• Millinocket Mill to Close 7/30

  • 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 uhaul
I do hope something can be done since the economic backlash would be quite bad.
  by ShortlinesUSA
Can anyone shed some light on just how big an impact this would be? I certainly hope it does not occur, but it seems this happened once before in the first days of the MMA and they hung on. How much else is there to support the line out of Millinocket and elsewhere? Fingers crossed...
  by gpp111
The Millinocket Mill generates about ten percent of the MM&A carloads. These are inbound oil, chemicals, and pulp and outbound paper. About 4,500 carloads in all. Though the papermachine in the mill is the newest one in Maine and cost 125 million to install, with its paper production sold out through 2008, the mill is a big loser due to the high cost of oil which the plant depends upon. Many mills in Maine and elsewhere burn wood waste to reduce the dependence on oil or natural gas, but they never installed one here.

The State of Maine is probably trying to help keep the mill going but the biomass boiler costs tens of millions and up to two years to construct, so most likely the mill will close though the owners are said to keep up maintenance which would allow the mill to open again in the future.
  by bwparker1
Now that Oil is $50 a barrel and you can get scrap paper for free or even get paid to take it, wonder if they are regretting closing the mill? - BWP
  by NYC27
Doubt it in this market, although SCA grade paper should sell relitively well as a substitute to more expensive coated grades as companies cut back on their advertising expenses. They realized that they could make more money selling electricity from the co-gen plant on the grid than they could making paper, the energy cost excuse was a sham. I am told that union is opitmistic at reopening in 2009 or 10. Let's hope they are right.
  by oibu
^So the cogen plant is still running? Does this mean there is still inbound fuel and chip/slabwood traffic?
  by CN9634
On the topic of Declining traffic on the MMA, a 2008 Oakfield Town plan spoke very poorly of the Railroad in regards to service. Heres the direct article quote:
Montreal, Maine, and Atlantic (MMA) purchased 436 miles of Class 2 main and branch rail lines
from the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad (BAR) within Maine. The Ashland branch was
upgraded to main line status and has concentrated used primarily to transport forest products.
The two largest customers, Irving Woodlands in Nashville Plantation and Fraser Paper in
Madawaska, remain its important base in this industry. Lumber traffic, fed by the Pinkham and
Levesque mills in the Ashland area, add to the traffic. Two wafer board mills, Louisiana Pacific
in New Limerick and J.M. Huber in Easton, represented additional base.
In order to become a more viable transportation provider in the region, MM&A needs to invest
in its infrastructure. There are sections of the main line where trains can only travel at 5 to 10
miles per hour due to poor track conditions and other locations where derailments have occurred
on a regular basis. MM&A receives approximately $1 million annually from MaineDOT for
infrastructure improvements. Most of this funding is being spent between Brownville and
MM&A has had difficulty in meeting the needs of the region. Shippers have cited such issues as
waiting for cars that sometimes never arrive, inability to supply the types and volumes of cars
requested or needed, and a general lack of responsiveness from the provider to the customer. Rail
is a key component in the region’s economic development plan and one that could greatly
enhance the region’s economic development potential especially if fuel prices continue to climb.
However, shippers have shifted to more reliable alternative shipping modes because of these
problems, which exacerbate the issue of declining rail service by reducing revenues for MM&A.
If these issues could be resolved shippers have expressed a willingness to utilize rail again."

Source: http://www.maine.gov/spo/landuse/comppl ... d/plan.pdf (Pg49)

Say it ain't so MMA!!?
  by Tadman
Sounds like an easy solution to Oakfield's problems. The Oakfield mayor can call up some big banks out east and request they free up some investment capital for MM&A, then the mayor and his staff can attract enough large industries to guarantee MMA a return and ability to pay back the investment or service the debt. Lots of business are looking to expand or move these days, capital is easy to get. Silly railroaders... They're so stuck on these funny concepts called "facts" and "reality".