Bucksport Branch activity & news

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: Bucksport Branch activity & news

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon May 09, 2016 2:28 pm

So...condos, basically.
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Re: Bucksport Branch activity & news

Postby gokeefe » Mon May 09, 2016 2:28 pm

Feels like desperation setting in .... no serious prospects for redevelopment and a "we could build 'anything' here" mentality. They have no serious idea about how to redevelop that site.

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:So...condos, basically.


Exactly ...
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Re: Bucksport Branch activity & news

Postby jaymac » Mon May 09, 2016 3:17 pm

MEC407 » Mon May 09, 2016 2:02 pm
Not just a grain of salt; a train of salt. :P :wink:

If train-load lots could be guaranteed, Azko/Cargill just might wanna piece of that action. That'd be extra business for the branch!
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Re: Bucksport Branch activity & news

Postby gokeefe » Mon May 09, 2016 3:22 pm

The thing that annoys me about this kind of thinking is that it turns into yet another port that Maine won't get much use out of. The key strategy in port development is to concentrate your volumes. They should just put all the chips on Portland/South Portland and leave it at that. At least they actually have real business at these locations and a good service base to support it. A shipyard in Bucksport might make more sense than anything else. If they want to build with steel at least they could get flatcar loads from Pan Am (if the branch doesn't get abandoned first). That is a proposal that I would take seriously.
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Re: Bucksport Branch activity & news

Postby CN9634 » Mon May 09, 2016 3:31 pm

I actually hold optimism from this piece which is seemingly an unheard of position on the forums these days (kidding of course). While yes, Searsport, Eastport, Millnocket, whatever-port hold the same pie in the sky ideas, I think Bucksport is the only area that actually could pull it off.

We have an active rail-line (rules outs Eastport). A naturally deep (at low tide) channel not needing a dredge (Searsport still contends but can only really be used at high tide). A cheap(ish) source of energy in the natural gas line. But more importantly, an area that has suffered from recent economic hardship who may be willing to let someone build something industrial related in the area (Sorry Searsport). With the lack of opposition (perceptual as of now, we'll see if a proposal comes their way) to development, and the other infrastructure in place, theres no reason why there couldn't be development.

And the article does well not to sugar coat -- it does specify that private investment (and a lot) would be needed. Who knows, maybe someone previously soured by Searsport may come back around...
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Re: Bucksport Branch activity & news

Postby CPF363 » Mon May 09, 2016 4:36 pm

fromway wrote:Article in today's BDN about possibilities for the use of the Bucksport harbor and the mill site. The article boosts about the Natural Gas line that goes to the property and also that the site is accessible by rail.

It is somewhat surprising that Verso chose to close the Bucksport mill verses the Jay mill in some respects with Bucksport having access to the natural gas line. They could have worked to move some or all of the paper making equipment from Jay to Bucksport. The mill however in Jay is an integrated mill with its ability to generate pulp, so that could have driven such a decision not to close that mill. Does anyone know if Bucksport produced pulp also? Such a decision would have been driven by cost to move and return on investment as always.
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Re: Bucksport Branch activity & news

Postby Trinnau » Mon May 09, 2016 5:17 pm

CPF363 wrote:The mill however in Jay is an integrated mill with its ability to generate pulp, so that could have driven such a decision not to close that mill. Does anyone know if Bucksport produced pulp also? Such a decision would have been driven by cost to move and return on investment as always.


Verso shipped pulp from Jay to Bucksport on a regular basis. So no, Bucksport could not produce its own pulp.
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Re: Bucksport Branch activity & news

Postby BostonUrbEx » Mon May 09, 2016 5:18 pm

Who uses/used the dock at 2nd St? It looks as thought there is a setup for unloading gas or petroleum type products, but there's no storage options nearby.
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Re: Bucksport Branch activity & news

Postby KSmitty » Mon May 09, 2016 6:20 pm

CPF363 wrote:It is somewhat surprising that Verso chose to close the Bucksport mill verses the Jay mill in some respects with Bucksport having access to the natural gas line. They could have worked to move some or all of the paper making equipment from Jay to Bucksport. The mill however in Jay is an integrated mill with its ability to generate pulp, so that could have driven such a decision not to close that mill. Does anyone know if Bucksport produced pulp also? Such a decision would have been driven by cost to move and return on investment as always.

It really isn't though,
Jay is the second newest paper making facility in the state (1974, behind SAPPI Skowvegas 1979)
A good sized overhaul and upgrade was done to the Jay facility in the 90's
Jay had 3 hydro dams feeding the millT
he Jay campus is much larger, allowing for growth, and more space for supporting elements like wood yard, etc...
Jay's capacity could never be replaced by Bucksport, because Bucksport didn't have the space to install all of the equipment at Jay, so you couldn't transplant it.
The Jay facility is just a more efficient mill, not just from the machines, but from the facility itself is laid out. Look at SAPPI in Skowhegan, the other newer facility in the state, both are laid out very similarly, and then compare those layouts with older facilities like Bucksport, Westbrook, Madison. The newer facilities are laid out, essentially point to point, where as the older facilities are laid out more circuitously, which adds a lot of expense as you have to move material further to accomplish the same objective. You should notice things like Jay having much less conveyors, with much shorter runs, its that sort of efficiency that may not seem all that important, but when a facility is running 24/7/365 the electricity/productivity savings are huge...
Bucksport: https://www.google.com/maps/@44.5756006 ... a=!3m1!1e3
Jay: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Jay,+ ... 70.2161924
Trinnau wrote:Verso shipped pulp from Jay to Bucksport on a regular basis. So no, Bucksport could not produce its own pulp.

