MMA To File 241 Mile Abandonment With STB

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: MMA To File 241 Mile Abandonment With STB

Postby calaisbranch » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:32 pm

ShortlinesUSA wrote:
calaisbranch wrote:I've only seen a few trains on this portion you're talking about. However, it's some of the nicest mainline around with 115lb CWR and an immaculate roadbed. It's a far cry from the line that runs Brownville Junction/Northern Maine Junction or even the Searsport Branch. Car counts have ranged from 45-90 from what I've seen. A lot of pulp-wood spike cars, wood chip cars and boxes. It's wierd like you said, but car counts are certainly there! Besides, whoever gets the rail mileage MMA loses will need an interchange point. Millinocket would likely be that for now. I imagine MMA holding on to their tracks above Brownville just for the purpose of keeping the "new" operator a captive receiver.


That's precisely what makes me wonder. In the visits I've made to the MMA, #2 takes a decent sized train from BJct to Millinocket. However, I wonder how much of that is bound for the portion they have put up for abandonment? Again, only hypothetical, but if MMA does outright abandon this portion and there is no new operator to take traffic to, what is left to take to the mill at E. Millinocket?

Last visit, I witnessed the 120 bring in 44 loads of woodchips to Squa Pan from Lumber Alley, just south Portage. They brought in another 20 or so cars from the Presque Isle cluster the night before. So that's a sizeable chunk of traffic headed for Millinocket, and on to other places (I assume the chips were bound for the NBSR, since that was their reporting mark) that would no longer be at Millinocket.

I think at this point, finding the lines abandoned is pretty remote, but the state and MMA are several million dollars apart on their offer; about 9 million, in fact. I honestly think if the line does wind up going out of service, it would be more of a, shall we say, "manly contest" between the state and MMA because the offer from the state is scrap value of the line, the same that MMA would receive if they pulled it up.


Mike,

I've actually seen NBSR and BAR chip cars coming down loaded to Northern Maine Junction and MMA's Lower Yard. I do believe they go west on EDNM like those "custom" cut boxcars with the long cut pulp wood. Matter of fact, chip empties from NMJ were on the #2 yesterday heading for Millinocket. As roberttosh was saying, could be the debacle with PAR/PAS that's causing the number surge with cars. Can't say I'd mind the MMA gaining from the other's failure!
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Re: MMA To File 241 Mile Abandonment With STB

Postby ShortlinesUSA » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:43 am

You know, I completely forgot to take into account the Irving connection between the chipping operation, NBSR, et al. Though they have NBSR marks, they would probably best be described as "Irving cars" and go wherever the chips from Portage are headed, so that makes complete sense.

Thank you for the reports on recent MMA traffic. At the rate things aren't moving on Pan Am at present, sounds like anything that could possibly be routed on MMA probably is.
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Re: MMA To File 241 Mile Abandonment With STB

Postby Highball » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:50 pm

ShortlinesUSA wrote:You know, I completely forgot to take into account the Irving connection between the chipping operation, NBSR, et al. Though they have NBSR marks, they would probably best be described as "Irving cars" and go wherever the chips from Portage are headed, so that makes complete sense.


Most, if not all the NBSR chip cars are destined for St. John, New Brunswick. I recently observed one of largest block of wood chip cars for some time, on a New Brunswick Southern eastbound, passing by my summer home in New Brunswick.
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Re: MMA To File 241 Mile Abandonment With STB

Postby Cowford » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:48 pm

Dang, the suspense is killing me!I wonder if the amount of time under negotiation is due to the two parties hammering out competitive access issues/rates?
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Re: MMA To File 241 Mile Abandonment With STB

Postby roberttosh » Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:56 pm

From what I'm hearing, MMA doesn't want anyone running those lines to have competitive access beyond them, which tells me that the whole abandonment was a farce just like I thought. If they didn't want the business anymore, then why do they care how it moves off those lines or whether they handle it or not?
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Re: MMA To File 241 Mile Abandonment With STB

Postby oibu » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:18 pm

^Based on Railworld's management tactics thus far, I'd assume they wanted their cake to eat too. Somebody else pays for maintenance and operations on the County trackage, but they still get the line-haul revenue to Montreal. Perfect. :wink:
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Re: MMA To File 241 Mile Abandonment With STB

Postby calaisbranch » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:13 pm

Looks like a whole lot of nothing has been said with very little progress made from either side........

http://www.bangordailynews.com/story/Pe ... -on,153217
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Re: MMA To File 241 Mile Abandonment With STB

Postby ShortlinesUSA » Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:50 pm

I would suspect that MMA is trying to avoid the inevitable-- that the lines will be sold to the state and contracted to a new operator, with trackage rights to access another carrier, will be the end result. I would bet my bottom dollar this is the decision the STB will render if the two parties can't agree to terms on their own, given the state's interest in purchasing the line and other operators expressing an interest in a contract to operate it.

That said, it is a little odd that MMA is holding out so long given the "dire financial state" of the lines up for abandonment. They must see a glimmer of hope in their favor somewhere, otherwise they would have walked away from the table by now and let the STB impose a decision. If they were dead serious about ridding themselves of the 233 miles and all the traffic on it, they would just let the chips fall-- anything from abandonment to a new operator with an outside connection would be the end result, and the mileage is off of their books regardless, which they have stated is what they want. More and more this points to what others have already said-- their bluff got called.
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Re: MMA To File 241 Mile Abandonment With STB

Postby employee4 » Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:56 pm

Gee, is everyone starting to see what I have said all along? MMA's operators are looking to fill their pockets with as much government (taxpayer's) money as possible. They have never wanted to service customers other than Searsport to Montreal. When ya figger out who is behind the whole process since Iron Road bought the B&A in the 90's then it's easy to see what is important to them.
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Re: MMA To File 241 Mile Abandonment With STB

Postby BAR » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:34 pm

If anyone has an update on the abandonment please share with the group. Thanks.

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Re: MMA To File 241 Mile Abandonment With STB

Postby ferroequinarchaeologist » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:08 pm

According to the local press, purchase by the Maine DOT is "in negotiations." Last I read, MMA wanted about 26 mil and the state was offering 18.

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Re: MMA To File 241 Mile Abandonment With STB

Postby calaisbranch » Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:29 pm

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Re: MMA To File 241 Mile Abandonment With STB

Postby Cowford » Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:24 pm

I'd only consider this good news from the standpoint of the corporate welfare champions. If I understand this correctly, MMA will be granted (not loaned) ADDITIONAL monies to rehab the track segments in question. Which means that MMA (once again) may have their cake and eat it, too. Think of it... up until now, their option was to sell the property which (if the state had its way on access agreements) would have resulted in much of their western gateway business being shunted to CN and PAR. Any additional funding poured into the infrastructure would have accrued to state accounts. Yet now MMA's being given 40-50% of what the property is worth (depending on who you believe) to fix up same, likely profit (from track rehab project management fees), retain their franchise, and finally improve their property value for some future occasion when they come back to the feeding trough to spin off the line. (MMA to MDOT in 2013: Dang, it's worth $37 million now, 'cause "we" just rebuilt it!)
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Re: MMA To File 241 Mile Abandonment With STB

Postby MEC407 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:18 pm

^ Pretty much... :(
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Re: MMA To File 241 Mile Abandonment With STB

Postby 4266 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Is there actually any guarantee that they will use all of that money for its intended purpose?
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