Activity on the Mountain Branch (Portland to Westbrook)

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: Activity on the Mountain Branch (Portland to Westbrook)

Postby BM6569 » Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:08 pm

Concrete pad going in for that crossing?
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Re: Activity on the Mountain Branch (Portland to Westbrook)

Postby PT1101 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:14 am

Currently, the crossing has rubberized pads that will accommodate two lanes of traffic. I don't know if that will expanded to 3 or 4 to handle the volume of traffic for future events/developments at Thompson's Point. The lights and gate mounts are up, although not currently wired. They did an excellent job of tamping and surfacing both the Mountain Branch single track and the adjacent track 9. The signal at CPM 2 was moved approximately 50 feet east, and a new signal bungalow was installed. I haven't seen a train run out to the mill recently. Does anyone know how frequently they make the trip?
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Re: Activity on the Mountain Branch (Portland to Westbrook)

Postby scb1021 » Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:00 am

They run out once every couple of weeks I believe. I pass by the mill on my way home from work, and for a couple days every two weeks or so I see the gates for the bridge wide open. I never happen to catch them entering or leaving though!
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Re: Activity on the Mountain Branch (Portland to Westbrook)

Postby toughguy » Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:00 am

I've heard rumors the mountain branch is for sale, and there is at least one active buyer looking at it. Can anyone confirm?
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Re: Activity on the Mountain Branch (Portland to Westbrook)

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:03 pm

toughguy wrote:I've heard rumors the mountain branch is for sale, and there is at least one active buyer looking at it. Can anyone confirm?


Which portion? The vast majority of it is in public ownership with MEDOT and NHDOT. Only the tiny Portland-Westbrook portion that PAR owns and operates and the complicated ownership situation in VT with Twin State and PAR/ex-MEC blockage of the St. Johnsbury interchange fall in private hands. There's only about 27 route miles left that the states don't own...5 in Maine and 22 in Vermont. VTrans has been trying for years to get control of its portion so it can keep Twin State from pulling up the rails for scrap, and MEDOT will buy anything because it's still tilting at windmills. I can't fathom another private entity ever trying to acquire the last pieces of the railroad, much less the states selling theirs. If anyone buys it'll be VT and ME swallowing their remaining private-owned portions.
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Re: Activity on the Mountain Branch (Portland to Westbrook)

Postby MEC407 » Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:24 pm

The name "Mountain Branch" specifically refers to the small section between Portland and Westbrook still owned and operated by Pan Am. MDOT and NHDOT refer to their respective portions as the Mountain Division.

I can say with a great degree of certainty that MDOT's portion of the Mountain Division is not for sale. That doesn't mean MDOT wouldn't like to lease it to someone for operation, but an outright sale is extremely unlikely.
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Re: Activity on the Mountain Branch (Portland to Westbrook)

Postby toughguy » Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:36 pm

I'm talking the currently active final 5 miles into Portland, and another railroad, not the state. Just wondering if anyone in the know has heard more than me.
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Re: Activity on the Mountain Branch (Portland to Westbrook)

Postby gokeefe » Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:29 pm

toughguy wrote:I'm talking the currently active final 5 miles into Portland, and another railroad, not the state. Just wondering if anyone in the know has heard more than me.


For the sake of clarity I have reposted the discussion to the Mountain Division Reactivation thread here.
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Re: Activity on the Mountain Branch (Portland to Westbrook)

Postby toughguy » Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:31 pm

Apologies. I figured this was the right forum, as this is in regards to the current active branch, though I suppose it would play a role in any potential larger reactivation.
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Re: Activity on the Mountain Branch (Portland to Westbrook)

Postby gokeefe » Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:41 pm

toughguy wrote:Apologies. I figured this was the right forum, as this is in regards to the current active branch, though I suppose it would play a role in any potential larger reactivation.


No problem at all. I think we all just try to be helpful. :-)
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Re: Activity on the Mountain Branch (Portland to Westbrook)

Postby MEC407 » Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:24 pm

Just to be clear, if we're talking about a potential sale of Pan Am's track between Portland and Westbrook, this is indeed the correct place for that discussion. :-)
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Re: Activity on the Mountain Branch (Portland to Westbrook)

Postby gokeefe » Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:44 pm

MEC407 wrote:Just to be clear, if we're talking about a potential sale of Pan Am's track between Portland and Westbrook, this is indeed the correct place for that discussion. :-)


Lol....can we clarify what we're calling the spur/siding that runs off the main line in Portland (and used to connect with the Mountain on the other end)?
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Re: Activity on the Mountain Branch (Portland to Westbrook)

Postby newpylong » Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:14 am

The Pan Am "Mountain Branch" from the Freight Main at Mountain Junction (CPF-196) to CPM-2 is roughly 1 mile long and is what the Downeaster runs on. From there to Westbrook is another 4 odd miles and is called the Cumberland Mills Industrial Track.

Neither are for sale.
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Re: Activity on the Mountain Branch (Portland to Westbrook)

Postby Bulkheadflat » Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:19 pm

We were at Kohl's in Westbrook on tuesday, and I heard numerous horns for the crossings while we walked thru the parking lot there, so assumed it must have been a switcher heading for the mill.
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Re: Activity on the Mountain Branch (Portland to Westbrook)

Postby scb1021 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:31 am

Caught the SAPPI job returning back to Rigby on Friday right around 6PM. Was driving home and it came through the Rand Rd. intersection, was quite surprised by it. It was coming back with no empties, just MEC 316 all by itself.
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