New Railroad Construction Around Brownville

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New Railroad Construction Around Brownville

Postby KSmitty » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:52 pm

Some BIG NEWS in the world of northern Maine Railroading.
J.D. Irving's railways in conjunction with MM&A will be adding some 100% new rail to the Brownville Junction area. Great news for railroaders, less so for us behind the camera. The cutoff will run about 2000' and with a roughly 18* curve will be connecting MM&A's Millinocket Sub directly to EMR's Mattawamkeag Sub. That much I KNOW, the rest of the post is based on what I was told today, I don't know how accurate it is since I was only able to grab snippets here and there. The new cutoff will be, I think anyway, east of the current flyover where the B&A crosses the CP headed to Millinocket. The idea seems to be to allow Irving trains to run around Brownville, thus removing congestion from the yard. Both oil and increased NMR to EMR/NBSR carloading traffic is the driving force behind this. The will mean NBSR's Brownville presence will return to pre-MNR days, essentially just in town long enough to interchange traffic. MM&A's operations will change little.

I attached a roughed out map image of what I think is going to happen.
Red is MM&A's Millinocket Sub
Green is EMR's Mattawamkeag Sub
Blue is the to be built cutoff.
Attachments
New Cutoff.jpg
New Cutoff.jpg (160.35 KiB) Viewed 5412 times
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Re: New Railroad Construction Around Brownville

Postby KSmitty » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:30 pm

That info was gained today from talking with the dozer operator and some of the Irving Woodlands guys on site at 'Keag today.
The MM&A wreck train was intown on NBSR http://kevin_smith.rrpicturearchives.ne ... id=3281565
The dozer was already on an HTTX flat for transport to Brownville, why it was trucked from Fort Kent to Keag to be railed to Brownville no one could figure out... http://kevin_smith.rrpicturearchives.ne ... id=3281567
Work stopped temporarily for 6315 West to roll through with a HUGE train http://kevin_smith.rrpicturearchives.ne ... id=3281569
HLCX 6319 is a recent repaint and sports flags http://kevin_smith.rrpicturearchives.ne ... id=3281571
Into the sun shot of the power. http://kevin_smith.rrpicturearchives.ne ... id=3281572 They easily had as many oil cars as Pan Am will send up, plus manifest and empty racks, I'd say in the 100+ car range. Tanks were on the rear, stretched out through the yard http://kevin_smith.rrpicturearchives.ne ... id=3281578
Presumably in preparation of the new cutoff 2 truckloads of Maine grown ties arrived at Keag to complement the flat car of rail on the NBSR side of town. http://kevin_smith.rrpicturearchives.ne ... id=3281582
And a final shot of the wreck train at the Rt 116 crossing in Chester http://kevin_smith.rrpicturearchives.ne ... id=3281587
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Re: New Railroad Construction Around Brownville

Postby JB283 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:39 pm

Is that what that buldozer that was being loaded at Mattawamkeag was for? I have thought they should do something like that for a while.
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Re: New Railroad Construction Around Brownville

Postby KSmitty » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:49 pm

Yes, it will be used for preliminary ground work, building the sub-roadbed. Shortly after you left they dug a pallet of grade stakes and construction fence out of the shed and dumped it in a highrail truck which left for the Brownville area. From the way the dozer operator was talking they plan to have preliminary the site cleared and preliminary work done inside 2 weeks, and I gathered they are looking to have this done the year.
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Re: New Railroad Construction Around Brownville

Postby JB283 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:39 pm

Ausome! What time did that train roll through town? I would have like to have seen it but i had other commitments.
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Re: New Railroad Construction Around Brownville

Postby KSmitty » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:42 pm

3/4 of an hour, maybe an hour after you left.
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Re: New Railroad Construction Around Brownville

Postby fogg1703 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:48 pm

If I remember correctly there is some pretty good terrain near the bridge over the MMA. Is the land owned by Irving Woodlands?
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Re: New Railroad Construction Around Brownville

Postby CPF363 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:20 pm

Will there be any new interlockings in the Brownville area to allow more fluid access to new and existing tracks? Will Irving or MM&A or both ever consider turning back on the ABS signals on the old CP International line anytime soon? How much of the ABS system still exists?
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Re: New Railroad Construction Around Brownville

Postby KSmitty » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:07 am

I don't know who originally owned the land, but based on the fact they were moving a bulldozer into position with the intention of starting preliminary work by weeks end, I'd say land ownership has been taken care of and is currently in the hands of MM&A or the Irving family.

I don't know how the new track will be handled, as an interchange track or a junction or what...The CP signals on the EMR are still standing at Brownville Junction, Mattawamkeag, Chester and I don't remember for sure but there might have been some in Vanceboro as well. All the signal heads are still in place but are turned sideways facing away from the track. In both Keag and Chester it looks like the wiring is intact but I doubt its in "flip a switch" condition. I don't know about the MM&A side of things, that half of the line is generally harder to follow and further from me. Its obvious when looking at the EMR side of things that much of the hardware was left in place, but they decided it wasn't going to be used and it hasn't been maintained.
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Re: New Railroad Construction Around Brownville

Postby CN9634 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:39 am

Your signal lines were run on telegraph poles and has since been removed. You will not see signaling on this line anytime soon
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Re: New Railroad Construction Around Brownville

Postby KSmitty » Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:04 am

CN9634 wrote:Your signal lines were run on telegraph poles and has since been removed. You will not see signaling on this line anytime soon

The lines and poles are still in place in Chester and I thought the power supply, but not signal control wiring was still in place in Keag. Needless to say I agree its not happening and much of the system is gone...
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Re: New Railroad Construction Around Brownville

Postby KSmitty » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:03 am

Was told yesterday (unconfirmed) that EMR has cut the switch for the new cuttoff into their mainline and has at least 1/2 of the ties in place. MM&A has not cut the switch on the Millinocket sub in yet. It appears ground work is done and actual rail related construction is beginning.
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Re: New Railroad Construction Around Brownville

Postby fogg1703 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:38 am

Did MNR ever have to pay any fee or royalty to MMA for access to Brownville Jct as part of the agreement with the state? Didn't know if cars destined for EMR were charged fees as opposed to any cars interchanged to MMA to discourage interchange with PAR at Mattawamkeag; hence the need for direct access between the ex BAR main and EMR line to avoid being charged on the ever increasing "wood jobs" off the BAR to Irving properties.
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Re: New Railroad Construction Around Brownville

Postby KSmitty » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:06 pm

fogg1703 wrote:Did MNR ever have to pay any fee or royalty to MMA for access to Brownville Jct as part of the agreement with the state? Didn't know if cars destined for EMR were charged fees as opposed to any cars interchanged to MMA to discourage interchange with PAR at Mattawamkeag; hence the need for direct access between the ex BAR main and EMR line to avoid being charged on the ever increasing "wood jobs" off the BAR to Irving properties.

The state, wisley I might add, dictated that MNR or any other contract operator would have access to Brownville and fair interchange to EMR. I think there was also a similar clause on the north end, but with MMA selling that portion its a moot point...
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Re: New Railroad Construction Around Brownville

Postby fogg1703 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:33 pm

That was my recollection as well, however the new connection and all the "negotiating" that went along with the MMA and the state made me rethink it. Thanks.

Any idea how many trains could be using the new connection daily? One each way perhaps? Not sure what the volumes are.
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