MM&A name

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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MM&A name

Postby trainsinmaine » Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:11 pm

A question I'd never thought of asking till now: What was Burkhardt & co.'s
rationale behind changing the corporate name of the Bangor and Aroostook to Montreal, Maine and Atlantic? I know, I know: the new name has obvious "weight" as it defines the geographical boundaries within which the railroad operates (I rather like the name, myself,), but was there a legal reason why it had to be changed? Bangor and Aroostook was an old, proud name. If the response is, "It defines only a MAINE railroad," be reminded that the NY,NH&H was never limited to the New York-to-Hartford geographical arc, nor the B&M to Boston and Maine, or the New York Central merely to New York. There are lots of other examples, too.

Just curious.
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Postby sandpvrr » Tue Aug 03, 2004 7:51 pm

Hello All,
Good question trainsinmaine - one that I didn't fully understand either.
On the old (might have even been two versions ago now), we hashed that one out.
I believe we came up with the retirement plan was done in the BAR name, and that the union agreements were done in the BAR name. The way I understood it, along with symbolizing a new beginning and defining the railroads boundaries, the new name was to get out from under these financial obligations.
Hope this helps!
cya, Joey

Postby AmtrakFan » Wed Aug 04, 2004 10:38 am

I wish they would of kept the BAR that was a Historic Name and very well know unlike MMA.


Postby XRails » Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:07 pm

Though remember that the MMA is not just the former BAR, but also much of the former Iron Roads network (which is in turn former CP). But rest assured that I too am shaking my virtual fist at those who took the BAR from us :P

Postby MEC407 » Thu Aug 05, 2004 1:07 pm

"Bangor & Aroostook" may conjure up good memories for us railfans, but due to the things that Iron Road Railways had done, Bangor & Aroostook had developed a not-so-good reputation for itself, especially among banks, creditors, etc.

Changing the name was a necessary, if unpopular, thing to do.
Pan Am Railways — Boston & Maine/Maine Central — Delaware & Hudson
Central Maine & Quebec/Montreal, Maine & Atlantic/Bangor & Aroostook
Providence & Worcester — New England — GE Locomotives
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Postby thirdrail » Thu Aug 05, 2004 10:02 pm

It's really quite simple. The Montreal, Maine & Atlantic did not purchase the Bangoir and Aroostook company, it purchased its physical assets only, so it had to call the operation something else. It did not want to assume the contracts or debts of the BAR, especially the union contracts and the long term debts.

Most railroad purchases are done this way today. The Iowa Chicago & Easterm bought the physical assets of the I&M Rail Link, not the company. Same deal.

Postby sandpvrr » Fri Aug 06, 2004 10:49 pm

Hello All,
mick posted on this same topic under a slightly different title, so it doesn't appear here, but - he was stating that Burkhardt and Co removed the seniority system from the way it had been. (Among other things)
mick, my apologies, but I haven't been made aware of any senority having been removed. The same employees that worked the same jobs are still working them, before and after Burkhardt and Co took over. Granted, there have been a few changes, and some of the employees left, some voluntarily, some were never hired back. There have also been some new hires since the takeover, and they have been stuck at the 'bottom of the pecking order' so to speak.
mick also mentioned that Guilford Rail System pays more - guess what - they also have union dues. After the takeover, I spoke candidly with several employees, who had figured their income before and after - they said that the net takehome, after dues and such were subtracted, was virtually the same.
Although I can't speak intelligently about what its like to work for the MM&A, I do know that at least one person left Guilford to come to the MM&A. I also know that several have gone the other way, but few of them were actually hired by the MM&A, most were old BAR employees that the MM&A never hired.
Lets face it folks - an ending, the BAR name and almost the BAR Legend that surrounded it being gone, also means that with a fresh start, the new company can begin without the hold overs of 'that isn't the way we used to do it' - because now, its a new company, a new way of doing things, and in my humble opinion, its working.
Progressive Railroading reports carloads are up - including paper, which to me was surprising, considering how long the Mills in E. Millinocket and Millinocket were shut down.
Yes I know, it is possible to haul more cars, more frieght and lose money, but I doubt it in this case.
Pro Railroad, yes I am. Pro MM&A, yes I am. But more than anything, I'm Pro State of Maine - and we need all the help we can get.
cya, Joey

