A very large percentage of containers coming in on ships is immediately loaded onto trains, often double stacked, to begin the distribution around the country, eventually ending up on a truck
You'll get no argument from me on the efficiency of rail vs truck.
I just want to know, if rail is so efficient, why has it not been utilized to the extent that common sense says it should be.
I believe I have answered my own question with the union/government involvement part of the equation.
As I recall, the line from Stacyville to Patten was a 160' ROW.
If the main line was the same width, which I believe it is, there isn't much room for anything more than one small buried utility.
woodcanoe - Suppose whoever is planning the E/W highway corridor is factoring in other uses, i.e. electric wires, natural gas lines, telecommunications cable, and so on. So what? Why would that be a negative?
In light of the arguments heard on this thread, and a message I received privately, I would ask that the backers of this proposed highway join this discussion, in public view, and confirm these points which were apparently made by Peter Vigue here:
• The right of way for the project would not be 2,000 feet wide for its entire length, as some critics have contended. It would follow within an existing 2,000-foot-wide corridor in eastern Maine along the Stud Mill Road forestry haul road, then drop to 500 feet wide west of the Penobscot River. In all, the highway corridor would cover 13,250 acres.
• No oil pipeline, electric transmission lines or gas pipelines would be built within the right of way. The Stud Mill Road portion of the corridor already contains utility lines.
• No land would be taken by eminent domain.
• No conservation areas or protected areas would be bisected by the road.
The people pushing for this road would gain a lot more support if they would engage in public discussion, both with supporters and detractors, about any and all issues that come along with a project of this scope. Don't hide data, don't hide proposed routes, don't hide ulterior motives or other potential sources of revenue. Put it all out there for everyone to see and maybe some of the dissent will be calmed.
I live right in that area "between Dover and Dexter" that they talk about. We know quite a few other people who live in this area also. Most all of us have just had our way of life come to a screeching halt as we wonder what the future is going to look like here, and will we be bought out and swept up in the euphoria over this development.
No one that I know here, at the moment is making any plans for the future as a lot of us have no idea if we will still have our farms or not in a little while. Nobody is doing much immediate planning as we are all forced to take a "wait and see" attitude about the future.
Their unwillingness to talk about specific routes has placed a whole lot of Maine families on the edge of their seats and keeping them there.
That doesn't seem like a good way to win support for the project.
We'll see how long the silence lasts. If people want to question my integrity, or my truthfulness, do it in public.
The professional hucksters employed by the environazi industry are on the job, and it appears that their divide and conquer tactics have gained a bit of traction.
The same tactics were employed in the Mill/East/Medway area by Quimby supporters, but it would appear that, for the time being, that effort has lost most of the initial support.
Because people stood back and took a good look at who was behind the curtain orchestrating the "plan" and instigating the in-fighting.
These people have been trained their whole adult life in these tactics, much like the Middle Eastern Jihadists, and like the radical muslims, the radical enviromentalists will take no prisoners.
These people are playing on the fears of those that might be impacted in order to achieve their preservationist agenda.
For those that are concerned about their future in the region, just stand back for a minute and look at the whole picture and the battle before you.
The Sierra Club, NRCM, TNC, The Appalacian Mountain Club, Earth First, et cet......these are the people using your fears of the unknown in order to estblish a local base from which to wage their jihad.
"Are you certain the rails were torn up?"
I can't say they all were taken up, but some were.
I'm not sure about downeast, but pretty much everything else that was abandoned has been scrapped.
The Maine Central Calais branch ran from Brewer to Calais, a distance of 127 miles. Much of this was converted to a "rail-trail" a few years back.
The rails were left intact from Baring to Ayers Junction where the Eastport Branch used to go off of the main line. The purpose of leaving this end was in case rail service can be returned to Eastport, which is a pipe-dream of the Maine DOT.
It is a pipe dream because the DOT let some of that right of way go, in the Passamaquoddy reservation, across Carlow's Island, and within the boundaries of Eastport various buildings have been built on it. To return rail to Eastport proper would cost an absolute ton of money, if possible at all. The latest DOT dream is a rail transfer facility in Perry where cargo from the Eastport docks can be trucked a few miles and placed on rail cars. This is a joke because everytime you have to "break bulk" and transfer cargo from one mode to another, it costs lots of money. Eastport would be competing with ST John, NB, less than 60 miles away, with rail facilities right on the dock. Not to mention St John is one of the largest ports on the Atlantic Coast of North America! ST John is also on the eastern end of that former Canadian Pacific line which runs in almost a straight line from there to Montreal, closely paralleing the proposed highway route.
