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 eastwind » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:31 pm

newpylong wrote:PAR would love to pull out of NH entirely outside of the freight main.

I gather the feeling is mutual?
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby Dick H » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:08 pm

While the rebuild of the NH route from the MA state line to Nashua, and maybe beyond,
for passenger service is unlikely to become a reality anytime soon, I think PAR is still
keeping their hopes up for that. And, it would seem that as long as the Bow power
plant is getting unit coal trains, that PAR will hold on to the line. PSNH spent $400
million to upgrade the Bow plant for pollution control, so it should meet environmenal
standards for the next decade or so. If PAR did decide to get rid of the line, the state
would likely buy it and negotiate with a shortline operator for service. Perhaps the
NEGS and M&B would combine to sign a contract with the state. At any rate, I do not
see PAR going away there anytime soon.
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby newpylong » Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:35 pm

No one said they were going away. I said they would like nothing more than to shed the marginally profitable 40 odd miles. The plant is only doing a fraction of they used to. But I agree, they hold on because at some point they will have a new main for free.

The Capital Corridor study is back underway with a deliverable of next year I believe. Prob not gonna happen short term but certainly not dead.
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:31 am

I can't understand what they're still holding onto Penacook for. Unless it's just a keep-away move from NEGS out of spite. But NEGS tried and failed for years to attract business out there when PAR was outsourcing to them, so it's not exactly a risk if they cut it at the junction in downtown Concord and abandon their last stub of the Northern.

Interesting that the revamped PAR website still advertises the cold storage warehouse on the Medford Branch, even though it's been (3?) years and counting since the last reported move. The brewery delivery revival didn't pan out because of clearances. Is there anything still under discussion for that branch?
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby artman » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:07 am

Suspension of Madison Branch traffic due to track conditions, according to today's Portland Press Herald:

Halt to Maine rail service jeopardizes businesses
Pan Am Railways says it’s not economically sound to keep the service going without its largest client

MADISON — Freight transportation along a segment of a rail line has come to a halt after complaints about outbound service being disrupted by train derailments, while local businesses are saying the stop has been costly and forced them to search for alternative modes of transportation.

Cousineau Wood Products employees Darrell Clark, left, and Jerry Chestnut work on flooring stock at the North Anson company on Thursday.

Madison Paper Industries has stopped shipping on Pan Am rail lines like these in Oakland because derailments hampered the paper company’s deliveries, according to a paper company official. The section of track is near Martin Stream Road and the Fairfield and Norridgewock town line.

Officials at Pan Am Railways said Thursday that they no longer are providing service to a 26-mile stretch of track north of Oakland through Madison and on to North Anson. The state in recent years invested more than $500,000 to keep the tracks open.

Madison Paper Industries historically has shipped most of its products on Pan Am and been its largest customer north of Waterville. However, the Madison paper mill no longer is using the railroad after numerous derailments during the last several years that have caused delays in delivering paper products to customers, said Russ Drechsel, president of Madison Paper.


Source: http://www.pressherald.com/news/Halt_to ... sses_.html
Last edited by MEC407 on Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: please remember to provide a link to the original article
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby newpylong » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:16 am

http://www.onlinesentinel.com/news/Pan_ ... mill_.html


I think it's a good story, very fair to show all sides. I don't blame anyone. It is too bad there is not another few customers to sustain the line. Maine seems to be content at throwing money at anything rail related, even pipe dreams, they might as well apply for an economic grant to fix and maintain the track - or sell it to the state.
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby KSmitty » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:52 am

newpylong wrote:http://www.onlinesentinel.com/news/Pan_Am_Railways_stops_service_past_Madison_paper_mill_.html


I think it's a good story, very fair to show all sides. I don't blame anyone. It is too bad there is not another few customers to sustain the line. Maine seems to be content at throwing money at anything rail related, even pipe dreams, they might as well apply for an economic grant to fix and maintain the track - or sell it to the state.

Exactly my thoughts as they throw money at the Mountain Division expecting 5000 carloads a year to just magically appear...why not instead spend that money on a line that already has customers, including an anchor customer if service could be improved? Paper mills generally don't do well without rail, you'd think the SOM would have an interest in keeping iron open to every surviving mill, they have a tough enough time now without losing rail service.
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby MEC407 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:59 am

Morning Sentinel wrote:She [Cynthia Scarano] also said she hasn’t heard anything about the tracks being in poor condition.


Really? Maybe she should have a discussion with the branch's largest customer:

Morning Sentinel wrote:“The service that we’ve had has been very unreliable to get our product to our customers in a timely fashion,” Drechsel said. “The condition of the track in the Madison area is not good. I’m not a railway engineer, but when you see waviness like that on the track, it’s surprising.”
. . .
Drechsel would not give a specific number but said the paper mill has counted more than nine derailments in the last year on Pan Am’s railways.

“Unless the service improves, we can’t jeopardize our product delivery to our customer,” Drechsel said. “Cost savings or not, if you can’t get the product to the customer in a timely manner, it’s worthless when it arrives. It makes no sense at all to ship over a system that is unreliable or where service can’t be provided.”


http://www.onlinesentinel.com/news/Pan_ ... mill_.html
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby 690 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:58 am

Definitely more than nine derailments. And the track isn't just in poor condition, it's utterly deplorable.
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby newpylong » Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:22 pm

It's a catch 22. Why commit a considerable sum of money to upgrade 26 miles if the Mill is not willing to commit to x amount of carloads? The bean counters ran the numbers and at the numbers # to/from the mill currently would take too long to recoup line upgrade costs. They weren't willing to do that... Flip side is the mill also can't use rail efficiently if the transit speeds are as slow as they are. They keep saying they will ship more via rail if service is better. Hence the catch 22. Both parties lose out.
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby KSmitty » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:59 pm

newpylong wrote:It's a catch 22. Why commit a considerable sum of money to upgrade 26 miles if the Mill is not willing to commit to x amount of carloads? The bean counters ran the numbers and at the numbers # to/from the mill currently would take too long to recoup line upgrade costs. They weren't willing to do that... Flip side is the mill also can't use rail efficiently if the transit speeds are as slow as they are. They keep saying they will ship more via rail if service is better. Hence the catch 22. Both parties lose out.


Which is exactly why this situation is one that the SOM should be spending money on, rather than throwing cash at a line with no customers (Mountain Division)...The state should have double interest in this, they spent a whole mess of money on track north of Madison, and Madison Paper is a large employer that would be more competitive (if for no other reason than they would be able leverage prices of rail against trucks) with rail service...Once the service goes its hard to get it back, this is still a recent enough embargo that it could be reversed.
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby johnhenry » Sat Dec 26, 2015 7:46 pm

Google satellite image (listed as 2015) shows boxcars on the siding just south of the Madison paper mill. Are they getting service again?
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby KSmitty » Sat Dec 26, 2015 8:03 pm

No.

You sure the image date, and not the copyright date, was 2015?

Edit:
The only way I know to find an imagery date with Google is to open it in Google Earth instead of maps.
Last edited by KSmitty on Sat Dec 26, 2015 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sat Dec 26, 2015 8:35 pm

Pretty sure its the copyright date. Google Maps only shows the date for Streetview, not Satellite.
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Re: Madison Branch

Postby johnhenry » Sun Dec 27, 2015 5:12 pm

Thanks for the info and education.
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