• Bucksport Branch activity & news

  • 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

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  by roberttosh
 
Not sure of the current name (was IP), but what's up with the Paper mill at Bucksport?? I guess it's shutdown "temporarily". That's usually what you hear right before the "permanent" shutdown announcement. What's the word on the street up that way? Just a few years back you had LCP, Sprague Oil, GP/James River, the IP Stud plants and Log yards, GP OSB at Woodland, now maybe the Bucksport mill - what's left??

  by emd_16645
 
The plant is owned now by Verso. For several years the mill has had several two-week shutdowns. This is caused by lack of product demand. The mill produces high-gloss paper only usable for magazines and advertisement. After the holiday season, the mill often has a significant drop in demand, especially from the advertising sector. The mill does not seem to be in danger of shutting down. As for other business Guilford serves the Verso mill at Bucksport, the Sappi mill at Hinkley, the feed distributors at Detroit and a few small businesses in the Augusta area as well as the paper mill at Madison. There is more business off the Rumford branch, but I don't really know the details. The Woodland mill still is in operation, but the word on the street I've heard is that it's on its last legs.

All the losses in industries served seem to fall under the category of Guilford not wanting to serve companies, just run from Point A to Point B.
  by RRBUFF
 
I have'nt heard anything about the mill here on its last legs. I live in Woodland and the mill is running at capacity. Most of the product is Wood pulp that is shipped by truck to the deepwater dock at Eastport for export.
Most of the paper production is shipped by truck to US customers. There are some GRS cars in the yard for pulp shipments. Most of the chemicals move by rail to the mill and recently logs are shipped to the mill by rail.
The loss of the Louisana Pacific OSB mill has dropped the rail business at Woodland

  by roberttosh
 
The LP OSB plant at Woodland closed a couple years back, while the Domtar Pulp mill continues to operate. Unfortunately the OSB plant was the bigger shipper of the two - at least for outbound product.

  by rb
 
Did the Old Town mill ever reopen?

  by roberttosh
 
It reopened but not as a paper mill. Several smaller business' but none that use rail unfortunately...

  by JBlaisdell
 
All the losses in industries served seem to fall under the category of Guilford not wanting to serve companies, just run from Point A to Point B.
Many now-defunct mills in Maine were old and in need of upgrading. Millonocket was a prime example. The machinery there was from the 1930s, and the costs to upgrade, esp. environmentally, were prohibitive. It was cheaper to build a new mill in China that can run off paper at 10x the rate. Sadly, there is also the matter that Maine (like much of the northeast) does not seem to want good, high-paying industrial jobs in the state- too noisy and smelly, the nimbys say. Plus no one wants the logging trucks on the roads, and God forbid we cut down (renewable) trees.
  by newpylong
 
well thats certainly not good...
  by gokeefe
 
I was under the impression that for a number of unique reasons the Bucksport mill was more profitable than its peers.

As such that is why this is the first time you have ever heard of a machine shutdown at that mill.

I was also under the impression that the mill was built in large part to consume most of the power generated by the Churchill (?) Dam on the Kennebec River when it was built by CMP.

One of the other reasons why the mill may have gone so long without a shutdown is that their machines were a lot newer than most of the other mills. (Several of them having been added for the aforementioned use of hydroelectric power).

[EDIT]Since I can't find anywhere else to mention it I'll write about it here.....some of my friends who have woodlots have been hearing that the mills are currently buying unusual (inferior) tree types that they normally avoid, "poppel" (poplar) being one of them. I don't know exactly what the significance of this is but those who have mentioned it to me are selling their wood directly to truckers who are taking it to the mills so I think the information is very reliable. They also mentioned that the understanding from the skid truck drivers was that it was unheard of for the mills (as in ever) to buy these grades of wood.

Another tidbit that I thought was unusual and worth mentioning was hearing reports that the Verso Mill in Jay is stockpiling wood right now to levels that they never have before in the past. This information comes from a different source who is in a position to know with complete certainty. There were indications that the Jay mill has had to expand their woodyard to accomodate all of the wood that they have in stock.

I have no idea what all of this means in the big picture but from this point of view there is certainly something to be said for the idea that there are some highly unusual trends underway in the Maine paper market right now and they aren't necessarily public. All of this could potentially affect PAR in the long term with potentially drastic increases or reductions in car load volumes to and from the paper mills.
  by S1f3432
 
An article I read in the Bangor Daily News last week stated the machine being shut down
at Bucksport was a groundwood machine and the oldest at the mill. Groundwood paper is used
mostly for books and magazines- a declining market; it is unsuitable for computer paper.
The mill at Rumford used to have one groundwood machine and the grinder was in the old
bag mill on the island- and Poplar/Popple was used for feed stock. There are only two paper
machines runnnig there now, with one other having been converted into a pulp dryer. A lot of
the output of the pulp mill is being sold on the open market as baled market pulp rather than
being finished into paper. When I was in Rumford on an outage in April the grinder appeared
to still be operating. I'm wondering if the other mills are also selling a lot of market pulp
rather than finished paper and source/type of wood isn't as important as it might be otherwise.
  by riffian
 
Interesting post.....the question is does baled market pulp translate into rail loads?
  by RRBUFF
 
The Woodland Mill in Baileyville is only a pulp mill now. Almost all the pulp from this mill is trucked to the dock in Eastport for export. I haven't seen a loaded boxcar in Woodland for ages. There were a few boxcars here for months and they were recently sent back empty.
  by carchecker
 
I saw six Pan Am boxes in McAdam yard last week that came from Woodland and was told they were loads. Were they mistaken? Also RRBUFF, I was travelling through Woodland about a month ago and took a drive out by the OSB plant. There seemed to be a tremendous amount of activity going on. Any idea what was up?
  by newpylong
 
There must be some business left WD-1 is still active up there (with NBSR power and Pan Am crews).
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