One of my former coworkers on MNR said that they will also be reopening the line to East Millinocket to service the warehouse that recently opened. They already have brush cut the line and are stock piling materials so a contractor can replace a culvert at Dolby and fix the washout by the mill. Both stations at Millinocket and East Millinocket were knocked down a few weeks ago. The plan is to build a new one at Millinocket Yard to house the MOW department and have a space for crews to bunk. EMR is already planning upgrades on the Millinocket Sub to undo 3 years of differed maintenance under CP's occupation. The plan is to get the sub back to 25 MPH as well as to reinstall the siding at Packards to facilitate meets. The side of the yard which was mainly removed by CMQ is getting some attention too, with a big tie job and some switch replacements.
I know EMR wants to reopen the engine facility as well so stuff doesn't have to go all the way to Saint John for servicing or for a 92 day. There will also be a car shop in the future, since Oakfield and Saint John are backlogged with 3 years worth of contract work.
In other news, EMR is relaying the siding on the Mattawamkeag Sub at Knights (just east of BVJ). It will be used to store MNR bound cars so crews don't have to add an extra 30 mile trip to Hardy Pond onto their schedule. The siding will also be used to store CP bound trains when CP is unable to take an inbound (which is almost daily). Other upgrades to the Keag as reported by Worldwide Railfan on YouTube include: siding expansions at Hardy Pond, Kirby, Bancroft, and extending the second track at McAdam to the DD at MP5 and two miles east of the yard on the McAdam sub to the new cautionary limits. They also have tie projects planned on the Keag, Madawaska, Presque Isle, and Houlton Subs to get everything back up to 25 MPH. Woodland is also getting some attention in the next year. Then they also have the grant to redo the McAdam sub with CWR and ties. Undercutting (Irving just bought an undercutter last year) and ballast work is also apart of that project. That will bump the McAdam up to 40+ MPH. With most of the meets happening on the Keag sub, the folks at Saint John don't want it to be upgraded to more than 30 MPH so chasing will still be easy.
There is also talk of building a new 3 track yard at Kingman or the top of the hill at Mattawamkeag, since EMR doesn't want CP or CSX units traveling onto their territory, the word on the street is that they will be keeping a power set at Keag, which will run a turn job to the new yard where they will drop those cars and return with CSX bound traffic. Last I heard with the lack of traffic going to CP, they will have enough capacity to bring back 907/908 which will handle chips, McAdam, and CSX traffic. But that is still a few years away.
As many of you know, they have purchased a ton of power in the past few months. 12 more SD70M-2's of which, 5 have been delivered bringing the total on roster to 11 plus a part unit. They also received the GP40-2/GP30 slug set which still needs to be painted and has a ton of bugs. They have two more GP40-2's being rebuilt at ONR plus three at CAD of NS heritage which have all been rebuilt and painted but are awaiting parts still. AFAIK, one of the PRLX SD60M's is still on roster and I think they bought the PRLX GP38-2/GP35 slug set that was sent to them last fall.
Per the Facebook experts (take it as you will) they have purchased another six GP40-2's, six more GP38-2/GP35 slug sets, nine more GP30 slugs, and are buying 31 GP41ECO's. The GMTX GP38-2 fleet will largely be gone by the end of this year, while the GP40N's I think they intend on buying. As for retirements: The two SW1200's have been sold to AIM and were supposed to be scrapped two years ago with two NBSR caboose(s) but they have yet to meet the torch. GP38-3's 9801-9803 are officially done and it sounds like AIM is currently removing the major components. Although I think I remember hearing that those three plus the two 2600's will be used for the GP41ECO program. SD40-2's 6200, 6318, and 6332 are all retired. 6318 is the worst of the worst, but if they wanted to it has enough parts to get the 6200 (needs a turbo) and the 6332 (suffered a crank shaft failure after a rebuild) going again. GMTX 2666 was returned and is now on a tourist RR down south, GMTX 2657 (Conrail patch) is currently oos, MP15's 211 (heavily damaged in a logging truck crash ) and 205 (subleased to Pan Am where it burnt up and was sent for rebuild by NHCR) have both been returned to GMTX. MP15's 203, 204, and the one they keep at the Potash facility are all still on the property. CIT/CEFX GP38-3's 414 and 419 were returned two years ago.