NB Southern - MMA traffic

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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NB Southern - MMA traffic

Postby trainsinmaine » Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:03 pm

I was in McAdam, N.B., last Tuesday and paid a brief visit to the grand old CP railway station there, which has been reopened as an historical museum, sponsored by the Town and largely staffed by local junior and senior high school students (a wonderful idea, wot?). A NB Southern freight train pulled into the yard while I was there; it was hauling chemicals and clay from the Domtar mill in Woodland. A crew member said the train would interchange with the MEC at Keag. One of the kids said there were usually three or four trains a day on the track, and that most of the business came to or from St. Stephen and Woodland.

Does anyone know how much other traffic is currently seen on the line? How much of it goes to/comes from Brownville, routed via the MMA?
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Postby sandpvrr » Mon Sep 06, 2004 6:54 pm

Hello all,
Trainsinmaine - to answer your last question briefly - not as much as I would like!
The folks you spoke with in McAdam are accurate as far as I know. The current operations out of McAdam are as follows:
1. 1 Eastbound Freight
2. 1 Westbound Freight
3. Local from McAdam to St. Stevens / Woodland / Calais
4. Eastbound Piggy back train
5. Westbound Piggy back train
I am not sure if that is the order things occur (probably not) but that is a general run through of what happens. I do believe the EB/WB freights and piggybacks do each have a day off out of 7, meaning they work 6 out of 7 days.
When the Westbound freight leaves McAdam, they are usually quite heavy - I have heard of 50-60 + cars and personally observed four units on the head end. Most of this traffic it seems is dropped for Guilford at Mattawamkeag - and last I knew less than half made it to Brownville Jct.
Of course, on any given day, this could be different. I have also seen the WB freight come into Brownville Jct. with two units and 40 cars. I have also seen them come in with a single unit and eight cars. A lot of the traffic to and from Keag depends on if GRS has been to Keag or not.
Hope that helps!
cya, Joey

Postby Highball » Tue Sep 07, 2004 7:09 pm


As a frequent observor of NB Southern train activity, I can add somewhat to Joey's post.

At present, there are four trains a day, five days a week..... a westbound and eastbound manifest ....... a westbound and eastbound Intermodal. There are two days of the week whereby the IM does not operate, usually Friday or Monday. The regular freight or manifest train operates in one direction only on two days, for example, Train # 907, the westbound manifest, operates on Sunday, and returns east on Monday. I have noticed this EB Monday train will often have a good number of autoracks. On Saturday this train operates east only, that being in the very early morning on the New Brunswick side of things.

Over the last week, the three westbound manifests I've seen between St. John and McAdam had 56, 66 and 58 cars respectively. The recent one at McAdam last Wednesday dropped 20, picked up the same number ( cars off the St Stephen sub, mostly boxes from Woodland, Re Guilford ). I would say in total, that roughly 2/3 of the train's consist was for GRS at the Keag.

The last two St. Stephen trains I saw into McAdam, had two units due to the heavier traffic coming from Woodland lately..... woodpulp and strand board. There is also a good deal of wafer board from St. Stephen, carried in MM & A boxes usually.

The westbound NBSR out of St. John will have usually 16 to 18 cars of Gypsum rock for McAdam ( orginates from Nova Scotia via CN ), on average 105 tons per car. There is a processing plant in McAdam that manufactures gypsum wallboard and a good deal of their product is shipped west in bulkend flats over the MM & A.

I hope this additional info helps.
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Postby INTERMODAL » Wed Sep 15, 2004 8:35 am

The NB Southern has a speed limit on the Reversing Falls bridge at St John,NB.,where the gypsum runs across.And this bridge has a 5 mph limit on it for the gypsum train.
Also the traffic going west out of McAdam,NB.,is mostly for GRS at the Keag.,and the only traffic going to Brownville Jct.,Me.,is the CP traffic.Ever since the Irving's bought out the CN yard at St John,NB.,everything goes by CN if it isin't a CP controll car.

Postby oibu » Mon Sep 20, 2004 8:21 am

What are approximate times of operation for the intermodal trains on the Maine section of the line? Are the freights still generally arrived at Brownville Jct. around mid-afternoon and leaving eastbound in the early evening?
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Postby INTERMODAL » Mon Sep 20, 2004 8:32 am

The pig trains leave St John,NB in the early moring hours and return in the afternoons.And the Westbound freight usually goes in the morning from McAdam,NB.,but varies,on Weds the w/b leaves McAdam in the afternoon and gets back to St John,NB late of night.

Postby bar358 » Mon Sep 20, 2004 10:35 am

If everything is on time, the WB IM will come in around 0500/0530 at Brownville Jct. Job #2 will arrive early morning, around 0800-01000 most days followed by the EB IM shortly afterwards around 1100. Job #1 is OD at Millinocket at 0730 this week, and makes it to Brownville sometime before 1200 most days depending on meets and the switching that needs to be done at Millinocket. The Brownville Jct. Switcher is OD 0630 at Derby and is around for most of the day. Also in the mix are the two NBSR frieghts, but I dont know what time they are running.

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