April 23, 2018
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Comments for: As trains start to carry crude oil across Maine, environmentalists start to worry

The modern-day oil boom in the western U.S. and Canada is fueling interest in shipping crude oil by rail across Maine to a refinery in the Maritimes. But the prospect of long trains of oil-filled tanker cars rumbling through Maine also has state environmental officials concerned,… Read More
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  • Anonymous

    It makes more sense than an E-W highway to accomplish the same thing.

    • Agree Hopperdredge and it is a much better use of the State’s existing privatization statute..why not use Irvings interest in getting Canadian crude  to its canadian maritimes refineries by having Irving invest with Maine in Upgrade of the railroad  so that it can safely carry these tankers.?

      If we could upgrade the rail, which the state already owns ( doesn’t it) then we’d really be going somewhere meanigful with creating Maine jobs. moving Maine goods..

      In the CanAm report  which Vigue so often quotes ( or misquotes since what he says his not what they say)  the asphalt lobby’s East West Highway fosters a continued dependence of traucking whih the report says is the main reason both the maritimes and northern Maine are so disadvatantaged in trade.  The report says dependence on trucks adds as much as 46% to the cost of goods leaving Maine.  Saving an hour off the first 10 hour leg of a cross country journey doesn’t begin to offset that. 

      Shippimg by rail and wherever possible by ship is what will give us trade advantage..so says the Can Am report who also see rail as the path to wisdom and prosperity for northern Maine.


      • Lindsay, you really need to get that espresso machine fixed !!!!   :}

        • ??? Sorry..I thought you would be interested as use of IsNetWolrd by all these energy/petrochemical companies coming into Maine may mean those local jobs everuone anticipates won’t be there either during construction or during ongoing operations.

          • I would be seriously be asking the Maine State Buildng Trade’s Council (AFL-CIO) folks as to just how many of their people are, if ever, gonna get a shot at any of these job’s. Cianbro has a track record of using, at every opportunity and turn, Canadian labor on the basis that they supposedly have specific skills’ that U.S. worker’s ‘just dont have or are equiped to learn for this tpe of work’ and, gee can we all see this coming, as if by coincidence, can pay them far lower wage’s. As far as ISNetWorld, well, you got me there. But I would be hardpressed for Cianbro to show me just what skill set the U.S. workforce doesn’t have that justify’s them screwing the very State, and PUBLIC WORKFORCE, that has cut them an unholy amount of tax, and environmental, leeway in order for them set up shop here in Maine. Turning a bolt or welding steel is not rocket science and Cianbro knows it. What would be interesting is for the ICE folk’s to come down and start looking at any H-1 or 2 permit’s on their job site’s. Same for the Irvng folk’s.

            It’s about time that the business community started supporting the very PUBLIC WORKFORCE that they depend on to make a profit. See, P-R-O-F-I-T, and no one dried up and blew away. But profit needs to be seen, and earned, over time, not a ‘flash in the pan’ moment. We all saw that with ENRON and what happened to California’s power grid and the rate’s that California homeowner’s, AND THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, had to pay.

          • whew!! We are still on the same page..that’s good to know.

            And yes, a critical point in all these deals the state cooks up and gives away tax credits for..it all should be tied to permanent Maine jobs actually produced..not promised

            The Summit energy takeover will involve something like $50 million in tax credits and exemptions from the communities to be served..the Cate Street project which didn’t end up saving or re-creating a single mill job is now seeking $30 million or so in tax credits or other state aid.

            The asphalt lobby’s E/W highway will inolve all kinds of public concessions and public help including at least a $30 million expenditure for an improved border crossing at Coburn Gore..The legislature and every Maine agency has to be more focused on rewarding only actual Maine jobs created especially when giving away needed taxe dollars ( in the form of exemptions and credits) .

            But we are of the topic..this very important topic is why the existing e/w rail row should be developed for high speed high volume loads and how much better for Maine that focus would be than all this hooplah and kow towing to the asphalt lobby.

