Maine Northern Railway (ex-MMA lines operated by EMR/NBSR)

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: Maine Northern Railway (ex-MMA lines operated by EMR/NBS

Postby CN9634 » Sun Oct 09, 2016 2:53 pm

What branch being dead?
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Re: Maine Northern Railway (ex-MMA lines operated by EMR/NBS

Postby Cowford » Sun Oct 09, 2016 3:54 pm

CN, I don't subscribe to ANR&P, but did do a little digging into CTA regs... here are a couple interesting takeaways:

On interswitching, it appears that application is open to anyone, including the roads:

Application to interswitch traffic between connecting lines

127 (1) If a railway line of one railway company connects with a railway line of another railway company, an application for an interswitching order may be made to the Agency by either company, by a municipal government or by any other interested person.


On establishing competitive line rates, the following would seem to be a big sticking point for CMQ, given its route is across Maine.

When competitive line rate to be established on shipper’s request...
Route within Canada: 130(4) If the ultimate point of destination of a movement of the shipper’s traffic is in Canada, the shipper shall designate a route wholly within Canada, unless there is no cost-effective continuous route wholly within Canada that is available to the shipper and over which it is reasonable to move the shipper’s traffic.
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Re: Maine Northern Railway (ex-MMA lines operated by EMR/NBS

Postby CN9634 » Sun Oct 09, 2016 4:28 pm

Aha, that may have been the issue... since CMQ didn't operate in New Brunswick they didn't have the ability to apply. I should dig up the case but it's been a year now so I'm assuming it won't be happening anytime at all soon unless CN has a major issue and NB Southern or the shipper submits.
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Re: Maine Northern Railway (ex-MMA lines operated by EMR/NBS

Postby Cowford » Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:45 pm

The interesting thing is that it says "any interested person" can apply... though I would think that, practically speaking, CMQ would require NBSR's cooperation.
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Re: Maine Northern Railway (ex-MMA lines operated by EMR/NBS

Postby gokeefe » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:15 pm

What's the intended destination for potash?
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Re: Maine Northern Railway (ex-MMA lines operated by EMR/NBS

Postby KSmitty » Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:32 pm

Canpotax's (Potash Corp.) export dock, Saint John, NB.
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Re: Maine Northern Railway (ex-MMA lines operated by EMR/NBS

Postby fromway » Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:33 pm

Interesting facility. Visited SJ last year and found this site. Nice place to park across the street and watch all the double trailers come in and go through the unloading process. Also good spot to keep track of the operations at Irving across the bay.
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Re: Maine Northern Railway (ex-MMA lines operated by EMR/NBS

Postby gokeefe » Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:23 pm

KSmitty wrote:Canpotax's (Potash Corp.) export dock, Saint John, NB.


I take it the origin is somewhere out west?
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Re: Maine Northern Railway (ex-MMA lines operated by EMR/NBS

Postby CN9634 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:14 pm

fogg1703 wrote:
CN9634 wrote:Only equipment the RR has to provide are the well cars.


What railroad is responsible for providing well cars? NBM? Doesn't being a non TTX partner add cost to car hire?

CN9634 wrote:Also NAFTA 2.0 solved the customs issue (which I asked customs officials and experienced freight forwarders a pointed question about this type of situation in 2012) with a streamlining of electronic submission of customs paperwork and an e-manifest. They were piloting several trains with this system back then running from Prince Rupert into the US or via the US to points in Canada. It's now a moot point and intermodal trains cross in and out of the US across the country all the time now.


Very interesting indeed. Im surprised another go at the Sunbury trains hasn't been attempted.

CN9634 wrote:No way you'd see an NBM-CMQ-CP-CSX routing... too many hands in the pot.


Well now I'm really curious how you propose CP gets into the fray here. If CP was to capture some of this traffic, your suggesting it not economically feasible to interchange with one more road? So Mechanicville, Montreal and/or Toronto are your unloading sites?

I guess I am stuck in an operations based reality. In my mind full DS from Saint John to NY/NJ via Montreal beats single stack service over PAR. It takes advantage of the cost effectiveness of DS even with a possible 24-36 hours addition to trip time but on a consistent time table.


Back to the original topic.... you do realize that for years CDAC and MMA ran intermodal across Maine? We aren't re-inventing the wheel here, they'll likely just use pool TTX equipment that comes in on CP, maybe some other stuff mixed in.

You have to consider that intermodal is such low revenue that adding in a fourth carrier could be a deal breaker, even with double stack cost efficiencies. CMQ/NBS are minor players on the grand scheme, because you also have to remember that CP already has intermodal services established. So it is likely on the CP side of the equation, there would be no need to add a new train, just add to an existing service (assuming there is capacity) or blend it into the current scheme along their established network. It's certainly possible you might get a whole new trainload out of it, but that would have to be a lot of daily volume going to somewhere like Toronto, Detroit, Chicago or beyond (But in all honesty, that hasn't been unheard of either through this port historically).

