This is second-hand but from someone I would consider an extremely reliable and knowledgeable source: Yes, VRS has been contracted by the CMQ to switch the customers in Newport, including Columbia Forest Products; however, apparently the CMQ has refused to repair the trestle over Landing Street on the Beebe Spur, despite having the materials on-hand in the yard at Newport. Thus, the VRS is unable to access Columbia Forest Products but continues to switch Poulin Grain and Feed Commodities.
Just thinking out loud here, but part of the reason that it sounds like all of the posts are thrashing the CMQ is that, for most part, the only reports being posted are from Vermont. The CMQ is a big railroad and has many more terminals - and presumably trains - in Maine and Quebec. Some say that the CMQ is operating well on the remaining 95% of the railroad, but it would help to support that contention if someone were to post observations about operations on the other 95% of the railroad. I know that the CMQ runs through some remote country, but Bangor has far more people than the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and even Millinocket is similar in size to Newport, so surely someone out there can give us some idea about CMQ operations in Maine and Quebec. CN9634's recent observations about track work being done in Northern Maine Junction and other reports about track work in Quebec are promising, but learning about how often trains are running on the various lines and how many cars they are pulling would certainly support the contention that operations on the other 95% are running smoothly, even if it does support our contention that the CMQ really is "dropping the ball" on the Newport Subdivision (perhaps for some good reason unknown to the rest of us). Anyhow just a thought...
One thing that has occurred to me is that the MMA's selling the Northern Maine lines to the State of Maine and turning over their operations (and the routing of cars off those lines) may well have hurt the CMQ in the long run. Whereas, in the past, the MMA had the financial incentive to route that traffic from Madawaska, Levesque, Presque Isle, etc. via its route across Maine and into Quebec for interchange. Now Irving has the ability and incentive to use multiple routings to get the best deal possible. Although routing traffic from northern Maine via the CMQ remains one option, Irving has other viable options as well, including routing this traffic via CN at St. Leonard or via Pan Am at Mattawamkeag/Northern Maine Junction.
Okay, that is all for now. Sorry for being so long-winded.