• Activity on the Mountain Branch (Portland to Westbrook)

  • 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

  • 205 posts
  • 1
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  by festis
 
There is definitely a lot of "talk". In terms of "commuter rail" that's all it will ever be.
750 housing units, and a major retail center, with active rail in decent condition running through the center of it all. I wont disagree that it is a stretch, but a lot less of a stretch than two dudes and a goat commuting to Portland from Steep Falls twice a week, like some of the previous proposals....
  by gokeefe
 
All of the new retail and housing is definitely going to increase density ... But they just don't have anywhere close to enough to justify the expenditures. The FTA would never fund this ...
  by festis
 
gokeefe wrote:All of the new retail and housing is definitely going to increase density ... But they just don't have anywhere close to enough to justify the expenditures. The FTA would never fund this ...
I can point to 5 miles of track between Westbrook and a certain state prison that says not every expenditure requires great justification..... :-D
  by Cosakita18
 
Recently took a walk alongside the new(ish) refurbished segment of line between Westbrook and Gorham. It's still in very good shape despite 8+ years of having never seen the trains it was intended to handle.

Why was that segment of line refurbished? I know there was an proposed customer somewhere in that area but what was that customer supposed to ship and why did it fall through? Were they intended to be a fairly significant shipper?
  by MEC407
 
It was for a wood pellet plant that never materialized.

More info here: viewtopic.php?f=126&t=51363&start=915
  by gokeefe
 

Cosakita18 wrote:It's still in very good shape despite 8+ years of having never seen the trains it was intended to handle.
Hard for anything to deteriorate when there is a complete lack of physical forces from trains acting on the track structure.

It's probably just as good as the day it was laid down (literally).



Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  by MEC407
 
I think that's sort of true, but you also have moisture and heat and freeze-thaw cycles. Those things take a toll. It's why so many areas of the Mountain Division are in much worse shape today than they were after the last train rolled through. Give this rebuilt section another 8 years of dormancy and you'll start to see some signs of age.
  by gokeefe
 
I used to think the same myself but watching the Lower Road sit dormant for the past 20+ years my conclusion has been that without the mechanical action of a train the preservative in the ties and drainage characteristics of good rock ballast make the track structure virtually inert.

Very much agreed that in areas where the drainage has failed or somehow been compromised it's a completely different story. Also worth recalling that tie conditions on most other segments of the Mountain Division were far less than 100% new at the cessation of operations.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  by Cosakita18
 
I've always thought that freeze/thaw and, runoff and erosion did the majority of damage to unmaintained lines. How much wear and tear do trains themselves do?

I'll just say that a lot of the 30-year abandoned Lower Road looks MUCH better than the active PAR main east of Waterville :P
  by newpylong
 
Yes rail traffic does far more damage than time itself, assuming no erosion. Think about the amount of weight we are talking about...
  by BandA
 
As long as it gets regular brush cutting and inspection it should last a good while.

Does rail deteriorate faster due to corrosion when the head isn't being polished?

Wood ties wear due to freeze/thaw and from the forces applied when trains run over them. I bet the forces are similar magnitude.
  by gokeefe
 
Speaking from experience outside of railroading the formation of scale or corrosion can act as a protective barrier against further corrosion within a material. This can be particularly true of metal or masonry. Without physical contact by something other than the atmosphere or chemical activity from another source it is highly unlikely steel rails (especially new ones made as a modern alloy) would deteriorate. This would be especially true of rails which have no previous wear or tiny stress cracks from fatigue.

Without train traffic it might take as much as 1,000 years for the rails to deteriorate. The ties would go much sooner perhaps within 100-150 years. For now the Mountain Division beyond Cumberland Mills remains in its deep slumber perhaps never to awake.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  by roberttosh
 
Easy to be a Monday morning QB but rebuilding that line on speculation was not the brightest idea. The work could have clearly been put to better use elsewhere.
  by gokeefe
 
It was not so clear at the time. And the forest products industry could have used the boost. I respect the risk that was taken in the hopes of securing the bigger prize.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  by BandA
 
gokeefe wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:08 pmWithout train traffic it might take as much as 1,000 years for the rails to deteriorate. The ties would go much sooner perhaps within 100-150 years. For now the Mountain Division beyond Cumberland Mills remains in its deep slumber perhaps never to awake.
I thought ties lasted about 40 years? Anyway, it is still possible that those rails may see some use someday, especially if they keep the line brush-cut.
  • 1
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14