Rockland Branch Discussion

Discussion of present-day CM&Q operations, as well as discussion of predecessors Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR).

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Re: Rockland Branch Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:53 am

Narrowgauger wrote:So are they still operating the branch? Used to seeing lots of photos and news from the line. Now that CM&Q took over all I hear are crickets??? Where is all this added traffic? I do hear complaints about the lack of a tourist train though.


Still operating. Slow and steady wins the race.
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Re: Rockland Branch Discussion

Postby 690 » Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:13 am

Dragon isn't doing so hot right now, and traffic on the branch is being affected by that.
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Re: Rockland Branch Discussion

Postby Cowford » Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:16 pm

Six months of no postings about the Rockland branch. Anything to report there?
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Re: Rockland Branch Discussion

Postby 690 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:13 pm

Nothing noteworthy, they're still running only every so often. Still recieving loads of perlite every couple of weeks or so, assuming Pan Am makes the connection in time.
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Re: Rockland Branch Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:36 pm

Very consistent interchange loads for dicaperl. Other than that ... its pretty much dead.
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Re: Rockland Branch Discussion

Postby trainsinmaine » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:13 am

If the CMQ had retained the contract for the summer passenger train, would it have contributed much income to the railroad?
It seemed to me at the time that it was a dumb move for the railroad to have made, but I'm just a train geek.
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Re: Rockland Branch Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:25 am

Maine Eastern was supposedly using freight profits to support the passenger operation. They did well at times during tour bus season but the exact operating financials are unclear.
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Re: Rockland Branch Discussion

Postby MEC407 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:53 pm

And it would be an apples-to-oranges comparison because Maine Eastern's parent company already had an existing fleet of extremely well-maintained passenger equipment at its disposal — ergo, Maine Eastern had no up-front costs in that regard. CMQ doesn't have that advantage.

Having said that, I still think there's a very strong case to be made for a seasonal Downeaster extension to Rockland, e.g., Memorial Day through Labor Day, one round trip per day, Friday-Saturday-Sunday + Independence Day and special events (blues festival, lobster festival). Run express from Brunswick to Rockland or make a very brief stop in Wiscasset. I truly believe that would be successful, perhaps moreso than Maine Eastern's trains ever were.
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Re: Rockland Branch Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:07 pm

I found myself wondering much the same after reading this discussion. Interesting to note that supposedly the Rockland Branch does not have predictive motion sensor circuits installed on grade crossings. This apparently causes problems with passenger speeds being less than what the track is rated for. Is that true?
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Re: Rockland Branch Discussion

Postby MEC407 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:44 am

This is the first I've heard of it.
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Re: Rockland Branch Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:45 pm

It was news to me as well. I thought there when the rehabilitation work was done (and multiple follow on projects thereafter) that predictive motion sensors (and circuits) had been installed.
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Re: Rockland Branch Discussion

Postby MEC407 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:13 pm

Yeah, it's pretty unusual (as far as I know) to spend tens of millions on brand new 115LB CWR and not have predictors for the crossings. Do we know for certain that this is the case?

It's not as if it's some kind of luxury. It serves a very real safety purpose.

I've always assumed that the speed restrictions imposed on passenger trains are due to: 1) the curviness of the line; 2) it's dark territory; 3) some of the crossings have minimal or no protection. I figured the curviness alone was the biggest factor.

I'm nearly certain that a passenger train restricted to 40 MPH and running express from Brunswick to Rockland (or making a very quick stop in Wiscasset) would still be significantly faster than Route 1 on summer weekends. I guess it depends on just how much they have to slow down for grade crossings...? I rode Maine Eastern once but I was too captivated by the scenery to notice the speed variations.
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Re: Rockland Branch Discussion

Postby trainsinmaine » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:09 pm

MEC407 wrote:I'm nearly certain that a passenger train restricted to 40 MPH and running express from Brunswick to Rockland (or making a very quick stop in Wiscasset) would still be significantly faster than Route 1 on summer weekends. I guess it depends on just how much they have to slow down for grade crossings...?


There are some days when it would simply be movement as opposed to total standstill. (A bit of an exaggeration, but not by much. :wink: Ever driven through Wiscasset on a summer weekend?
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Re: Rockland Branch Discussion

Postby MEC407 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:20 pm

I sure have! That's one of the main reasons why I think a seasonal extension of the Downeaster on a limited basis would be a winner. :wink:
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Re: Rockland Branch Discussion

Postby kilroy » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:31 pm

If you're going to Rockland or Wiscasset. Not much use if you're going to Boothbay.

The traffic backups on Rt 1 through there are longer than the line at Red's Eats.
Why do we drive on parkways and park in driveways?
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