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4/6/2011



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Maine DOT contracts Eastern Maine Railway to operate state-owned lines


On Tuesday, the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced it chose Eastern Maine Railway to operate 233 miles of state-owned lines in northern Maine formerly owned by the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway Ltd. (MMA).

A selection committee unanimously selected Eastern Maine Railway from among five applicants. A J.D. Irving Ltd. subsidiary, Eastern Maine Railway currently operates a Maine line between Vanceboro and Brownville Junction that connects MMA with the New Brunswick Southern Railway, which also is owned by  J.D. Irving.

Final lease terms still are being negotiated, but Eastern Maine Railway will be responsible for the lines’ maintenance and operating costs, according to MDOT.

The 233 miles of track runs from Millinocket to Madawaska and includes branch lines to Caribou, Presque Isle, Easton, Houlton and Limestone. The state purchased the track and trackage rights from MMA for $20.1 million in January. The regional had planned to abandon the lines because it was losing millions of dollars annually.


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