          • Anonymous

            Mike, do you have any statistics about how many Mainers are employed by Cianbro compared to how many Canadians they employ?  If Cianbro employs Canadians “at every opportunity and turn” as you claim, then one would think that the company is overrun with Canadian workers.  But you seem to be the only person making that claim.  Here’s what one of the Cianchettes said in May to the Morning Sentinel:

            ~With more than 2,400 employees, Cianbro has a strong presence as far away as Maryland and Texas. Cianchette emphasized that every company job site has a significant number of Mainers on the payroll. “One recent project in Maryland had 1,200 workers, and 400 were from Maine,” Cianchette said.~

            Maybe the problem you have with Cianbro is that you are a union man, and they are a non-union company.  Is it possible that when Cianbro hires non-union workers from Maine, you don’t consider those workers to be Mainers?  Another interesting point that I’ve heard:  On job sites that are controlled by unions, the union bosses would rather bring in union workers from out-of-state rather than allow those jobs to go to non-union Maine workers.  Is that true?  And if so, how does that fit into your theory of “Mainers First” when it comes to employment?  

            You say it’s about time that “the business community support the very PUBLIC WORFORCE that they depend on to make a profit.”  But people such as yourself appear to be the first and loudest when it comes to denouncing a business plan that could put an army of Maine workers into good paying jobs.  

            Also, as a matter of curiosity: How many Mainers have you employed in your lifetime, and what is your plan to provide improved opportunities for Maine’s working people, union or non-union?

      • Anonymous

        Lindsay, if it costs businesses 46% more to ship by trucks rather than trains, then why do businesses avoid using trains and choose trucks instead?  There must be a very compelling reason.

        • Hi Brandon..I was quoting the Can Am Report by Transportation experts Wilbur & Associates ( done in 2010 for the State DOT)..it is not an area I have much knowledge about..  I can’t see why any one in the Northeast and the maritimes would use trucling if rail were available.

          In Maine at the moment it really isn’t.  The tracks are not in great shape and there are very few runs at the moment.  To be a viable within Maine altetrantive some money would have to be put in and that was my initial point.  That if JD Irving wants to get tar sand or crude across Maine by rail..it would be great if we would be a co-investor in upgrading the rail road.

          You question is a good one.  My sennse is that there is a big truckers lobby intereseted in  asphalt alternatives and certainly that is a part of the asphalt lobby behind the E/W Highway.

          The math is simple though Brandon..When trucks are adding 46% to the price of everything leaving the notheren counties and the maritimes by truck does it make sense to you  that carving an hour off the trip across Maine ( and at an exorbitant price no less) could really even begin to make a dent in that 46%  added to cost?  Let alone be the key to Maine’s reconomic revival?  It jusy dorsn’t hold up to even the most elementary scrutiny.

          Important to note that in this official post peak oil  economy, the price of fuel for trucks will just keep going up and up and up so that 46% added to cost will only become greater and greater.  At the moment under U.S. Law not Maine law tar snads cannot be used for fuel for cars or trucks ( too  much emission).  The price o fuel that is allowed will continue to increase .

          Trucks and asphalt are not the answer to Maine’s future..rail might help us alot if we could get some attention paid to upgrading our existing rail instead of fooling around with the asphalt lobby’s dying gasps.

          • Anonymous

            Hi Lindsay… trucks are adding 46 percent, and still businesses choose trucks over rail.  I believe that is a significant fact.  Here is a potential explanation from former MDOT Commissioner John Melrose, as told to the Portland Press Herald:

            ~Former MDOT Commissioner John Melrose, a transportation sector lobbyist, noted that trucks have a critical advantage. “Our economies have moved in recent decades to a ‘just in time’ model, where there’s a lot of pressure to be able to call up a factory and have X number of widgets delivered in three days,” he said. “Rail can’t do that, at least as it is configured in Maine. Rail ends up with high volume, low-sensitivity cargos.”~

            Also, wouldn’t truckers save fuel driving the more direct route through Maine rather than ascending northward across the top of Maine? Conserving fuel in a post peak oil economy, perhaps significant amounts of fuel depending on how much traffic utilizes the highway, would seem to be a worthy goal.  Also, won’t the price of diesel fuel for trains keep going up and up, too, in the competition with trucking?  I’m also curious about why the rails in Maine are in such poor shape.  If the rails are key to the prosperity of the rail companies, and key to their ability to compete against trucking, how could these companies allow the rails to deteriorate to the deplorable condition that we now see?  It seems akin to an airline allowing the landing gear to fall off of its airplanes. Could it be that the rail companies have simply lost the competition for freight that has been ongoing between rail and trucking for generations?