Searsport, ME also has excellent dock facilities with rail right on the docks. This is underutilized at the moment, especially the rail transport end of it. Constructing a new port on Sears Island would make Searsport be able to handle larger ships and thus there is container possibilites there. That rail line connects directly with the former CP route at Brownville Jct, as well as the Pan American line, heading south, at Northern Maine Jct in Hermon.Irving is doing an extraordinary amount of upgrading on their portion of that old CP line and many RR folk who follow these kinds of things, think there is something in the works. Time will tell.
Re the Calais branch, the rails were removed entirely between Ayers Jct and the wye at Washington Jct, in Hancock, just outside of Ellsworth. The track from there to Brewer still exists and has been leased by the DOT to the Downeast Scenic Railroad and several miles of the trackage have been rehabilitated and tourist trains are running in the summer. This will be their second year, and it is a success story so far. Bar Harbor Restaurant ownerTom Testa is the heart and soul of this movement and has done a very good thing here. Their plans are to be running to Green Lake in just a few years.
Other good news is that the track from Ellsworth to Brewer is still intact and not in all that bad shape. I believe there is a realistic chance that some kind of (tourist?) operation may be able to take place between Bangor and Ellsworth someday. Lot of talk has taken place about the transportation on Mt Desert Island and DOT would love to cut down the number of private automobiles in that corridor. Rail has been discussed as a possibility and is the main reason those rails have been left in place IMHO.
Also, except for 5 miles of rail that Guilford Transportation removed in Westbrook, the entire Mountain Division of the Maine Central is still intact and in place. The Conway Scenic Railroad uses that track from Intervale, up through Crawford, and can run to Whitefield NH to bring new equipment to their line. This line could be put back into service if warranted someday. MDOT has done a study of revitalizing it in Maine, but not a lot of users are there at the moment, though that could change. They are looking at it for the possiblity of freight returning to it someday.
Several years back when Peter Vigue first started talking about this "corridor" he sometimes talked about how it would be quite wide and would have room for a railroad line in if someday if need be. Not sure if he still feels that way or not now. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense with a parallel line just a few miles north either.
i guess my accuser doesn't want to converse in the open. Awfully silent after a hit and run message.
Without the power of eminant domain, and with the project only in the planning stages, how would ANYONE be able to offer a specific route?????
The negative nellies in this state always point to our geographical location as being one of the greatest obstcales to trade with the rest of the world, and here, someone is proposing a project that will take advantage of that geography by building something to create jobs bring income to the state's economy, and help with our balance of trade.
How many more times will we be told that "you can't do that up there" by the environmental industry before we realize that it's not about geography at all, but runaway environmental extremism ?
Can anyone answer a few questions for me?
Who is actually performing the feasibility study (what agency, what personnel)?
What is their background; in order to give the study an airtight feel of non-bias, what qualifications should these people have?
Where did the $300,000 number come from?
Has the study begun, and when will it be completed?
The DOT can answer your questions. AMG isn't the DOT.
Resolve, To Require the Department of Transportation To Facilitate and Oversee a Study of the Feasibility of an East-west Highway
Sec. 1 Department of Transportation to facilitate and oversee a study of the feasibility of an east-west highway. Resolved: That the Department of Transportation shall facilitate and oversee an independent investment-grade traffic and revenue analysis to assess the feasibility of a privately funded, privately operated and publicly accessible east-west highway; and be it further
Sec. 2 Reporting date established. Resolved: That the Department of Transportation shall report the study findings to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over transportation matters by January 15, 2013; and be it further
Sec. 3 Reimbursement for cost of analysis. Resolved: That, upon obtaining final authorization to construct an east-west highway, the developer shall reimburse the Department of Transportation for the cost of the analysis under section 1.
Posted above is the text of the bill. Have fun.
Thank you (doesn't say where the dollar amount came from, though)
The money was in the DOT budget and hadn't been encumbered to be used for it's original intent,which essentially only required a financial order to transfer it to this use.That ist he only question I can answer.
I don't mean "where does the money come from", I mean where does the figure "$300,000" come from?
You might chat with someone who attended a public hearing on the bill. They had one.
One thing is certain: I don't want to fund a study to frikkin' decide how much to fund the study. If you want an answer to the why of that, ask Zeno.
The paradoxical conclusion then would be that travel over any finite distance can neither be completed nor begun, and so all motion must be an illusion.
Damn -- I believe I've discovered a slogan for the east-west highway OPFOR!
Bob look back in thread I think Sen. Thomas who introduced the study idea stated where the money and what it was for originally or there is a link!
