• Rockland Branch Discussion

  • 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

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  by Cosakita18
 
Noticed today's eastbound Portland local heading to Brunswick had three boxcars (two of them with CP reporting marks) mixed in with all the normal Rockland branch traffic. Any idea what that could be about? Or are those boxes just along for the ride so to speak.
  by gokeefe
 
Interesting catch and very unusual. I can't even begin to imagine who those would be for ...

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  by Cosakita18
 
This particular local had lots of steel loads for BIW so maybe those boxes were bringing in other things related to steel assembly? That's the only thing I can think of that would make sense.
Last edited by MEC407 on Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quoting
  by gokeefe
 
I wondered about BIW as well ... First time for everything ... I was more curious if perhaps they finally had a customer using the loading dock in Rockland that was originally intended for refrigerated cargo ...

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  by MERailFanJay
 
I checked the Rockland yard and there are no boxes in sight. Just whales and hoppers.
  by Shortline614
 
Quick Question! When does the contract to operate the Rockland Branch expire for CP?
  by MERailFanJay
 
CP's contract ends on Dec 31st, 2025

CP 2279, a GP20C-ECO is now running on the Rockland Branch. It replaced 3803.
  by Narrowgauger
 
Just a couple questions.....what route do the CP locos take to get to Brunswick (and to Rockland) ? And how many locos is CP assigning to the line? I spent many years railfanning the branch back in the MEC days and have always liked the line. Surprised no one ever reports more.
  by markhb
 
I listened to the NNEPRA Board Meeting today and when they oft-delayed Rockland Branch running came up, the Maine DOT rep said that CP has approached the state about giving up the Rockland Branch soom (doesn't surprise me; a dead-end short line that only connects to a competitor never seemed like the stuff Class I dreams are made of), and a new operator announcement will be made shortly. So get your photos of CP power traversing the Carlton Bridge while you have the chance!
  by Shortline614
 
I'd expect the Vermont Rail System or maybe G&W to make a move. Although wouldn't it be funny if CSX ended up operating the branch? Trade one class one for another! :wink:
  by MEC407
 
Seems a little too "small potatoes" for G&W, although I suppose having SLR relatively nearby would give them an advantage.

WATCO was and still is a possibility. If I recall correctly, New York & Lake Erie RR was one of the bidders during one of the previous Rockland Branch contract openings. There was another railroad from that general region that put in a bid, too... might've been WNY&P, FGLK, or SRNJ maybe? At any rate it'll be interesting to see who the new operator is.
  by gokeefe
 
You can count on whoever it is that the State will ensure they are friendly to passenger rail. G&W is not known for that (not unheard of but someone who knew once told me they were proud that they didn't have a single mile of Amtrak operations).

This was after the Vermonter went back to the Conn River Line. I was mildly surprised ...

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  by backroadrails
 
Irving, Pan Am, Morristown & Erie, and CMQ were the 4 bidders I remember from the last time the branch went up for bid. I imagine Irving will place a bid in order to increase the NBM Railways footprint in Maine. But who knows, maybe M&E has a renewed interest after the loss of multiple lines in NJ.
  by Cosakita18
 
The question is though, could any of those operators drum up new business for the branch? Right now the Thomaston-Rockland cement shuttle is the only thing keeping the line viable.
  by MEC407
 
Cosakita18 wrote:...could any of those operators drum up new business for the branch?
I don't see how. Maine Coast, Safe Handling, Morristown & Erie, and Central Maine & Quebec all tried to drum up new business; none of them succeeded. And I don't think any of them are at fault, nor can MaineDOT be faulted. It's just geography.

Also worth noting that of those four railroads, M&E tried the hardest and put the most effort into it. They were very customer oriented, and their excursion trains were well liked. I still think it stinks to high heaven that the contract was given to CMQ instead of re-upping with M&E.
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