Lewiston Industrial Track/Lewiston Lower Rd/Branch status

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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Lewiston Industrial Track/Lewiston Lower Rd/Branch status

Postby BM6569 » Tue May 23, 2006 12:33 pm

I heard work is happening on this line but where? How far towards lewiston is the track going to be fixed. Also, what is the real name of this line? I have heard "Lewiston branch" and "Androscoggin Division".
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Postby bubbytrains » Tue May 23, 2006 4:27 pm

The State of Maine now owns this line, formerly known as the Lewiston Lower Branch (during MEC days) from Brunswick to Lisbon. I'm not sure exactly where their ownership ends and Guilfords resumes, but Maine owns at least to the Knight-Celotex mill in Lisbon Falls. I believe the exact milepost can be found in STB documents, but I cannot recall exactly.

The State of Maine started working on rehabilitating this branchline a few years ago, and currently the work is being done in earnest because actual service is anticipated to start up as soon as next month. The most likely customer at this time is the K-C mill (it has had several owners over the years, including Georgia Pacific) in Lisbon Falls. They make some kind of a particle board out of pressed woodchips. According to one reliable source, Guilford has had discussions with K-C about traffic, so it appears they will be the operator, even though Maine Eastern is the State's designated operator of its other state-held lines. Currently, Maine Eastern equipment is being used to spread new ballast on the line, and reportedly their tamper will be used.

I do not know what the State calls this line currently, nor what Guilford calls their segment (which is out of service and in horrible shape, I know because it runs past my house in Lisbon Village). I will update things as I find out more.

Alan S.
Lisbon, ME
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Postby MikeB » Wed May 24, 2006 2:19 pm

who is doing the work?
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Postby mainecentral » Wed May 24, 2006 5:22 pm

Maybe I will have to take more :-D "sick" :wink: days from work, to go railfanning(even if Guilford.....er.....Pan Am operates it.....LOL!!!). I'm glad to see that someone is trying to restore Maine rail service back to(nearly) it's former glory.
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Postby bubbytrains » Wed May 24, 2006 8:04 pm

MikeB wrote:who is doing the work?


Apparently a company called "Maine Track Maintenance", but I could not find a website for them.

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Postby citystation1848 » Mon May 29, 2006 12:37 am

Maine Track did quite a bit of work on the Hillsboro Branch for the Wilton Scenic Railroad. From conversations with the boss, it sounded like Maine Track is based out of Portland.

Matt
Nashua City Station Railroad History - http://www.nashuacitystation.org
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The line is open!

Postby bwparker1 » Fri Jun 02, 2006 9:33 am

Exciting News! looks like the line is now seeing service from the M&E. I bet the woodchip place would have to talk to Guilford, because they would be providing the service from Brunswick, ME to points beyond...

http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=25084

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Postby mainecentral » Wed Jul 26, 2006 7:59 pm

I happened to be in Brunswick the week before last, just north of the wye and Maine Track Maintainance was working there. One of the crew walked past me and I asked him how the line was coming. He said that they were waiting for Guilford(Pan Am Railways) to do a track inspection, but otherwise they only had minor work left to do. I can't wait to see trains rolling on that line again! :-D
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Re: Lewiston-Brunswick line status

Postby gokeefe » Sat Sep 27, 2008 3:39 pm

I was in Brunswick the other day. I went by the Lewiston branch of the wye track in Brunswick and noticed that is was an unsignalled but signed crossing with "Exempt" markers on the sign post with the "Railroad Crossing" crossbucks, and the sign post with the circular 'Railroad Crossing Ahead' symbol. I have a few questions about this type of signage:

1. Is there any correlation between "Exempt" crossings and "Exempt" track?

2. (Maybe the same ? as #1) If a crossing is "Exempt" does that mean the track is "Exempt" or does it mean the track is "Abandoned"?

3. Does this wye lead to the Lewiston Lower that was recently restored by the state or is this leading off the Guildford tracks on the Western side of the Androscoggin?
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Re: Lewiston-Brunswick line status

Postby bwparker1 » Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:08 pm

An exempt railroad crossing means that vehicles that normally stop at all grade crossings do not need to stop at this crossing. It doesn't necessarily mean that the crossing is inactive, rather, it just sees very, very infrequent use, enough that school buses, oil trucks, etc. do not have to stop. As far as I know, exempt track is a thing unto itself and not related.

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&F ... &encType=1

Here is the wye.

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&F ... &encType=1

Here is an exempt crossing at Pleasant street. This crossing heads northwest to the bridge that crosses the Androscoggin River.

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&F ... &encType=1

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Re: Lewiston-Brunswick line status

Postby gokeefe » Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:50 pm

Following that Live Earth map into Lewiston does not look pretty. This line is almost non-existent inside the Lewiston City Limits! I never realized that the line was in such bad shape on its northern end, although I've driven by these places many times on ME-196. Is this the line they're intending to use for service into Lewiston? Millions of dollars in track work will be necessary before service can resume in that area.
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Re: Lewiston-Brunswick line status

Postby bwparker1 » Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:39 pm

If you know any of the history of the re-habs, then you would know that this line has actually been rehabbed twice with taxpayer $$$, yet never one revenue car has been turned! Even the most ardent supporters of rail cannot be supportive of such waste! The line was supposed to first serve Grimmel Scrap, and then the OSB plant in the Pejepscot Mills area. both have never shipped anything. I think with the OSB plant, they even moved a switch, yet still nothing!!

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Re: Lewiston-Brunswick line status

Postby gokeefe » Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:37 pm

I knew it had been rehabbed twice, and seem to remember hearing that nothing had ever been shipped...

So I guess now I understand why NNERPA is so interested in "Yarmouth Junction", because they haven't got a prayer of getting passenger service to Lewiston over this branch anytime until the middle of the next decade.

I wonder what the plans for the line are now...anybody know?
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Re: Lewiston-Brunswick line status

Postby bwparker1 » Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:03 pm

Why not another tax payer funded rehab? They always say that the third time is the charm!
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Re: Lewiston-Brunswick line status

Postby gokeefe » Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:57 pm

Three words (take your pick): Augusta Lower Road, Fix it First!

I do think that Maine DOT has done a lot of good keeping that branch alive for potential future service, I think Lewiston - Brunswick - Portland makes more sense than Lewiston - Yarmouth Junction - Portland but that probably won't be happening anytime soon. I was under the impression that the Lewiston portion of this line was some kind of functionable exempt track, hah!. Nothing could be further from the truth.
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