A lot of people suspect that this made Jay look better, financially, and part of the reason "Bucksport lost money" was that they were forced to purchase pulp at market prices from the other Verso facility.
However, Bucksport could produce pulp, the entire north gate area was wood yard area. Its far from the size of a log yard at Jay, or SAPPI but you can see truck scales, dumpers for the chip trucks, conveyor system for the chipped wood. Its all there, and you can still see the hardware in the current Google maps, along with the stocked log yards in older imagery in Google Earth. It was an integrated mill.
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Re: Bucksport Branch activity & news

Postby cvrr5809 » Mon May 09, 2016 6:30 pm

Bucksport looks at the "NOW" benefits of almost anything they see financially. I've worked on and seen my share of small businesses come and go on Main Street in the past 9 years of working out of its borders. Small in size, perhaps, but beneficial to the tax burden where the mill no longer exists. The town goes through managers like a person does underwear. A lot of old-timers that "matter" only want things their way or the ways they've known. It will always be a mill town to them, and they can't envision anything else but that kind of community. For one, they are not business friendly. The hoops that potential owners have to go through is purely BS, and a small town that's still reeling from such a loss as the mill should be rolling out the red carpet to legitimate businesses who would actually risk their money here.

There are two main routes into Bucksport. Route 15(River Road) comes down from Brewer and Orrington right to the entrances of the old Verso mill and turns into Main Street once into the center of Bucksport. Route 1/3 comes in across the Penobscot Narrows bridge onto Verona then down across the East Channel Bridge into Bucksport where it joins 15. Bucksport's only traffic light is here. You can either turn left onto Main Street or turn right for Ellsworth. I once joked with a Bucksport councilman about how nobody is ever tempted to turn left off the bridge from Verona because there is nothing well-known here to draw them. He looked at me like a deer in the headlights! He really didn't get that besides the hotel, a couple of banks, and a movie theater, his cute town had no real anchor anymore for people from abroad to relate to. Rosen's used to be somewhat of a small version of this.

So, while it certainly wasn't the town of Bucksport's fault for the mill closure, I don't expect anything sensible to come out of their decision on what to do with the former Verso site in the immediate future. For one, we'll have to see who's actually managing things for Bucksport once AIM gets done with their clearing of the property. Second, Bucksport needs to open their eyes on divesting themselves from the past if they ever expect to draw people "left at the light." They need to find an anchor business or businesses, but they'll probably just build a bunch of low income apartments or condos and call it good.
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Re: "Up North" Gawking (District 1 sightings)

Postby johnpbarlow » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:25 am

Potential business for Pan Am? A new company at Bucksport is shipping logs to China via container and the Port of Boston...

http://www.pressherald.com/2017/09/24/despite-setbacks-and-questions-a-company-pursues-new-multimillion-dollar-markets-for-maine-wood/

Excerpt:

BUCKSPORT — Paper was made here for 84 years, until 2014. Now, where trucks once delivered wood to a mill for paper production, an entrepreneur is trying to write a new chapter in Maine’s forest products industry. Trucks have been pulling up daily with hemlock logs. Stacked in piles at the former paper mill’s woodyard, they’re run through a debarker. Last week, loads of logs were put into containers and trucked to Boston, where cargo ships are expected to bring them this week to China to become lumber.


House said he’s now talking to Pan Am Railways. There’s a rail siding here in Bucksport, pinched between the mill yard and Route 15. House wants to load rail cars with logs for Boston. Rail would be less costly than trucking, he said.
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Re: "Up North" Gawking (District 1 sightings)

Postby Cosakita18 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:44 am

Biggest problem I can foresee is that the Bucksport branch is in HORRENDOUS condition. Guilford / PAR neglected the branch for years even when they had a robust customer at the end. Derailments were so frequent that Verso threatened to move almost all traffic to trucks. If there were to be a serious, sustained customer, then the line would need to be on an episode of "Extreme Makeover: Railroad Edition"
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Re: Bucksport Branch activity & news

Postby emyers » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:08 pm

They're still running trains down the bucksport branch still as is, even if they move very slowly. They made two trips down the branch this past week.
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Re: Bucksport Branch activity & news

Postby gokeefe » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:23 pm

Logs?? Wow. The economics on this should be interesting.
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Re: Bucksport Branch activity & news

Postby GP40MC1118 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:37 pm

Condition of the Bucksport Branch aside, where in Boston/Somerville would the logs be off-loaded to containers?
There isn't any usable location on PAR anymore. The economics alone to restore the Mystic Wharf Branch would
rule that out.

D
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