Old 03-09-2010, 09:24 PM   #1
ShortlinesUSA
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Default MMA update/trip report

Maine's two senators appear to have gotten the US Dept of Transportation to agree to pony up some money to keep the northern end of the MMA alive. The state of Maine and affected parties are required to draw up an action plan, and funding would then follow as long as it is approved.

MMA has made no indication that they plan to do anything other than cease operations over the 241 miles between Millinocket and Madawaska by summer. Even if the feds and/or state wind up buying the line, there is still the possibility MMA will not be the operator. So, time may be running out to photograph the MMA in northern Maine.

A trip up there can be very rewarding, as I found out last week. There are still plenty of trains to be found, just not in the mass quantities of other railroads of this size. Here is a quick rule of thumb of what you'd find on the segment up for abandonment:

Millinocket-Oakfield: All three days (Thu-Sat) I was up there, something moved between these points, either one direction or both. No solid call time that I could determine.

Squa Pan: Train 120 on duty 0800 M-Sa. Works north to Portage M-W-F, the Presque Isle, Caribou, and Easton branches T-Th-Sa. May work any of these branches any day. They tried for all 3 on Thursday, only to go dead in Presque Isle, making Friday's start from there instead of Squa Pan.

Oakfield-Madawaska: Moves between these points are typically made during night time hours. Never heard or saw a movement during my trip.

On the not to be abandoned segment, train #2 from Montreal to Millinocket can be found coming east into Millinocket anytime from sunup to 10 am on Tu-Th-Sa, depending on how much work they've done along the way. With longer days approaching, catching them in daylight from Brownville Jct. east is a pretty good possibility. I saw them into Millinocket at 9:30 am on Thursday, yet they made it in at 6:15 am on Saturday because they did not do enroute work at Jackman. The westbound #1 leaves Millinocket at 10 pm, and is under the cover of darkness pretty much throughout Maine. Possible to find them at Megantic in the early morning hours.

It's my understanding the turn from Northern Maine Jct to Searsport is now done during night time hours. NMJ to Millinocket and/or Brownville Jct can be handled in a number of ways, and apparently not on a set schedule. For instance, Saturday found a job out of NMJ to BJCT at 9:30 am. Ran back to NMJ after switching BJCT. Sunday, they were going to run a job from Derby to S. Lagrange (GP woodchip mill) then north to Millinocket with a call time of noon.

There is also the Eastern Maine Railway (New Brunswick Southern) train that comes on duty around 7-9 am at BJCT (depending on when MMA 2 gets their connection to them) Tu-Th-Sa.

So, for any of you looking at spring travel plans that have had the MMA in mind, it is definitely worth your while. Just be prepared to drive to where the trains are. I put 1100 miles on a rental car in under 72 hours. Photos to come later on in the week.
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Old 03-10-2010, 03:18 AM   #2
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Thanks for all the information. I can't wait to see your pictures.
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Old 03-24-2010, 02:06 AM   #3
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They've been a long time coming, but I am starting to get to scans of my slides from the MMA trip a couple of weeks ago. Long story short, what is usually a 4 hour turn on E-6 processing took 1.5 weeks this time around. But thankfully, I have the results in hand and am very pleased. I still have a lot of work to do, but thought I'd give a little tease as to how my trip to photograph what could be the end of MMA operations in a significant portion of northern Maine went.

Stay tuned for more...
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Old 03-24-2010, 02:45 AM   #4
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Film?
NIIICE!
Consider me teased...
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Old 03-24-2010, 02:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortlinesUSA View Post
They've been a long time coming, but I am starting to get to scans of my slides from the MMA trip a couple of weeks ago. Long story short, what is usually a 4 hour turn on E-6 processing took 1.5 weeks this time around. But thankfully, I have the results in hand and am very pleased. I still have a lot of work to do, but thought I'd give a little tease as to how my trip to photograph what could be the end of MMA operations in a significant portion of northern Maine went.

Stay tuned for more...
Photos as good as that are the reason I stick with video!
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:32 PM   #6
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A couple of more to add on from last night's scanning. Plenty more to come, and appeciate the compliments.

To give some location info, the sunset shots are of the 120 local in Easton, ME and the sunrise shot is of Job 2, arriving in the western outskirts of Millinocket, ME.

Up late, out early was pretty much how all days of this trip went, and some rewarding photos were to be had as a result.
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Old 03-26-2010, 02:25 AM   #7
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Some regular daylight shots now, to give some highlights from around the system.

1. A lashup that would make a dog howl for breakfast, 5 schemes for 5 units. No complaints here when 4 of 5 are C30-7s, an increasingly hard find in today's railroading scene. Photo taken at Millinocket yard, with permission.

2. The previously seen 120 local, but in nice light trundling down the Caribou branch, returning to Presque Isle.

3. Train 301 at Grindstone, heading for Oakfield from Millinocket. This is the only operating SD40-2 on the roster at present, and retains her BC Rail colors with MMA lettering and emblem.

4. Train 203 coming by the "famous" Brownville woodyard, on a beautiful late winter afternoon.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:29 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ShortlinesUSA View Post
A couple of more to add on from last night's scanning. Plenty more to come, and appreciate the compliments.

Up late, out early was pretty much how all days of this trip went, and some rewarding photos were to be had as a result.
Mike, the one with the moon is a PCA from me! Maybe POTW from the screeners! Hurry up and post them.

On top of that, you are covering railroads that mean so much to me since I had ancestors on the BAR and friends on the CPR in Brownville Jct.
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Old 03-26-2010, 02:00 PM   #9
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Thank you, Dennis! Glad to be of service. More to come, including Brownville Jct. I'll also look at digging out a few slides from a trip up there when it really was the BAR, though under Iron Roads by then and near the end of their run.
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Old 03-30-2010, 02:09 AM   #10
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One more from the MMA tonight, and going to put some older BAR shots in a separate thread. This one is also from the Easton branch, as they stroll toward Easton with vegetable oil for the McCain plant. I knew I liked McCain fries for a reason...
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