• Canadian Pacific Returns to Maine

  • 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 trainiac
CPF363 wrote:CP takes control of the CM&Q next week. What plans does CP have for track work on the line this summer? Any sign of materials or track equipment as of yet? Will a new intermodal train to be added in the short term? How will Searsport work into the system?
I can't answer system-wide, but I can share observations from walking past the yard in Sherbrooke last night - namely, that it's being turned back into a yard again.

In the MMA era the yard had roughly 4 tracks (plus the mainline) in addition to a newly constructed spur at the East end for the Orford Express. I say "roughly" because some of the tracks were in extremely poor condition, and toward the end of the MMA there were concrete blocks in the middle of at least two of them blocking off an area where the track had subsided (meaning cars were stored at the ends without passing through the middle). I don't think the third or fourth were used in recent years - and at some point the switch to the third at the East end was removed entirely. There was also a short spur that angled off the West end of the yard, which from what I can tell extended over to Roy St. Those tracks were removed some time in the late 2000s but the remainder of the spur in the yard was occasionally used by the MMA.

When the CMQ took over, the first track was thoroughly rehabilitated while the others were blocked off (and possibly partly ripped out) effectively turning the yard into a single siding. That has been adequate for interchange traffic with the SLR or other cars awaiting switching - although only barely, since I've sometimes seen the local switcher (a GP20C-ECO) parked on the former Orford Express spur. (The latter is now based in Magog). The current Google Maps satellite image shows the state of the yard soon after the first track was restored and the others blocked.

Last night I saw that a second siding had been rebuilt and there was a huge pile of ties in the middle of where the next track would be. There were also several ballast cars in the yard when I passed through in mid-May. I'm curious to see the extent of the work as it continues.
  by NHV 669
The last Jobs 1 & 2 have run, tomorrow's Moosehead Sub runs will now be CP 250/251. Several more GE's arrived in Farnham early yesterday; the end is near for the barns.

Edit: not quite yet apparently, as the takeover is still officially 5 1/2 hours away, but this shot of today's eastbound in Foster, QC by Frank Jolin is a telling tale: https://steelribbon.smugmug.com/CMQ-Job ... ipIax2foVQ
  by CPF363
Has CP completed any significant repairs to the CM&Q in Quebec as of yet? Is the Canadian portion of the network run from Calgary now? It is probably assumed the Maine and Vermont portions will be run from the Soo Line in Minneapolis.
  by NHV 669
Moving dispatch to those two locations sounds like what will happen, based on chatter I've read elsewhere. There has been a bunch of MoW equipment at the ready in Farnham based on one of Frank Jolin's posts, but now that they have the US portion fully in hand, they'll probably hit the whole system at once.
  by NHV 669
The first 251 passed Harford's Point not long ago with 9014, 1006, and 1002.
  by Shortline614
https://m.facebook.com/permalink.php?st ... __tn__=K-R

Rails & Ports has a great Facebook post outlining the CP takeover of the CMQ. Dispatching of the CMQ has been transferred to CP's dispatch center in Minnesota. Former CMQ trains have received new CP symbols and a new Montreal-Brownsville Jct train has been launched.

As for what CP plans to do over thr next few years, they plan to invest 90 million to get the railroad up to Class III standards (50 mph). CP is also confident that they will be able to wrestle away LPG traffic from CN. Autorack trains are scheduled to begin moving over the railroad sometime later this year (CP-CMQ was awarded a Hyundai contract last year). Creel also says that LNG traffic is in the cards.