And also I'm stuck in operations based reality too, trust me I work the ops side and am told by the finance/accounting people what needs to be done to make what we do cost efficient. In intermodal trucking there are metrics like drays per driver per day, loaded ratio and average bobtail miles. On the rail side, it works like a boat at a port, load and unload efficiently, streamline train service, reduce dwell time.... this isn't manifest stuff, you can't just route a container to just anywhere, it's hub and spoke. Often times to route something from say New England to the mid-Atlantic if there was no direct train service you would have to go to Chicago, take the box off one train, put it on another, and send it southeast. You only open a new lane if you have density to support it. For intermodal operations wise, less is more and simplicity is the key, especially when you are competing with trucks which is the most simple way of moving something there is.
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Re: Maine Northern Railway (ex-MMA lines operated by EMR/NBS

Postby fogg1703 » Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:51 pm

CN9634 wrote:you do realize that for years CDAC and MMA ran intermodal across Maine? We aren't re-inventing the wheel here, they'll likely just use pool TTX equipment that comes in on CP, maybe some other stuff mixed in.


Most of us remember this service. My first point on the topic was I was not aware that the issue of speedier border crossings had been resolved with legislation. Wasn't there also an issue of perishables/foodstuffs? The second point speaks to your comment about lease equipment...MMA leased their own flatcars from First Union (mostly NOKL) not from the TTX pool for Trains 777/778. So back to my original question, CMQ is the only non TTX partner road involved in any movement, if I understand you correctly more than likely a Class I would supply the cars through the TTX pool (CN directly, CP via CMQ and CSX or NS via PAR/PAS)?

It would be quite interesting if a similar service to Train 777/778 with Canadian "domestics" (Sunbury/RST/Midland trailers etc..) could be added to any international container traffic in DS across the Moosehead. Unload the trailers at Farhnam and/or Montreal and tack the container traffic onto an existing CP train.

Its a wait and see situation in Saint John as the funding has just been approved and most of this projected traffic will not materialize for 3-5 years as DP World ramps up infrastructure and dredging projects. Its a hugely positive step for all involved.
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Re: Maine Northern Railway (ex-MMA lines operated by EMR/NBS

Postby CN9634 » Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:04 pm

I think you might see that happen if NBS wants it... remember the Sunbury service was run by Irving conglomerate not jut the MMA. They invested in containers and vans designed specifically for the service... as far as I can tell Sunbury has retreated into a more local trucking company focused in NB... however that doesn't mean Irving isn't focusing on their long-haul arm as their Midland branch is opening new terminals in Toronto and other areas and they offer an intermodal service.

Since I think everyone in trucking realizes that more regional or locals runs are the future, a lot of people up east will start investing to intermodal. You already see Armour, Clarke, Ontario Maritime and others doing so... only a matter of time. Midland also does own containers, but very few. I would expect that a Midland service could be bolstered by crossdock opportunities with steamship companies, as well as Irving's ownership of the trucking company and railroad to try to move containers over their own lanes into Montreal or Toronto markets.

Here is more about Midland intermodal "Econoline". Certainly the expansion of the port has a trickle effect on the Irving owned trucking companies so we will see ultimately in a few years how that all pans out.

https://www.midlandtransport.com/midlan ... modal.aspx
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Re: Maine Northern Railway (ex-MMA lines operated by EMR/NBS

Postby fromway » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:35 pm

Article in todays BDN about Dead River opening up a new depot in Presque Isle. Because service was discontinued on the Limestone Branch, DR approached the PI Industrial Council about using an area they controlled. They will receive by rail and then distribute by truck. They hope to have this up and running by the end of the month. The MNR assured them they will have the service to make this new depot work.
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Re: Maine Northern Railway (ex-MMA lines operated by EMR/NBS

Postby riffian » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:37 pm

Moving their terminal from Caribou to Presque Isle. The Dead River LPG facility was the last active customer in Caribou, and the track was so bad that moves were made at a walking pace. Nice bit of cooperation by both parties to maintain service and traffic.
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Re: Maine Northern Railway (ex-MMA lines operated by EMR/NBS

Postby gokeefe » Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:17 am

I completely agree. Great to see this new arrangement being put in place.
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Re: Maine Northern Railway (ex-MMA lines operated by EMR/NBS

Postby fogg1703 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:55 am

From the BDN picture it looks like the new facility is located in the former intermodal yard in the Skyway Industrial Park. Can anyone confirm.
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