MountainFan wrote:It seems to simply be a matter of when the state/private industries can get funding, because relatively minimal work needs to be done.
Not to be the voice of negativity, but I think the work that needs to be done is more than what I would consider minimal. On the state-owned section of the line, at least 50% of the ties would need to be replaced, and it needs a lot
of new ballast. The existing stick rail, with some work, is probably suitable for a 10 MPH freight operation. Heavier rail, as well as substantial bridge and culvert work, would be needed for faster speeds and/or the newer 286,000lb freight cars. And then there is the issue of the crossings. Some of them have been paved over, while others are completely non-existant (rails removed). Those issues would need to be fixed. The crossing signals (where applicable) would need to be repaired and turned back on, unless the operator of the line doesn't mind stopping and flagging each crossing... although that can be pretty dangerous in itself. Some of the roads/highways crossed by the Mountain Division are very busy, and the drivers who are on those roads every day haven't seen a train in 20+ years.
You're right, though... it is mostly a matter of funding. Exactly how much
funding is needed is debatable, and where that funding will come from
is another issue entirely.
I have no doubt that a lot of people in Maine would love to see the Mountain Division active again, and not just railfans. My only concern is that I remember how incredibly difficult it was to get funding for the Boston-Portland track upgrade, which was certainly a much higher priority than the Mountain Division.