Maine Eastern Railroad (MERR) Discussion

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roberttosh
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (MERR) Discussion

Post by roberttosh » Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:07 am

I believe the vast majority of Dragon's production is barged down to Newington, Boston, etc so even if they can convert a portion of that to rail it would be significant. Back in the MEC/B&M days there was a steady, sizable move down to the cement terminal at Wilmington, MA.

NYC27
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (MERR) Discussion

Post by NYC27 » Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:40 am

roberttosh wrote:I believe the vast majority of Dragon's production is barged down to Newington, Boston, etc so even if they can convert a portion of that to rail it would be significant. Back in the MEC/B&M days there was a steady, sizable move down to the cement terminal at Wilmington, MA.
Only to Boston, Newington is no more. MERR and Pan Am actually do have them shipping to N Billerica for customers north of Boston. Not alot moving yet but it has potential to grow.

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BostonUrbEx
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (MERR) Discussion

Post by BostonUrbEx » Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:33 am

Does MERR still retain the Augusta Lower Rd? Could they run excursions there? Along the lines of dinner trains, or something (I assume it is far too deteriorated for any decent speeds, if operable at all). Probably more money in just selling off their passenger equipment.

Watchman318
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (MERR) Discussion

Post by Watchman318 » Sat Sep 05, 2015 12:27 pm

NYC27 wrote:Only to Boston, Newington is no more. MERR and Pan Am actually do have them shipping to N Billerica for customers north of Boston. Not alot moving yet but it has potential to grow.
I've forgotten what the numbers were for the projected number of barges this year, and also can't recall how many carloads it takes to fill a barge, but the shuttle to and from the Rockland wharf is pretty steady traffic.
As mentioned elsewhere, some Dragon cars go west to Brunswick for interchange with PAR, eventually ending up in Millis, MA (see the Bay Colony thread about that) or at a Dragon facility in Windsor, QC.

BostonUrbEx wrote:Does MERR still retain the Augusta Lower Rd? Could they run excursions there? Along the lines of dinner trains, or something (I assume it is far too deteriorated for any decent speeds, if operable at all). Probably more money in just selling off their passenger equipment.
Prior to the Downeaster upgrades, the Brunswick end of the Lower Road was used for PAR/MERR interchange at various times, but I think the last excursion trip on the line was in 2008, a special for MRG Inc. and the 470 Club.

It looks like all of MERR's (M&E's) rolling stock will be moving back to New Jersey. "The rail equipment located on the Rockland Branch will be moved to New Jersey to supplement the railroad’s existing locomotives and rolling stock and help manage the increased business [in NJ], the railroad company said." http://bangordailynews.com/2015/09/04/b ... ving-maine

gokeefe
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (MERR) Discussion

Post by gokeefe » Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:31 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:If there's no tourist train, I have to wonder if Amtrak to Rockland truly is in the cards. At least seasonally.
I think that is exactly what is going on. Notice the inexplicable visit by the inspection train within the past year.
gokeefe

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BostonUrbEx
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (MERR) Discussion

Post by BostonUrbEx » Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:28 pm

Watchman318 wrote:Prior to the Downeaster upgrades, the Brunswick end of the Lower Road was used for PAR/MERR interchange at various times, but I think the last excursion trip on the line was in 2008, a special for MRG Inc. and the 470 Club.
There's an interchange there right now. First I've seen in that location in a long time.

Dick H
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (MERR) Discussion

Post by Dick H » Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:22 am

Well, the Downeaster lays over at Brunswick for six hours (12:25PM to 6:25PM),
which is plenty of time to do a Brunswick-Rockland round trip and lay over at
Rockland for an hour or so. The ME takes 2 hours and 15 minutes each way
with three stops. The DE set up of push-pull requires no turning of the
equipment, etc. Just qualify some crew members, put a new crew on at
Portland and go. New costs would be for the crew, diesel fuel (less what
is used by idling at Brunswick for six hours) and whatever track usage charges
either the CMQ or the State of Maine might assess.

