• Aroostook Lines Motive Power

  • Discussion of present-day CM&Q operations, as well as discussion of predecessors Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR).
Discussion of present-day CM&Q operations, as well as discussion of predecessors Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR).

Moderator: MEC407

  by fogg1703
Since MNR takeover of the Aroostook lines, where have MMA's Geeps gone? Millinocket, Derby? What power does MNR keep in Aroostook and where are they located?
  by S1f3432
MMA has been keeping one of the former BAR geeps at Madawaska to switch the yard and make
the run over to Van Buren to service the transload and the CN interchange.
  by fogg1703
I was under the impression that the sale was finalized earlier this month and Irving had taken over the line from Madawaska to Van Buren. Is this not the case?
  by S1f3432
I asked another railfan I know who lives in the area if Maine Northern had actually started working
the Madawaska-Van Buren segment and he didn't know. Unfortunately, on days I'm in Van Buren
working my viewpoint is at some distance. Last Monday morning the switch crew was in town around
10:00 AM and about all I could see was a dark colored blob behind a headlight. If I were to go to
Madawaska it would be after dark and I'm not sure I'd be able to see much behind the mill buildings.
I did see one of the ex-BAR geeps in transit northbound at Squa Pan back in October.
  by CPF363
For those of us considering a voyage up to the Maine Northern, here are a few questions for folks in northern Maine. Does the MN run a daily freight each way between Brownsville and Madawaska? Do they run locals over the branches? What kind of speeds do they largely have? Does MM&A dispatch the the MN or does MN do it now themselves now? What radio frequencies do they use? Is all of the power EMD or do they have GEs?
  by roberttosh
The Irvings aren't taking over the MMA line to Van Buren for another couple months.
  by fogg1703
Thanks for the update.
  by S1f3432
Maine Northern bases a unit at Squa Pan to work the Presque Isle cluster, often working to
Caribou in the morning ( gas for Dead River Co. and a scrapyard as well as a feed mill on the
north side of P.I.) and then heading for Easton for lunch- then switching McCain Foods and
J.M.Huber. Cavendish Farms is building a fertilizer distribution plant further east where the
Ft. Fairfield branch crosses Rt.1A. There is another bulk plant at Rt.1A that receives occasional
cars but no traffic beyond in the Fort altho the RR Museum is of interest. In Presque Isle there is
some traffic in the industrial park on the west side of town (former AVRR) as well as another
Dead River gas plant. Not sure if this service is daily- my observations were on Fridays last fall.
I've seen traffic on the mainline around Masardis-Squa Pan-Ashland in both directions around
10:00AM. Several years ago MMA was switching the Houlton Branch in the afternoon perhaps
three days a week for Louisiana Pacific in New Limerick as well as yet another Dead River Co.
gas plant in Houlton. I had assumed that MNRR had taken over this traffic but another poster in
a different thread made it sound like this was still MMA- I have no idea how this traffic is handled
now. The Fraser Paper sawmill at Masardis originates a fair amount of traffic and then there is
logs, chips and other traffic from further north.
  by fogg1703
Thanks for the great info. Sounds like they are following the old BAR/MMA operating plan of a centrally located switcher that runs different branches on different days. The Houlton branch was also included in the sale to Irving and MNR does operates it. It will be interesting to see if MNR runs dedicated fiber trains south from the Ashland branch areas and turns them over to PAR at Keag (points south) or Woodland or tacks this traffic onto regular freights?