gokeefe wrote:That bridge must be one of the few clearance limitations for PAR in Maine. I can't imagine there are many other places on the line where a road overpass limits the vertical clearance. Are they really letting just one or maybe two or three bridge get in the way of double stack operations through Maine? I understand in MA it's different story entirely because of the Hoosac Tunnel but I am nonetheless surprised they even brought it up. Perhaps they were just trying to plan for the future.
Sounds to me like when push comes to shove they're going to reinstall an at-grade crossing.
They considered an at-grade crossing, but that would have been even worse than a high bridge in terms of what it would do to the nearby homes. And the road is busy enough that traffic would get backed up onto nearby Route 1. I think the grade crossing idea lasted for all of two seconds.
I think you'd actually be surprised at how many overhead clearance issues they have in Maine. It's more than two or three, I can tell you that. I can think of at least three or four just on the B&M between South Berwick and Rigby. I'm sure there are a few on the MEC as well. Some of these, perhaps even all of them, could be be fixed by undercutting the track... but as was the case in Kennebunk, undercutting can get you into a lot of trouble if you're not careful... and part of the reason why they couldn't do as much undercutting in Kennebunk as they wanted
to do was because the railroad crosses two bridges less than a mile east of where it goes under the road bridge, and so you'd be creating quite a sudden incline unless you lowered those two bridges as well, and I'm not sure if that's feasible or even possible.
Anyway, I suspect that half the reason they wanted a bridge with double stack clearance was to make the line more attractive to anyone who might want to buy it in the future, rather than because they actually needed (or might someday need) double stack clearance. Just my personal opinion, of course.