          • Anonymous

            Perhaps it is time to have a conversation about “just in time” vs “sensible sustainability.” Why should corporate practices or economic efficiencies be so sacrosanct? Corporate governance rules are well known to be seriously flawed and the very real efforts to make them better are fought against tooth and nail by those that benefit the most from their weaknesses. The economics of “just in time” is not necessarily economically sound when TRUE COSTS of the practice are figured into the larger picture. That takes more enlightened, less profit-driven thinking to imagine however. And there could very well be NEW ways of doing business that accomplish the same goals without some of the problems unsustainable business practices impose on society.

          • Anonymous

            One benefit of “just in time” delivery is the reduction of the necessity, and hence the cost, of maintaining huge and expensive warehouse facilities.  Reducing that cost allows a business to be more competitive.  Again, it sounds as though the folks who would fight trucking and highways in favor of more “sustainable” but sloth-like railroads, for example, are willing to saddle Maine businesses with restrictions and costs that make the firms less competitive, thus potentially driving the companies out of business and leaving Mainers with fewer jobs, higher unemployment, out-migrating youth, a death rate that is higher than the birth rate, etc.  Can you give an example of the more enlightened, less profit-driven thinking that allows sustainability as well as strengthening Maine businesses in a cutthroat world?

  • Anonymous

    It is a hopeful sign that Maine DEP acknowledges  the difference that “dilbit,” or diluted bitumen, the product being shipped or piped out of the Alberta Tar Sands projects poses compared to normal crude oil. Now they MUST acknowledge the difference in what it takes to clean it up WHEN spills occur.

    Nearly 1mil gals of dilbit were dumped into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan and nearly two years later and at close to $1 BILLION in cost for clean up so far, and STILL NO END IN SIGHT, this is NOT your typical crude oil.

    Bitumen is highly viscous tar, nearly dry in some cases. In order to pipe it anywhere it is diluted with a proprietary (read, “secret”) mix of benzene, natural gas distillates, toluene, other hydrocarbons and chemicals. Many of these chemicals are toxic and very volatile and when exposed to air evaporate off. The remaining substance in water SINKS… unlike other grades of crude oil that generally float and can be contained with booms, bitumen sinks making clean up extremely difficult and costly.

    The hazards presented to clean up crews, first responders, the general public over the long term in the area of a spill and to the environment from a SECRET MIX of chemicals OUGHT to give the public serious pause.

    The Alberta Tars Sands mining operations are being conducted in an area with potential to strip mine or otherwise disrupt the Alberta landscape equal to the land mass of the country of FRANCE. The emissions that contribute to global climate change from the mining processes used are many times those of normal crude oil production. The amount of water necessary to process one barrel of tar sands oil is from 2 to 6 barrels of water; the resulting fouled water is dumped into holding ponds that can be seen from space… and they leak into the Athabasca River causing cancer rates in downstream towns and hamlets to spike to levels many times higher than otherwise occur. All of this is exhaustively documented.

    But the powers that be in Canada and the US ignore these results…

    • Anonymous

      Plus it takes 2 gallons of natural gas to “crack” 1 gallon of tar sands…

    • sdemetri..excellent and informative post..thank you ..

    • Anonymous

      “The sky is falling!  The sky is falling!”  Anything that has to do with any form of oil, anywhere, is going to be problematic for people like you.  I invite you to return to a time when our world was not powered by energy dense resources.  Enjoy your hovel with NO amenities!

      • Anonymous

        No, the issue in my statement isn’t “the sky is falling…” Global climate change IS one of the most important challenges facing humankind, but arguments over the facts surrounding that are more often than not lost on that very small minority of vocal know-nothings that claim otherwise… I won’t get into that with you or anyone else… not worth the energy. Sing that tune to your own choir if you are so inclined.

        Hyperbole is not a good platform to argue from. My statement above is factual and without exaggeration… If you want to debate the facts, fine. If you want to tell me I’m saying something that I’m not, I won’t play that game with you. Making a hyperbolic argument that dodges the substantive issues raised in my statement is just a front for not having anything better to say.

  • Anonymous

    If it means less big rigs on the highway, I’m all for it.

