Searsport Branch

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: Searsport Branch

Postby 690 » Mon May 02, 2016 8:53 am

Yes, Sprague reloads them, but it's not really competition between the two railroads, just the mills getting from different sources. The stuff Pan Am brings in is exclusively for the paper mills that they serve, none of it goes east of Waterville to NMJ. Likewise, the slurry they load in Searsport is exclusively for Irving (afaik, I don't think the CMQ has any businesses that take slurry), and doesn't touch Pan Am property.
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Re: Searsport Branch

Postby cvrr5809 » Mon May 02, 2016 4:26 pm

Sprague loads go to Saint John, NB. They travel North over CMQ to Brownville Junction and get handed off to NBSR/EMRR where they head East. GACs are always loads going down and empties back. Irving has been taking more as of late. I hate to say I haven't paid much attention to those because the numbers were random until recently. I wanna say they go North loaded like the Spragues, but don't quote me on that yet. I'll have to check the next batch
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Re: Searsport Branch

Postby KSmitty » Mon May 02, 2016 7:19 pm

I believe that is correct, Irving hauls the stuff over from Saint John by water and sends it out for distribution from there as I understand it.
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Re: Searsport Branch

Postby Cowford » Tue May 03, 2016 12:11 pm

I believe y'all are talking about two different (albeit competing or substitute) products. Slurried Calcium Carbonate moves out of VT; slurried kaolin clay moves out of Sprague.
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Re: Searsport Branch

Postby CN9634 » Tue May 03, 2016 8:05 pm

Correct, not all clay is equal.
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Re: Searsport Branch

Postby NashuaActon&Boston » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:14 pm

Looks like this thread has been dormant for almost a year..

Does the CM&Q Searsport job still operate (more-or-less) weekly, on Saturdays?

Anyone witness any recent action?

I've never been up on the Searsport Branch - How many customers on-line? I spend time (a few weeks per year) in Newcastle on the Rockland Branch, and this has proven underwhelming for quite some time, in terms of witnessing activity. Figure I'll travel farther north one day. I have been on the Bucksport Branch (quite a rough show even 15 years ago) and the BML..
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Re: Searsport Branch

Postby KSmitty » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:55 pm

Ah. Still working 2-3 times a week regulalry. Saturday is usual, but not guaranteed.

Customers.
Dead River in Hampden. Takes LP.
GAC in Searsport/Kidder Point. Takes chemicals in.
Sprague in Searsport yard loads slurry.
Irving has a terminal right by the yard, but I don't think they ship regulalry anymore.
Other business is largely gone from the branch, but much of the infrastructure and tracks are still in place in the yard/port.
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Re: Searsport Branch

Postby 690 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:06 am

Irving loads diesel, not sure if they do anything else. For a little while GAC was taking something in hoppers, don't know if that's still happening or not, and there's also a spur at MP9 with some hoppers that have been sitting there; I'm guessing they load ballast there, but I've never seen them doing anything with them, so I don't know for sure.
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Re: Searsport Branch

Postby KSmitty » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:49 pm

MP9 is Mosquito Mountain. Load sand, I think, there. Strictly seasonal customer. Forgot about them.

The diesel that Irving is loading, is that the new service that goes to Presque Isle or whatever up on MNR? Or is it a long standing thing?
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Re: Searsport Branch

Postby 690 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:34 am

Mosquito Mountain is MP13, MP9 is by the third Muskrat Farm crossing (heading towards Searsport). They don't do anything at Mosquito Mountain currently, other than it being a "designated crew change location". I'm not sure where the diesel is going, I haven't been up by the Maine Northern or NBSR for a while.
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Re: Searsport Branch

Postby cvrr5809 » Mon May 01, 2017 5:17 pm

MP 9 is the Lane siding in lower Stockton. You can see it from the Southernmost crossing of Muskrat Farm Road. The funny thing about Mosquito Mountain is that there is a sign for it in two different locations. One is straight out across the Thornton's pit in Prospect while the other is between the "Mountain crossing" at the mountain's base and Mount Waldo Road in lower Frankfort. The first one looks to be closer to an actual one time "station" stop. The routine as of late for an "average" schedule is Sundays and Wednesdays.
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Re: Searsport Branch

Postby rjb605 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:34 pm

CMQ ran a couple of FRA inspection cars to Searsport and back today. Does the FRA set the speed limit on the line? Five years ago, the trains ran about 25 mph thru Stockton, now they run at 5 - 10 mph. They seem to have sone a fair amount of work on the tracks, but the trains don't go any faster.
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Re: Searsport Branch

Postby KSmitty » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:27 pm

Train speed limits are set by the railroad. They declare a piece of track to be of a certain class. Excepted, Class 1 up through I believe Class 7, each class has a MAS. Excepted, for example is 10 with no passenger traffic and a limit on consecutive hazmats. Class 1 is 10 Freight/15 passenger. Class 2 is 25MAS for freight. Anyway, the railroad sets the track class and has to maintain it to said class, if the maintenance falls behind, there are two options. 1: Drop the class of track to bring the MAS down to the track's capability. This is a more permanent move. 2: Put a temporary speed restriction in place and have it on each day's bulletin order for speed summaries, this involves a little more paperwork each day but generally implies they plan on upping the speeds again. Anything less than 10 is likely a specific obstacle as its not a common MAS. Derailment sights and old bridges are common causes of these.

Anyway, rambling on. The FRA comes in and tests the track. If the track fails to meet the criteria of the tracks class, they place a speed restriction. So really, the FRA can only enforce track standards and corresponding MAS, but they do not set the timetable MAS for a given stretch of line.

Hope that answers your question thoroughly.
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Re: Searsport Branch

Postby gokeefe » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:15 am

KSmitty wrote:The diesel that Irving is loading, is that the new service that goes to Presque Isle or whatever up on MNR? Or is it a long standing thing?


Almost sounds like #2 fuel used for heat in an industrial application. Actually quite odd to hear about any petroleum distillates being moved by rail at all in Maine.
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Re: Searsport Branch

Postby fogg1703 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:49 pm

gokeefe wrote:Actually quite odd to hear about any petroleum distillates being moved by rail at all in Maine.


Good amount of asphalt being shipped from Saint John via CMQ and PAR recently.
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