Lac Megantic would allow any trains through their town, especially trains with hasmat cars. By law they can't stop the railroads, but people don't seem to forgive when loved ones are lost.
  by CPF363
 
doublestack wrote:I doubt you'll see anyone interested in purchasing the Moosehead sub (Brownville to St. Jean) anytime soon. It will be a cold day in hell before the residents of Lac Megantic would allow any trains through their town, especially trains with hasmat cars.
The city could look to build a new right-of-way for the railroad around Lac-Mégantic.

http://journalmetro.com/actualites/nati ... -le-train/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by CN9634
 
doublestack wrote:I doubt you'll see anyone interested in purchasing the Moosehead sub (Brownville to St. Jean) anytime soon. It will be a cold day in hell before the residents of Lac Megantic would allow any trains through their town, especially trains with hasmat cars. By law they can't stop the railroads, but people don't seem to forgive when loved ones are lost.
I think you are in for a surprise then.
  by CN9634
 
Cowford wrote:"With the oil there is great value for that line. Irving will buy it all the way to Montreal"

I respectfully disagree. Why would Irving tread where three predecesors have failed while there are three alternative rail routes (CP/CN, CP/SLR/PAR/NBSR, CP/PAS/PAR/NBSR) in addition to a rail-water option for CP-originated crude. My guess is line abandonment and state takeover. Several years ago I asked, "what would happen if the Onawa trestle collapsed?" I think we're seeing that now.
I don't know but Irving seems to have no problem taking off where three predecessors have failed in the county.

Oil makes the line viable now, another port and direct CP connection makes the line viable in the long-term. Irving's traffic is growing through its west connections, cutting out the MMA adds more $$ to Irving and gives them an alternative to CN. There has been some friction there in the past few years.

You won't see CP/CN unless they absolutely have to. The autoracks are a case of that because of clearances.


The people of Lac Megantic don't want to see trains stopping, they want to see trains not run by a company who doesn't appear to put safety first. Whether or not MMA is a safe company is a different discussion, but based on their practices, they appear to be less concerned about safety than profit. The public has even criticized the MMA for having a rag-tag fleet of units because to the public, it doesn't look professional to have patched out units instead of everything painted nice and neat. Irving has a spotless track record with the oil moves and really has a good public image. Welcome to business 101.
  by gpp111
 
There is not an incredible amount of value to the MM&A based on oil traffic alone. Using the month of May's oil traffic, it only amounts to about 17.5 loads per day based on a six day operation (though the MM&A operates less than that). This oil is easily routed using other rail lines or by barge. Irving is even now exploring shipping the Bakken crude by tanker from the Gulf coast. Lac Megantic is going to have rail traffic through town for the forseeable future whether they like it or not. The Tafisa paperboard plant there is a major employer and ships about 2,500 carloads. The rail line will be restored assuming there is a viable railroad to carry the freight going forward. While there may be no more oil trains, local trains servicing the paperboard plant will be running sometime again in the future most likely.
  by gokeefe
 
Ridgefielder wrote:
gpp111 wrote:The Moosehead subdivision from Brownville Junction to Lac Megantic will be scrapped, since there is virtually no traffic generated on this line, it is all overhead traffic that can easily be diverted elsewhere. The scrap value of the rail on the Moosehead is significant.
I'm not too sure about that. Can the St.L. & A. (ex-Grand Trunk) through Dixville Notch handle oil trains? I think the State of Maine steps in and buys the line before they let it be scrapped. If they haven't let the rails get lifted on the Mountain Sub, the Low Road to Augusta, or the Bangor-Ellsworth portion of the Calais Branch, I find it hard to believe they'd step aside and let the Moosehead get melted down to make dishwashers.
I agree. Absolutely no chance at all that the State would allow the abandonment of such an important east-west corridor.
  by gokeefe
 
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
MEC407 wrote:So let's say Maine buys the line from Brownville Junction to the US/Canada border, Maine solicits bids, EMRY bids and wins. Perfectly logical, since EMRY and NBSR already operate the line east of Brownville. Who buys the rest of the line from the border to St. Jean? NBSR again, perhaps forming a new subsidiary and resurrecting the Quebec Southern name for a third time?

(P.S. for those of you just joining us: New Brunswick Southern Railway [NBSR], Eastern Maine Railway [EMRY], and Maine Northern Railway [MNR] are all subsidiaries of J.D. Irving, Ltd. References to "Irving" in the context of this discussion may refer to any or all of the above-listed subsidiaries, and should not be confused with Irving Oil.)
Irving would get completely contiguous connections between all 3 of its area shortlines without having to deal with any foreign-RR owned trackage if it gobbled up just Brownsville-Millinocket. Excellent opportunity for them to gain some operational streamlining and potentially unite all 3 lines under one (or two, like SLR/SLQ) reporting mark for a considerably more impressive- and cohesive-looking unified system map.
I agree on this as well and think Iriving is in fact ambitious enough to try this. Having a competitive connection directly to the CP would be an excellent asset against the CN and PAR.
  by newpylong
 
doublestack wrote:I doubt you'll see anyone interested in purchasing the Moosehead sub (Brownville to St. Jean) anytime soon. It will be a cold day in hell before the residents of Lac Megantic would allow any trains through their town, especially trains with hasmat cars. By law they can't stop the railroads, but people don't seem to forgive when loved ones are lost.
I believe the Mayor stated on record she wants to see the railroad rebuilt, and would support a study of a bypass.
  by MEC407
 
^ That is correct. Apparently that's something they've wanted for a while, long before the disaster, due to issues they've had with grade crossings being blocked by long slow trains, making it difficult for ambulances to get to medical emergencies.
  by JBConn
 
In the US, state and local/town authorities are preempted from regulating interstate commerce. If an event of this sort happened in the US, town and state officials would be powerless to regulate future train activities without the active cooperation of federal authorities. Is this true under Canadian law?

I realize it's likely that town, provincial and perhaps even national authorities might all pursue the same solution in this case, just wondering about the law.
  by gokeefe
 
MEC407 wrote:^ That is correct. Apparently that's something they've wanted for a while, long before the disaster, due to issues they've had with grade crossings being blocked by long slow trains, making it difficult for ambulances to get to medical emergencies.
The slow part would probably get a lot better under Irving ownership.
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