Madison Branch

Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

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Re: Madison Branch

Postby b&m 1566 » Mon May 22, 2017 8:04 am

I couldn't help but notice that nature is quickly taking over this branch. Not sure when the last train to North Anson was but the Rte. 8 crossing in Anson, ME has been paved over. Should we expect an abandonment filing to come soon, or will Pan Am hang on incase the mill decides to go back to rail?
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby Mikejf » Mon May 22, 2017 10:19 am

The mill wanted rail. But the track had been poorly maintained for so long that it was not worth the investment needed by the Railroad for the cars per week the mill needed.
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby KSmitty » Mon May 22, 2017 10:50 am

It's very unlikely that the mill site will wish to ship by rail again, having closed last year. The site is under redevelopment, but given the recent history of those I wouldn't be too optimistic.
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby Cosakita18 » Mon May 22, 2017 2:17 pm

Although the Madison mill complex is being redeveloped, it will most likely be smaller scale light industrial operations that either won't require rail service or won't generate enough carloads to warrant the millions of dollars worth of work that the branch needs just to be passable.

PAR wasn't willing to maintain the branch to service the Madison mill when it was generating 30-50 carloads per week, they certainly won't be sinking money into the branch to service a few scattered small customers.
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby MEC407 » Mon May 22, 2017 4:12 pm

As #45 would say: "SAD!"
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby KSmitty » Mon May 22, 2017 4:46 pm

The biggest advantage to industrial development is that it is only a half hour dray to an intermodal terminal. Which is how all future business from Madison will move, if it is to leave the state on Pan Am's rails.
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby b&m 1566 » Mon May 22, 2017 4:57 pm

I wasn't aware the mill closed. Was the lack of rail part of the demise or unrelated?
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby KSmitty » Mon May 22, 2017 8:07 pm

b&m 1566 wrote:I wasn't aware the mill closed. Was the lack of rail part of the demise or unrelated?

It wasn't quoted as a reason in the press, but I'd imagine that the lack of rail service effected the mill's viability.
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby eustis22 » Tue May 23, 2017 12:39 pm

http://www.pressherald.com/2016/03/14/m ... 4-workers/

Weirdly, the story states the high cost of power. It's weird because Madison has a hydro generating plant. They should have been immune from statewide pricing.
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby MEC407 » Wed May 24, 2017 11:37 am

It's a bit confusing. There is mention of "the high cost of energy in New England" — but as you said, they have their own hydropower onsite. I'm not sure if that means that the hydropower isn't enough for the mill's needs (e.g. they also have to buy electricity from the grid to supplement the hydro), or if by "energy" they meant heating fuels like natural gas or oil.

Regardless of electricity costs or heating costs, it appears that lack of demand for their product is what killed them.
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby b&m 1566 » Wed May 24, 2017 12:51 pm

So, almost 4 years ago the mill switched to trucks and last year the mill closed. I'm wondering if the switch to trucks was an early warning signs that the company wasn't doing so well.
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby craven » Thu May 25, 2017 11:52 am

Interesting the Madison paper Mill closed....

Corrugate Industry has raised the cost of Kraft boxes 8% Sep. 2016, 7% June 1st. 2017, and rumor has it another increase is in the works for this fall.

All due to increases in paper costs !
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby BandA » Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:38 am

Perhaps the hydro facility had been sold & the mill had to pay market rate for electricity?
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby gokeefe » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:22 am

BandA wrote:Perhaps the hydro facility had been sold & the mill had to pay market rate for electricity?


I believe that was indeed the case. Most of the mills have sold their hydro assets within the past 15 years in order to survive. There are a fair number of mill owned projects remaining. In general it's a pretty reliable indicator of good financial health if a mill still owns the power assets. Sappi Westbrook and Woodland are two in particular that come to mind.
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