Yet more funding for MMA?

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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Yet more funding for MMA?

Postby ShortlinesUSA » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:43 pm

This was just posted in Progressive Railroading, and I have snipped just a bit of it:

Maine grants would help preserve regional's line, improve short line's service
Maine Gov. John Baldacci recently released details of a $79 million job creation/investment package that includes $62 million for rail, port and highway projects.

The state’s unemployment rate reached 8.2 percent in January, up from 8.1 percent in December and 7.3 percent in January 2009. The number of unemployed workers increased by 6,500 year over year to 57,900.

The rail projects Baldacci’s package/grants target to create jobs include:
• $17 million to help the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway Inc. (MMA) preserve 240 miles of track in Aroostook County; and
• $5 million for various rail improvements in Lewiston-Auburn, enabling the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad to purchase a line from Yarmouth to Auburn to improve freight-rail service and prepare for future passenger-rail service.

So, this brings a couple of questions. Is this yet another funding vehicle, in addition to the two previously announced bond issues, and federal backing from US DOT that Senator Collins has apparently secured, or is this the avenue through which said funding will be applied? I am thinking the latter, with the feds throwing in a chunk of money to help the state fund this, since they probably don't have $79 million laying around...

Appreciate any insights.
Mike Derrick
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Re: Yet more funding for MMA?

Postby mwhite » Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:04 pm

This is a proposed bond package.
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Re: Yet more funding for MMA?

Postby Cowford » Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:16 pm

Whoever worded that blurb needs a better understanding of nuance... and accuracy.

* Maine grants would... Grants... to whom???
* " (MMA) preserve..." That indicates that it's a grant to the railroad
* "...enable the (SLR) to purchase a line from Yarmouth to Auburn..." So SLR will be paid to buy trackage they already own??? And how does buying the line improve freight service?
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Re: Yet more funding for MMA?

Postby employee4 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:03 am

Considering MMA has been rated the lowest in Maine for customer service since it's inception, I can see anyone improving the line who is interested in serving the customer's needs. NBS could purchase this parcel and hook onto it just east of Brownville Jct. Seeing as how most of the mills are owned by Canadian interests, this would make the most sense. But I also wonder how MMA would run it's line from Madawaska to Van Buren, being isolated with a purchase by any entity other than the state (and leasing it to MMA) would be kinda tricky. As I can see it, the deal has already been struck and just awaiting the blessings of the overtaxed citizens of Maine. The sale to the state would affect some employees while sale to an established rail line would ensure those jobs stayed intact. I am sure that anyone who knows the manhour per mile ratio could point out the severe cuts in manpower that were instituted in the last couple of years have been a big reason service has gotten worse. This whole thing is just another example of some people from outside the state trying to do business in Maine "just like we did there". This time the "there" is Wisconsin. Problem is it didn't work out there and it didn't work here. Refusing to pay overtime while requiring people to work it is just illegal, I truly hope the Department of Labour does at some point catch up with this tactic and puts a stop to it. Using the economy as an excuse for screwing it's employees is getting old.
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Re: Yet more funding for MMA?

Postby ferroequinarchaeologist » Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:41 pm

Transportation Secretary LaHood announced an additional $115 million available. Proposals due about six weeks from now.

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