carchecker wrote:According to the Maine DOT there are five bids for the operation of the line. They include Eastern Maine Railway (NBSR), Rail America, Springfield Terminal, and two groups I've never heard of...Myles Group and Patriot Rail. Can anyone give any insight as to who/what these final two groups may be?EMRY honestly makes the most sense logistically for the existing traffic. That said, I'm pretty surprised ST/PAR put in a bid. Maybe I'm missing something, but what do they really have to gain out of this? Without overhead rights all the way to NMJ, they'd essentially gain a new network of disconnected branchlines, and are already capable (and actually doing) of getting a northern feed from the EMRY/NBSR. I just don't see them putting a whole lot into operating this, and anyone that thinks their service would be an improvement over MMA is likely mistaken. The only longshot I can see here is that they forsee MMA going away and want to position themselves to be the most logical successor.
The shortline holding groups are no big surprise. I figured Patriot Rail would be right there. That is run by Gary Marino, the co-founder and former CEO of RailAmerica. They are agressively acquiring properties and seeking contract operating opportunities nationwide in an attempt to expand their holdings (Huh, almost sounds like RailAmerica all over again...). I'm a little surprised RailAmerica has any interest. This doesn't seem like a large enough operation for them based on the economics in the RFP. Again, this could be another "strategic positioning" thinking the MMA will not be around for the long term.