There is also speculation that CP might gain trackage rights over or outright acquire the Irving Roads to get direct access to Saint John. If so, Pan Am would almost certainly experience a large traffic loss if they aren't granted trackage rights.
  by Zeke
Hate to se the CMQ go but nothing is permanent in business except Progress. My friend the class one big wig told me months ago CP was going to make a run at the NBSR. The good old Irving's are in the cat bird seat as usual and ready to reap a fat payoff for the NBSR as I keep hearing they will let it go at their asking price. I assume they bought it to keep CN honest and thwart a captive shipper strangle hold on rates as Irving is notorious as a cheapskate shipper. The MMA- CMQ- NBSR-PAR soap opera continues.
  by Cosakita18
Looking at the new train symbols posted on Rails & Ports FB page...they're only running Brownville-Millinocket twice a week? Brownville - NMJ 3 days a week? Seems like a reduction in service.
  by NHV 669
The Newport Sub is down to one official day a week, listed as Friday, and nothing moved in the yard yesterday. They apparently made a whopping three trips during May, and local WACR traffic has been coming from either Whitehall or HJ. It seems CP has zero interest in running that line.
  by CN9634
A lot of trust in the "World's Greatest Railfan" regarding this transition and information... there are hints of truth to what he shares but reality is much different. The symbol list for example he posted was somewhat correct but also a lot of the 'blanks' are actually known. Really surprised too they let ANR&P become more 'foamer centric' as its seems to have taken a pivot away from a more polished industrial publication and more towards a locomotive sighting and picture list. Doesn't bother me but I'm curious if industry subscribers will start dropping when they notice a lack of substantive content and several suitable alternatives out there.

In any case, there is an effort to drum up business on the Vermont line, whether it pans out long term who knows but CP would like to see it busy. The Whitehall gateway has a lot of challenges, it works ok now for carload traffic but has always been problematic with unit trains getting over the road quickly and efficiently. I'm not sure either what clearances look like on that line but they Newport sub is fully cleared (and they are looking at that in particular for that reason)... lastly I heard that CP is not thrilled by the tax burden from Whitehall and was interested in shifting the interchange to Newport for all VRS traffic. The only thing conclusive I could see towards that is the fact CP is completely rebuilding Farnham (possibly adding tracks back in), so aside the idea of shifting the interchange I really don't know why they would do that (in fact many of us surmised Farnham would be the first yard to go).

Lastly everyone seems to forget that we've been in a pandemic induced recession. If you want to get technical, they cut service 50% on the Moosehead and much more on other lanes, so when you say they only ran to Newport 3 times in May, it should be put into perspective and under the current situation.
  by KSmitty
CN9634 wrote: Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:15 am A lot of trust in the "World's Greatest Railfan" regarding this transition and information... there are hints of truth to what he shares but reality is much different.
For someone with all the connections he sure seems to be misinformed. Maybe he gets the information but gets distracted by other things...
  by NHV 669
CN9634 wrote: Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:15 amwhen you say they only ran to Newport 3 times in May, it should be put into perspective and under the current situation.
Or because local/bridge cars aren't moving through there as stated above, eliminating a need for more frequent runs in the first place. Two seperate folks not named "KB" have stated such on that very page, and they get their checks from actual railroad work, so I'm not sure what nitpicking the first guy is going to achieve.

If they intend to keep Newport as an interchange point, shuffling cars elsewhere is an odd way of doing it. The WACR is still not 286k, so there's another hurdle for any supposed new traffic.
  by CN9634
I think you’ll find a lot of those pages just recirculate the same info. I’ve gotten my info directly from VRS marketing and sales. Plans change In every industry (especially plans before and after a takeover) so the notion of absolutes is not something that should be banked on, but the CP marketing blurbs sent out last week relative to CMQ mentioned direct connections with VRS and Pan Am (CP marketing keeps referring to all of Pan Am as just PAS oddly enough). I can share the marketing update later once I get to my computer that directly mentions VRS connection relative to CMQ. CP is also marketing a private transload site at Newport, not sure who/what that is. The commercial rights only extend to Wells River on their material too which is a bit odd.
  by NHV 669
The only absolute has been iffy Newport service from CMQ, even since Fortress turned the operation around.

Your marketing sources can push all the connections they want, but I'll take the word of a guy who's actually handling trains on a daily basis and knows where the cars are coming/going. Especially the former WACR bridge traffic that is now going via the D&H instead.
  by CPF363
With CP's cut-over of the CMQ complete, what are the radio channels used on both the Maine and Quebec portions of the system?
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