• Madison Branch

  • Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.
Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

Moderator: MEC407

  by gokeefe
 
Very good news indeed. I am very curious about the process. I've read that it's "wet" with a closed loop for process water. Seems to imply bulk chemical use. Does anyone know more?
  by CN9634
 
You need a very strong business case to get the branch going again, considering it was abandoned before the mill closed which in itself would likely have been a stronger reason to rebuild the branch.

The 180,000 tons per year of softwood chips will source from local wood waste of saw mills, biomass, and other sites. But to remember, assuming nothing much is lost in the process, inputs = outputs, so we know we'll get at least 180K tons per year of finished product, which I suspect will be slightly more with other raw materials mixed in. So in this case, you're looking at 9000 truckloads per year, something around ~25 at full output. Could rail outbound rail supplement truck capacity? Quite possibly for someone with the right size check book.
  by gokeefe
 
Also notable that mill waste formerly sent to biomass plants in Aroostook County could be a source for biomass. Inbound rail could potentially very significant to feasibility for that source.
  by CN9634
 
Any biomass source within 150-200 miles won't go by rail. Irving rails their stuff because they have vertically integrated the supply chain so they have a cost savings internally (also it crosses the border). Again I remind that while not impossible that the Madison line would be rebuilt, even when it had a fully operational paper mill no dollars were put into that line, so you go from one compelling case to a less ideal situation. Time will tell.
Last edited by MEC407 on Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quoting
  by gokeefe
 
Very interesting development. Clear demand for wood chips of some kind. There is at least some potential for rail use.
  by 690
 
No, there isn't, unless someone pays to rehab the branch. Pan Am isn't going to haul woodchips twenty miles for next to nothing at five mph on a track that's not even considered a branch anymore.
  by New Haven 1
 
Depending on how much potential there is for this plant and, possibilities for future other users, TIGER funding could be used. Another way is CDBG funding. Without knowing specifics its difficult to make any more than a guess but these two funding sources are ways to get the line serviceable under the right conditions.
  by piker
 
I emailed GoLabs about rail shipping and this was the reply "Thank you for your email and interest in GO Lab. I haven’t heard about any plans to restore rail service in Madison, but there may be a need."
This is a small cutting edge startup so it will be several years before they can prove themselves and come close to justify reopening the branch. Still good news for Maine.
  by gokeefe
 
Interesting answer. Thanks for sharing. Very helpful.
  by 690
 
This isn't the same as using Tiger Grants (or whatever they call them these days) to replace some rail or whatever. It's twenty miles of track that needs to be completely rebuilt from the ground up.
  by New Haven 1
 
690 wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:12 am This isn't the same as using Tiger Grants (or whatever they call them these days) to replace some rail or whatever.
The "Right Conditions" I mention are a lot of things that would have to fall into place. As each situation is unique, it would take too much time to go over it and again, "Without knowing the specifics" you can't go any further than discuss it which was exactly what I was trying to do with my post. I hope this clarifies what I meant.
  by gokeefe
 
What kind of ballast is in place on the line?
  by 690
 
Guilford/Pan Am dumped some ballast in areas, but for the most part it's a sand/gravel mix. When the line was built they used sand and cinders as ballast.