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Rail News Home Rail Industry Trends

6/10/2010



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Voters approve bonds to preserve Montreal, Maine & Atlantic line


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On Tuesday, Maine voters approved a bond referendum that will provide $47.8 million for railroad, marine and highway facilities. The referendum includes funds to help preserve 240 miles of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd.’s track in Aroostook County.

The railroad is seeking Surface Transportation Board (STB) approval to abandon the line because it doesn’t generate enough revenue. The state is trying to preserve the line and earlier this year asked the STB to study the abandonment’s impacts and obtain input from local shippers and residents. The STB’s Section of Environmental Analysis previously released a draft environmental assessment that determined the abandonment could divert as many as 73,344 truck trips annually to Maine’s highways.

On April 26, the STB announced it agreed to postpone action on the proposed abandonment to give the parties time to arrive at a mediated solution, and that the state and Montreal, Maine & Atlantic had agreed to confidential mediation conducted by the board. The STB also suspended any formal action on the matter and postponed a public hearing scheduled for May 10 in Presque Isle, Maine, until further notice.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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