As an aside from the idea itself has anyone done the math of the $300000 i.e. consultant independent study assumed.
If one person was hired assuming a 300 dollar a day fee it would pay for 1000 hours! ( I believe that fee is low)
If a firm is hired to do so how much work is going to be done by how many people before the 300K is gone.
I am beginning to think any study will be incomplete and insufficient , unless a lot of up to date study materials are already in place which questions independent factor IMHO>
I liked your first answer. "We found 300 grand floating around in the budget, so you can have that." It is enough to hire an engineer and a surveyor for a year. It should be enough.
Part of the funds could be to assign an archivist to dust off the other studies done over the last half century that an east/west highway has been considered.
What we need to keep in focus is that Earth First and their fellow travelers are against roads. That's all roads, no matter what the intended use of the road may be. You need to understand that it isn't just new roads. They want existing roads torn out, bridges removed, culverts gone and the old road beds seeded down with indigenous vegetation. They are making good progress in Maine.
Bakken Crude Oil, or tar sands oil as some refer to it, is already being transhipped across Maine, to the Irving Oil Refinery in St John, NB. This oil is being shipped by rail in unit tank car trains of around 100 cars each. Each train is capable of carrying around 60,000 barrels of crude oil. These shipments have been set up by the Irving Refinery in St John, as "test trains". Two trains have been routed from ND through Massachusetts and north through Portland, Waterville, Bangor and on to Mattawaumkeag, where they are handed off to the New Brunswick Southern Railroad, a subsidiary of Irving, for the rest of their journey to St John, NB. Two other trains have been routed through Montreal and then across Maine of the former Canadian Pacific rail line, which lies just a few miles north of the proposed East/West Highway corridor. One of those two trains has reached St John while the most recent train is stranded at the moment, I believe, in eastern Quebec, due to the washouts in the railroad tracks at Brownville, ME. It was photographed near Sherbrooke, PQ late yesterday afternoon (6/24).
Irving is rapidly expanding their ability to offload this crude oil from tank cars and currently has the capacity for unloading about 192,000 barrels per day, way more than one train's worth, as you can see, and they are working on increasing their ability to unload this oil from train cars. Irving can buy this crude oil for as much as $25/barrel less than the Brent Crude that they have been buying on the world market, up to now. This oil can be shipped by train for around $12-$13 per barrel at the moment.
I have been interested in things to do with railroads for most of my 65 years, and with a background in Mechanical and Civil engineering this subject has kept my attention for many years. I have numerous sources in the railroad industry. It is clear to everyone that the Irving company is focused on the Bakken oil formation in southern Alberta and around Williston, ND. It is clear that Irving can buy that oil for it's NB refinery at considerably lesser price than foreign imports. It is crystal clear that Irving is going to be a major player in the movement of that crude oil to the east coast of North America, no question about it.
There is something very interesting about all of this. Crude oil will NEVER be shipped by truck as it is nowhere as cost effective as shipping it in other ways. Railroad shipment is about 4.5 times more efficient than shipping by truck! It is way less costly to ship oil by railroad than by truck! And here is the clincher. While it is costing around $12-$13 a barrel to ship this crude oil east by rail.........it only costs about $6/barrel to ship it in a pipeline!
An article in the Calgary, Alberta Herald on June 11, had some very interesting and vital information in it. It mentions the saving on shipping, to refiners, pipeline vs railroad as saving the refiners as much as $7 per barrel in pipelines! In addition it mentioned the latest proposal by the Trans Canada Pipeline organization: ......"In addition, TransCanada Corp. recently introduced the concept of a new pipeline system to transport about 625,000 barrels per day of western Canadian crude oil across the country to Montreal and potentially further east to Saint John".....
Read More Here
I am not a genius but I can look at a map and see that the route from Sherbrooke, PQ to St John, NB, across Maine, at the site of this "east-west) corridor, is a whole lot shorter, and a straight line, as opposed to staying in Canadian Territory and going all the way up and around the top of Maine!
After several weeks of thought I have reached some conclusions, which I freely admit are some speculation on my part.
This "East/West" corridor proposal is not really about a "road" as much as it is about a crude oil pipeline. No wonder the promoters do NOT want to talk about any other uses of this corridor than for a "road"!
All the discussion has been about a "road" as this will be the "economic engine" that will revitalize northern Maine. As much as I would like to see the economy of Maine improve, north of Bangor, so that the small towns can still thrive, and people can afford to live there, I don't think ANY of the current problems are due to a.........lack of roads! This "road" is simply the straw man that is being used to sell this project to people that cannot see the whole picture here!
