Augusta Lower Road

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Re: Augusta Lower Road

Postby NHV 669 » Sun May 22, 2016 7:00 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:basic focus and grasp on prioritization.


We're talking about the same state who got $20 mil to rebuild/rehab sections of an isolated MD that still doesn't connect to anything or have any on-line customers. Doing what they do best
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Re: Augusta Lower Road

Postby MEC407 » Sun May 22, 2016 11:58 am

Fair point but it was a lot less than $20 million.

Don't get me wrong, I totally agree it was a huge waste, but it wasn't a $20 million waste.
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Re: Augusta Lower Road

Postby Cowford » Sun May 22, 2016 3:59 pm

407, FE Wood has certainly proven themselves to be "all hat, no cattle" but, despite their backing of the project, they are on record stating their business was NOT dependent on an MD starting up, only that it would greatly help their long term needs. That gave ample wiggle room for ME DOT to hold off at least until the pellet mill was substantially in place. That said, as much as I'm a critic of ME DOT, I'd only give them 25% blame. The balance would fall on GPCOG and Senator Diamond.

By the way, GPCOG is, to this day, advocating a MD passenger rail service that you'd take the train Portland/Westbook to Fryeburg and cross-country ski/bicycle home.

You can't make this crap up: http://www.gpcog.org/transportation-land-use/rail/
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Re: Augusta Lower Road

Postby MEC407 » Sun May 22, 2016 4:21 pm

Still?! Wow.
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Re: Augusta Lower Road

Postby Cosakita18 » Sat Aug 27, 2016 9:39 pm

Looking around Google street view and I noticed that certain sections of the lower road between Brunswick and Richmond look very well maintained. (Most of it looks better maintained as the current PAR District 1 main :wink: ) In particular, I noticed that the level crossing at Route 24 / River Rd. between Bowdoinham and Richmond has new-ish ballast and fresh paint on the crossing lights. Is there someone caring for this segment of track?
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Re: Augusta Lower Road

Postby 690 » Sat Aug 27, 2016 9:49 pm

Cosakita18 wrote:Looking around Google street view and I noticed that certain sections of the lower road between Brunswick and Richmond look very well maintained. (Most of it looks better maintained as the current PAR District 1 main :wink: ) In particular, I noticed that the level crossing at Route 24 / River Rd. between Bowdoinham and Richmond has new-ish ballast and fresh paint on the crossing lights. Is there someone caring for this segment of track?


The Route 24 crossing was completely rebuilt a few years ago, and as is standard with such crossing rebuilds, had new rails, ballast, and crossing gates put it in. The Maine DOT does some basic maintenance on the whole line, and keeps it more or less clear of brush. Also, much of the rail on the Lower Road is relatively new 115lb rail, installed in the late 70s and early 80s under Maine Central, compared to the (in most spots) much older rail on the Back Road.
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Re: Augusta Lower Road

Postby Watchman318 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:51 pm

690 wrote:The Route 24 crossing was completely rebuilt a few years ago.
Correct. "Harward's Crossing" was originally an at-grade crossing in the earlier days of the line's existence. The Harward's station was closed in 1929, and razed when the overpass was built, in the early 1930's. I believe it was 2010 when the bridge was removed.
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Re: Augusta Lower Road

Postby Mikejf » Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:57 pm

Low bridge in Richmond is coming down..http://www.centralmaine.com/2017/01/19/ ... torn-down/
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Re: Augusta Lower Road

Postby MEC407 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:19 am

Kudos to the writer for calling it a bridge and not a trestle!
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Re: Augusta Lower Road

Postby gokeefe » Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:08 pm

I think it's notable that MaineDOT made it clear that the route was still in mind for future service.
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Re: Augusta Lower Road

Postby 690 » Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:17 am

More poor planning on the part of the Maine DOT. It'd be much easier and cheaper in the long run to undercut the road versus adding fifteen inches to the roadbed (westbounds are already coming up a decent grade through here as it is). Not to mention that adding fifteen inches of height in clearance still doesn't clear tractor trailers and their ilk that hit the bridge.
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Re: Augusta Lower Road

Postby Cowford » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:31 am

At least they're not replacing the bridge as they did on the Mountain sub!
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Re: Augusta Lower Road

Postby MEC407 » Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:36 am

690 wrote:Not to mention that adding fifteen inches of height in clearance still doesn't clear tractor trailers and their ilk that hit the bridge.


I wondered about that too. Perhaps the plan is to raise the railroad AND undercut the roadway in order to achieve the correct clearance.

At any rate, it'll be a long time before they have to worry about it and different people will probably be running MDOT by the time it needs to be dealt with.

Cowford wrote:At least they're not replacing the bridge as they did on the Mountain sub!


They don't have someone doing the "do this or else I won't build my widget factory" routine this time around. :wink:
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Re: Augusta Lower Road

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:00 pm

The thing was so beat up and out of alignment it would've had to be replaced for any continued rail use, even for service as meager as Maine Eastern having continued their trackage rights and finding some part-time use for it. Beams that bent from repeated strikes would've loosened the not very well-secured anchors and created a pressure-over-time risk of the deck shifting along the abutments with each subsequent strike. It goes without saying what a safety issue that ultimately becomes for vehicles below.

On a deck that short in length they wouldn't even try an in-situ repair for service reactivation. It's outright cheaper by a longshot nowadays to prefab a whole new deck offsite and bring it in on a flatbed with a crane for a rapid replacement than it is to do delicate surgery strengthening and realigning the piddling amount of ancient steel on the existing deck. Especially when working underneath and around the deck for abutment restoration and more secure anchors is necessary for any sort of rehab. They have an easier time working the abutments and that 15-inch topper with the deck pre-removed. So the state is correct that this has no bearing on Lower Road's operating status because the same exact removal and replacement would happen with any reactivation scenario down to and including light shortline freight.
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Re: Augusta Lower Road

Postby gokeefe » Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:12 pm

Worth noting that it appears in Google Maps that Pan Am has pulled the rails between Riggs Brook and Maple Street in Augusta on their side of the river. I think they're scavenging it for use elsewhere. They are plenty active to Cives and Blue Seal Feeds in North Augusta so I don't think this is a prelude to abandonment.
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