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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (MERR) Discussion

Post by Rockingham Racer » Sun Sep 06, 2015 10:15 am

This would be an interesting thing to happen, but does anyone really think that there's enough passenger business along the line to justify a year-round operation? I don't. I'm not sure that there's even enough business to justify a mid-week summer service.

Dick H
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (MERR) Discussion

Post by Dick H » Sun Sep 06, 2015 4:11 pm

I agree that there would not be enough traffic for year round service, but maybe
a Friday-Saturday-Sunday service during the summer.

I should clarify my "fuel" comment above, as I was not very clear. The fuel cost
between Brunswick and Rockland, would be partially offset by the savings of not
having the loco idle at Brunswick for six hours.

Nothing ventured (or at least considered), nothing gained.
Columbus took a chance. Good deal for us....

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MaineCoonCat
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (MERR) Discussion

Post by MaineCoonCat » Sun Sep 06, 2015 6:21 pm

gokeefe wrote:
BostonUrbEx wrote:If there's no tourist train, I have to wonder if Amtrak to Rockland truly is in the cards. At least seasonally.
I think that is exactly what is going on. Notice the inexplicable visit by the inspection train within the past year.
Things that make you say "Hmmmmmmmmmmmm...."..
Seen behind the motorman on the inside wall of a PCC departing "Riverside" many years ago: "Pickpockets are on duty for your convenience."

therudycometh
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (MERR) Discussion

Post by therudycometh » Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:21 pm

Thanks everyone for the kind words!

The Lower Road to Augusta was not included in the bid this time around - there will be no designated operator of that line on January 1st, although I believe the freight rights revert to Pan Am if there is no State-assigned operator. Bids were submitted only for the operation of the Rockland Branch.

The MERR has no intention of operating passenger service on the Rockland Branch past October 31st this year, besides a couple of our traditional holiday charters in December (which are not set in stone yet). There are no other plans for passenger service in 2016. If you want to ride a passenger train on the Rockland Branch, October of 2015 may very well be the last time it's ever going to happen.

As of right now, all of the equipment (16 pieces total) is slated to start dribbling back to New Jersey throughout the next four months. We're trying to figure out what to do with it all. GP9 #764 is cab signal equipped and will likely see regular service on the M&E's Morristown Division, running on NJ Transit trackage rights. The FL9's also have cab signals, so we're working on some excursion proposals in and around the Garden State.

We're still working out the details, but the general mood around Morristown is professional and focused regarding the situation we're in. We'll take the opportunity to concentrate our efforts on our NJ operations.

I've just released what may very well be the final MERR press release, which you can read here: http://www.merail.com/2015-09-04_MaineE ... elease.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If you're looking for me, you can find me in the M&E forum. Again, thanks to everyone for their support over the past 12 years!
- Rudy Garbely
President, The Conrail Historical Society
Media & Communications, Operation Toy Train
President, The Garbely Publishing Company

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BandA
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (MERR) Discussion

Post by BandA » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:59 am

So, how did the bids compare? Is CMQ offering lower freight rates?

Watchman318
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (MERR) Discussion

Post by Watchman318 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:35 am

Dick H wrote:I should clarify my "fuel" comment above, as I was not very clear. The fuel cost
between Brunswick and Rockland, would be partially offset by the savings of not
having the loco idle at Brunswick for six hours.
Good point. Any "vehicle" idling is getting 0.0 MPG. :wink:

The EGE
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (MERR) Discussion

Post by The EGE » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:51 am

papabarn wrote:
gokeefe wrote:
BostonUrbEx wrote:If there's no tourist train, I have to wonder if Amtrak to Rockland truly is in the cards. At least seasonally.
I think that is exactly what is going on. Notice the inexplicable visit by the inspection train within the past year.
Things that make you say "Hmmmmmmmmmmmm...."..
Truly crazy and utterly uninformed speculation: what if this is a result of the Brunswick layover opponents (who weirdly seem to have friends in power) and they want to shift the DE layover out to the existing yard in Rockland?

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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Maine Eastern Railroad (MERR) Discussion

Post by Rockingham Racer » Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:41 pm

I think it's obvious that an extension to Rockland is going the wrong way. Moving toward Lewiston, while not a huge metropolis, at least allows for further northward expansion--I think.

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