Just for fun I looked up "pipeline leases" in order to get an idea as to just how much an oil pipeline, within this corridor, might mean to its owners. The lowest figures I can find are $10 per foot of pipeline for annual lease payments. 220 miles times 5,280 = 1,161,600 ft times $10 = around 12 million dollars annually for lease payments, or it could be very much higher than even that! This would be an absolute gold mine for the lucky investors/owners of this proposed corridor project.
How come they don't want to talk about this? Is it because the profits from said pipeline could turn out to be way more than profits from the "road" proposed? Can it be that a pipeline within an already existing "privately owned" corridor would be much easier to permit as there would not be hundreds of landowners to deal with, and the pipeline was going to go into an already existing corridor?
I believe that Irving is likely going to be one of the largest, if not the largest, proposed investor in this project, There are hundreds of millions of dollars of profit lying on the table for them, as you can easily see here. No wonder Mr Vigue does NOT want to talk about other uses of the corridor. He would want to keep this as secret as possible.
For the record, I am not opposed to privately owned toll roads, am not opposed to business and am not opposed to pipelines necessarily. What I do dislike is what modern politics has become in America. Politics is today all about "misdirection", "misstatement", "understatement", misleading statments and so much more of that kind of stuff. Tell the public anything but the truth.
With my background I can look at a map and see pretty clearly where this road is going to have to be built, in my area of the state. It will cross the Penobscot river near the end of the Stud Mill Rd, go NW towards Lagrange, then westerly across the northern parts of Bradford, Charleston, Garland and across Rt 7 then swing NW towards Sangerville where it will have to stay south of two large ponds. It can't go anyplace else without massive intrusion into developed land. One thing business is good at is "buying low and selling high". I doubt that the owners would buy very valuable property when they could run this route through mostly undeveloped land.
Much of our property lies within this possible routing. Needless to say our lives have been put on hold, for whatever time Mr Vigue, Sen Thomas and the Maine DOT insist on maintaining secrecy about this proposal. They have their hooks on 300 grand of OUR money........ and still cannot put their cards on the table?
I have a complete lack of respect for those who wish to use the political system for their own benefit and keep the public completely in the dark on this proposal! I will be against it until I believe that the promoters have put all the cards on the table. As one lady said, a few weeks back in comment to a newspaper story on the project: "I will be opposed to this totally until some sun can shine on the details. The people of Maine deserve at least that".
And IF the backers and promoters of this project have any knowledge of the possibility of an oil pipeline within this "privately owned corridor" and they choose to keep that to themselves, and away from the people of Maine, that would be an outrage!
I know some "promoters" hang out here as I have heard from a few of them. How about it, do you have any knowledge of the oil pipeline possiblilties that I have mentioned above?
As I recall, WC, Mr. Vigue has stated publicly that eminant domain will not be used in this project.
Is your property for sale?
Maybe it is and he just doesn't know it yet.
Well, WC has blown the whistle. I was hoping this would emerge some time after Labor Day or even later in the campaign. A key feature in all this was LD 2286 back in the 1990s, otherwise known as "Son of COMPACT". That was the law that forced every single Maine paper company to sell its forest lands. It was a key piece of this project. Angus King was sent to Maine to do a job on Maine and he did it. I wrote about it extensively at the time, but people forget history at their peril.
Maybe it is and he just doesn't know it yet.
Are you saying that everyone has their price?
Did anybody litigate the constitutionality of the statute at the time? Seems like requiring sale to a private party isn't the same as, nor protected to the same degree as eminent domain.
It didn't work that way. The new Maine Forest Practices Act, otherwise known as Son of COMPACT, took away the opportunity for forest landowners to manage their assets or profit from their ownership of industrial forests. If a company cannot manage or profit from an asset, no board of directors will allow the company to own it. They had to sell. You see, in Augusta the only difference between worthless and worth less is a tap of the space bar. Maine's legislature drove down the value of forested land and the environmental industry swooped in and bought the actual ground, easements on that ground or both. They cut the economic heart out of Northern Maine. They did it on purpose at the request of Angus King. The bill number was LD 2286 and was sponsored by George Bunker of Kossuth. I don't have to look this stuff up. It is burned into my memory. It changed Maine forever just like LD 1798 this year changed Maine forever. It was sponsored by Jeff Gifford of Lincoln.
Are you saying that everyone has their price? ~Ugenetoo
Not at all, I am saying that forced acceptance is not willing acceptance. I'm betting something similar will be used to separate people from their land, without using 'eminent domain'.