• CMQ for sale?

  • 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 CN9634
Montreal and Albany.

Both on rivers, Montreal has a good bit of business but is really limited by the draft, they can only take ~5500 TEU vessels, which is starting to be considered sub-standard in many of the high volume lanes.

https://www.cpr.ca/en/choose-rail-site/ ... p-2018.pdf
  by bsweep
Let's expand on something that CN9634 said as well, CP literally had no choice. It's not only the port access: if it is true that CN had put a bid in for the CMQ, CP's business analysis included losing essentially one train of feed per day in Montreal. It also would have forever precluded them for bidding on any of the Irving business currently going via CN under the 20 year contract signed back in circa 1999 (and even Irving-PAR). I expect in short order we will see some low hanging fruit - for sure the potash, maybe some additional autos and possibly even a run through intermodal train. Down the road I wouldn't be surprised to see a joint venture with Irving similar to PAS if Irving plays ball. And finally let's not forget the traffic nobody wants to speak of because it's politically incorrect but at some point oil will again flow from SK and ND to the refinery in Saint John and now CP can over a direct routing and avoid much of the political morass that would follow if it were handled by a short-line no matter how good a safety record they had.
  by MEC407
bsweep wrote: Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:49 am ...and avoid much of the political morass that would follow if it were handled by a short-line no matter how good a safety record they had.
Other than Lac Megantic, every fuel train disaster or hazmat train disaster in the United States or Canada over the last 20 years has happened on a Class I railroad:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Unio ... train_fire

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Moun ... derailment

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Tenn ... derailment






People are fooling themselves if they think disasters only strike shortlines.

(For anyone keeping score, the winner is CSX with 4, followed by NS with 2, UP with 1, and CP with 1.)
  by fromway
After looking at a satellite view of the port area in Searsport I don't see a lot of available space for an auto operation. The NIMBYs in Searsport will be all over this issue: Extra lighting effecting the environment, extra truck traffic, noise and anything else that they can think of. It will be interesting to see what is going to happen.
  by KSmitty
1) Montreal, hundreds of miles up the St. Lawrence.
2) Albany, 150 miles up the Hudson, and heavily restricted on shipping size up the river.
gokeefe wrote: Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:49 pm For those of us not familiar with the situation what are the two CP ports inland you're referred to?
  by roberttosh
The NIMBY issue at Searsport is going to be a major headache, you can take that to the bank.
  by gokeefe
I disagree. If the intention is merely to expand around the existing port at Mack Point I think they'll be fine.

Sears Island would be another matter entirely that would draw in state and national level conservation and environmental advocacy groups.

I think they probably have enough acreage at Mack Point for an auto terminal. There are at least five sites all directly abutting the current port which could work.
  by roberttosh
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
  by bsweep
MEC407, please don't think I was insinuating that the CP would be safer than the CMQ. Rather it was a statement that CP has more clout with Ottawa. And similarly CP will be better positioned to deal with the Searsport NIMBY contingency than CMQ.
  by CN9634
The good news is we don't have to guess-- according to the report commissioned by the MPA and posted here many times there are 45 acres of undeveloped land north of the port that can be used for something. This is outside of what potentially could be re-developed within the port, and an additional 100 acres the town of Searsport has designated for industrial development.

For the sake of this conversation regarding Searsport, please read the report. It covers a lot of ground, including what could potentially be railed. Aside the potential to export autos, I'll place my hunch that there is potential to rail ethanol at Searsport, which is currently barged in from Global at Albany (CP served) to blend with gasoline coming from Saint John for the local US market. Gets CP a longer haul and cut Global out of the equation logistics wise. Surprisingly enough, Searsport as well as Portland have been on CP's 'map' for ethanol for a while. We'll see what could happen here if anything at all.

Happy holidays

https://www.maine.gov/mdot/ofbs/docs/Se ... 170803.pdf
  by MEC407
If the area(s) in question are already zoned for industrial or commercial uses, any NIMBYs that come forward will not have much of a leg to stand on.

If they play their cards right, they could probably convince the planning board to add some conditions of approval to the site plan, such as requiring warm-white LED lighting with full cutoff fixtures (better for the environment and reduces light pollution); requiring buffers around the property such as arbor vitae or stockade fence to reduce the amount of noise and light leaving the property; requiring best management practices for stormwater and runoff; etc. All of these things are doable, none of them would be onerous for the project owner, and all of them would make the project a better neighbor. However, if the NIMBYs only want to stop the project entirely, they will likely fail and they will likely not get any of the things I just listed.
  by roberttosh
Looking at the aerials of Searsport I just don’t see how they shoehorn a full blown import/export auto terminal onto the existing port property, especially when you factor in setbacks, a storm water retention area, roadways, the existing rail alignment, a long ladder track unloading yard, etc. Not to mention the fact that none of those parcels are anywhere near the existing dry bulk dock. For comparison’s sake try looking at the Dartmouth, Boston or Davisville auto facilities on google earth. It appears to me that Searsport wouldn’t be able to accommodate anything even close to those operations.
  by fromway
Read portion of the Maine Economic Development report posted by CN9634. Section 4 was very interesting. The NIMBYs will have a loud voice if there has to be any dredging to make larger ships accessible to the port facilities in Searsport. Where are they going to dump what is dredged up? What chemicals are they dredging up? I can hear them know. "We aren't against opportunities, but, but, but but".
  by roberttosh
Dredging just in and of itself is no walk in the park when it comes to permits and approvals. You wouldn’t believe what some environmental groups will fight and oppose.
  by MEC407
But it's not impossible. I feel pretty confident in saying that there are more environmentalists and environmental groups in Portland and South Portland than in Searsport, and yet Portland Harbor is being dredged. The dredged materials will be stored in a CAD cell on the South Portland side of the harbor. There has been no significant opposition to the project.

FMI: http://www.portlandharbordredge.info/solution.html
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