  • Anonymous

    Maine better get ready for major oil spills all over the state.  The RR Track conditions through out the state are poor to dangerous. The tracks have been neglected for years now. Derailments seem to occur, even at 5 MPH. I don’t like using tractor trailers for transporting oil however at least DOT has forced the companies to maintain their trucks. Maine’s rails are in very poor, neglected condition. Maine is asking for a disaster.

    • Anonymous

      For once you are right they are very poor .

      • Anonymous

        I have to agree, first time she ever posted something correct…LOL

  • Not to take a swipe at the railroad’s but we are getting a big preview of what’s going to happen if there’s a spill, of any type, on the proposed E-W Highway, with ONE HUGE EXCEPTION ! Due to the wording of the Act, and Cianbro has been mysteriously silent on this,  MAINE HAS NO AUTHORITY TO ACT ON ANY SPILL ON THE HIGHWAY ITSELF, only the run off onto Maine itself. Anyone wanna bet who’s gonna be the one’s picking up the bill for this one when all is said and done ? If there was ever a reason for the Legislature to go and re-visit this I, for one, can’t think of a better reason why. Rail can be managed. Simple, known procedures, and time consuming but it can be managed from both experience and history. The highway, on the other hand, is gonna depend on emergency services for this tpe of response to come at it from which ever end of the Highway is closer to the border, since that’s where all the equipment is gonna’ have to be staged from.

    • Excellent point Mike ( Plus excuse this off topic post on your favorite theme of jobs and labor.I just learned that  DCP ( the Searsport Tank People) , Buckeye who just bought the portlannd bangor pipeline and Summit who bought Kennebec Gas all hire strictly from a pre-qulaified list via ISNetWorld ..I also understand it is very very very difficult to pass muster ISNet World.  Not clear how many Maine companies, if any, are already pre qualified.)

    • You have got to love the extent of the Vigue’s deception as he said that this corridor will not be a Pipeline!
       2 00 miles of continuous Individual Tanker Trucks may not be a “Pipeline ” but the effect is Roughly the Same or worse.

      • Anonymous

        Dlbrt, you define a line of trucks as a pipeline, whereas Vigue and most other human beings define a line of trucks as a line of trucks, and then you accuse him of deception. It makes me wonder who is really being deceptive here.

        • Transportation of Crude oil is the common denominator , Lets not forget that Omission of fact is still a Lie.

          Thats why the Oath Goes,

           I promise to tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth.

            His responce to questions regarding the corridor should have been that the Main reason for this shortcut across Maine from Canadian Highway system point A to Canadian Highway Sytem point B is the transportation of Canadian Crude oil and the supplies needed for fracking in the Canadian oil fields, rather than a Fairy Tale about Canadian Vacationers Bringing Economic Growth and Prosperity to Maine Buisnesses, and another reason for the road to bring goods to the Midwestern United States and vise versa.

          As far as my comment being deceptive, lets look at it!

          { 2 00 miles of continuous Individual Tanker Trucks may not be a “Pipeline ” but the effect is Roughly the Same or worse.}

          Huh!  Looks like I said that it May ” NOT ” Be a Pipeline!  But the” Effect ” is roughly the same. 

          The Effect being Transportation of Crude oil across Maine.  

          • Anonymous

            And transportation of crude (if that actually ever occurs) would be the only thing transported on this highway?  Milk is transported by trucks on Route 2.  Does that make Route 2 a milk pipeline?  Heating oil is transported down Main Street in Bangor.  Does that make Main Street a heating oil pipeline?  Maybe you should be writing letters to the Bangor City Council and Bangor Police, accusing them of lies, for having falsely stated that Main Street is a street.

    • Anonymous

      Mike, are you saying that humankind has not developed the technology to handle a truck spill?  Do you truly believe that adequate services can’t be organized and put into place to handle accidents that might occur on a highway, despite the fact that these services have been provided successfully for generations?  Some folks might argue that the private sector, which you criticize, is MORE competent than the government to provide these services. Your own highly derogatory assessment of the government would seem to suggest this conclusion.