Postby Realityrail » Sat Aug 07, 2004 3:02 pm

Some of you are right, some of you are nostalgic

Here are the facts:
If you did not want to work for MMA, then you did not have to hire out. Compare the wage and benefit package to the new owners of GN Paper. MMA pays more!

So you don't like MMA? Quit and go to ST. Bet you'll be back at MMA in a few months!

Finally, on the banking front---we tried to buy oak blocking from a former BAR supplier. They refused us credit. We explained we were NOT the BAR---and they said, "But you are the railroad and they still owe us money!"

Quit complaining about the name-enjoy the new company and become a part of the new history of a new railroad.

Postby mick » Sun Aug 08, 2004 8:09 am

If the MMA has no unions,
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Postby sandpvrr » Sun Aug 08, 2004 11:57 am

Just asking, but if you're a Guilford employee, and so 'Pro Guilford' - why do you hang around on the MM&A forum? MM&A is almost the complete opposite of Guilford, GE powered, non-union.
On another note, I am quite sure that a seniority plan exists within the MM&A - I have been told that it did, I will double check this.
cya, Joey

Postby soolinexec » Sun Aug 08, 2004 12:44 pm

Union, what a racket that is. Only experience comes from unionized labor force? Bull. If that the case, them all these independent contractors have no idea what they are doing and all should be in jail, right? I never seen so many unionized people drive home to much as to the quailty of work they do, when there is plenty out there that can also do the same thing. what a bunch of perception minded, drill oriented people. Fact is, people like the union for 1 thing. I gives the a so called sense of security, thats it.

Postby BAR » Sun Aug 08, 2004 5:51 pm

It is my understanding that MM&A has a seniority system and it works as follows. If you are a former BAR employee and were hired by MM&A in their initial round of hiring your seniority was much the same as it was under the BAR. That is your position on the new MM&A seniority list was determined by where you stood on the former BAR seniority list. However if you were not hired in the first round of hiring but were hired at a later time you would then start at the bottom of the MM&A list notwithstanding where you were on the former BAR seniority list. Therefore it is possible that an MM&A employee hired in the initial hiring round with five years of seniority on the BAR would have more seniority than a fomer BAR employee with ten years of seniority who was hired after the rirst first round of MM&A hiring.
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Postby mick » Sun Aug 08, 2004 5:57 pm

I read the MMA forum because I was/am a fan of the BAR.
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Postby Realityrail » Sun Aug 08, 2004 7:19 pm


I understand your position. You have been brain washed by the railroad and the union you are a part of. How do i know this? One original MM&A employee who left to go to Waterville and then returned coined the monicker that fits they management style down there-THE EVIL EMPIRE.

Look at MMA and TALK to the employees. Have there been errors by the employees? YES

Have these been serious at times? YES

Did they get fired because the union is not there to protect them? NO

MMA treats people like adults. Mess up and we ask if you learned from your errors. Yes, you get reprimanded. And after that, we all have a coffee together and go back to work.

Do the employees like this? Hell yes. We communicate one on one with each other, no titles, no special "holds barred".

Dedicated, down to earth management? You bet!

Last week we had a fair sized derailment at Milinocket. Who was present? President and CEO Bob Grindrod (who shared pizza, soda and stories with all the men when we took a break), VP Engineering Tom Klem, Manager Mechanical Steve Johnston, even Rail World's VP Mechanical was there, side by side with the men.

Railroading at it's best? Try MMA.

Postby mick » Mon Aug 09, 2004 6:29 am

Well, seriously,
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