Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

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My long suffering state of Maine and its dilapidated RR system

Hello all. While I don't think anyone here particularly cares about minor railroads in states on the other side of the country, I just have to express my dismay with my old home state and the sorry state of its rail infrastructure, not too dissimilar with that of the NWP not too long ago. Plus, the New England railroad forum that I used to contribute to is defunct thanks to stupid bickering, trolling, poor management and horrible design.

Maine used to be dominated by the Maine Central covering the south half of the state, and the Bangor and Aroostook covering the north half. Both have long gone, killed off by the post industrial paradigm shift in the 70's. Pan Am and Guilford under the Mellon family "operates" the former MC, what wasn't abandoned, and the B&A is now gone through two different companies, and state ownership. When I visited Maine last year investigating some abandoned railroads, I got a close look at the former MC rail yard at Pittsfield,  and the conditions shocked me at how bad the main lines were.

About the only bright spot is the development of the Amtrak line up to Brunswick in the South.

So, while things aren't perfect up there in northern California, you guys at least have a functional railroad that's come back from the dead. Things in my old state are in a state of general decay.

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Comment by Richard C. Brand on July 15, 2014 at 1:18pm


Thx for posting the link to that great video.  Gives me a good idea of what to expect this summer.

That RoW looks to be in excellent condition, or was at least in 2008.  Must be expensive to maintain though with all of that water nearby.

Comment by Andrew F. Laverdiere on July 14, 2014 at 8:48pm

Catch the view from the cab, courtesy of my friend Zach. It's just an excursion train, so trips are limited. If you can combine Amtrak and MERR somehow, that would be a pretty nice combination of modern and old style rail transportation.

Comment by Richard C. Brand on July 14, 2014 at 7:14pm

What's the condition of the Maine Eastern passenger service?  Looks pretty twisty to me although that could be a good thing.

Comment by Andrew F. Laverdiere on July 14, 2014 at 5:19pm

If you take Amtrak from Boston, you'll only get as far as Brunswick.  Construction and upgrading is still ongoing, so expect delay's.

From Brunswick, you can then catch the Maine Eastern RR, which will get you as far as Rockland.

The rest of the way you'll have to get there by car. There hasn't been rail passenger service in the state since the Maine Central RR discontinued that in 1960.

Comment by Richard C. Brand on July 14, 2014 at 1:34pm

What is the condition of the RoW for the Amtrak line?  I was thinking of taking it later this summer when we are going to Bar Harbor. 

Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Andrew F. Laverdiere on July 1, 2014 at 8:11pm

You're right of course Chad. There are official yards in Waterville, South Portland, and Milo with shops, turntables, and so forth. From on the ground, the abandoned sidings in Pittsfield had the feeling of a formerly busy area. The worst part was examining the 'main' line. In general, spikes were raised an inch or two, and ties were in poor shape. Among my friends there, Mellon is a derogatory word.

Comment by Chad Glover on July 1, 2014 at 12:52pm

Andrew,  Went to Pittsfield, ME on google maps and didn't see a yard there, however when i zoomed in there is a local on the tracks right downtown.   Sad to see so much history that we've lost to abandonded and neglected lines.

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