      • E/W Highway..6 exits ..220 miles..so far Vigue has avoiided the many questions citizens have asked about emergency response in general let alone  a haz mat response……

        • Anonymous

          Actually, I believe the number is eight exits, according to Vigue’s presentation in Dover Foxcroft.  But let’s use six exits for sake of argument.  That averages out to a little over 36 miles between exits.  It’ll be more distance in some cases, of course, and less in others.  But really, is 36 miles out of the realm of safety when dealing with a truck spill?  Is it any more of a challenge than reaching a derailed train in the middle of the Maine wilderness?  Also, what is to prevent planners from setting up public safety headquarters along the route, where emergency vehicles can be stationed? Such a plan might even provide a number of extra jobs.
          By the way, I don’t think Vigue is avoiding the question.  He talked about it at Dover Foxcroft in response to a citizen’s question, and the gist of his answer was that the distances between emergency facilities would not be unreasonable.

  • One if by Land,

     Two if by Sea,

    Makeing US  the Colon for Canada,

    Is NOT for Me.

  • Anonymous

    Pipelines are safer.

    • Until they break and the safety valve’s  fails and the pumping house operator is asleep!

      • Anonymous

         The Montreal/Portland has operated safely for 70 years. What’s your point?

        • Simple. It’s called due dilligence and foreseeable event contingency planning. It’s what BP was supposed to do in the Gulf before the platform blew. It’s what the DEP is supposed to be doing. It’s what Maine’s EMA is supposed to be doing. And it’s going to start being asked of Cianbro when this E-W Highway is started, if it ever does.

        • {The Montreal/Portland has operated safely }
          So did the Nuke Plant in Japan.

          • jimbobhol

            Life sucks then you die. So what’s your point?

      •  And lightning strikes, during a tornado and a volcanic eruption. Good grief.

        Blah blah blah……..and environmentalists start to worry, what’s new.

        • That My Friend was an honest to goodness  Real Life Learned Experiance!

          And I was the Operator!

          WoW ! My but is still sore from the lick’n!

          Machinery that runs like a clock for years and years lures you into a false sense of security and an unexpected containable event turns into a disaster of epic proportion.


          • Anonymous

            Union man, I knew it!

  • Anonymous

    A healthier Pan Am will help the state. Makes sense to me.

    • HalseyTaylor

      More freight means more money for track maintenance.

  • Anonymous

    We need a refinery at Sears Island. 

    • Anonymous

      What are you going to refine, Bath Salts or Meth?

  • Anonymous

    Maybe if the idiots had kept there mouths shut about the pipeline out West; there wouldn’t be the need to have trains carrying crude oil across Maine.


    • Anonymous

      All fine and dandy. Question. Is there any reason that has stopped the RRs from maintaining their tracks? I have yet to hear of a Federal or State regulator telling the RR operators that they are barred from performing maintenence on their rail lines.

      • Anonymous

        MONEY it is all about money. It costs money to maintain RR Racks and a lot of it. The faster the train the better the tracks have to be. New rails, new ties, new rock and gravel, mega tons of it. Welding the tracks together for the more faster trains. All money. None has been spent in years by all the owners of Maine’s RR Tracks. The tracks are in decay and neglect. The Feds should shut down all rail in Maine until all of the tracks have been inspected and upgraded.

        • Anonymous

          Yep, it’s only a matter of time before we have a big spill in Calais. The line to the Baileyville paper mill runs right over the aquifer for the cities water supply.

          • Anonymous

            If what somebody says in true that these cars are only being moved in Calais at 5 mph you will never have a spill.  These care are designed to withstand crashes of up to 60 mph without leaking.  The most it will do is just tip over.

    • Anonymous

      Well said.  The roads in Maine suck and how do people think they get their gasoline and heating oil delivered.  It ain’t piped in.

    • Anonymous

      Well said.  The roads in Maine suck, how do people think they are getting their gasoline and heating oil?  It ain’t piped in.

  • Anonymous

    Forget the environmentalists and their worries. The Maine Public better worry since the RR tracks of Maine have been in disrepair and neglected for many years now. Guess it will take a derailment and a major tragedy to wake the people of Maine. Danger of Derailments, fires and explosions of oil and other chemical rail cars in ones home town. Might as well use barges, past few derailments the rail cars ended up in the Penobscot River not on the tracks.

  • Guest

    Remember this story, and crude crossing Maine

  • Anonymous

    More people die in police shootings than in train derailments — of course those are all “justified”.

    • Anonymous

      number of fatalities from departments across the country caused by
      firearms made 2011 one of the deadliest years in recent history for
      U.S. law enforcement.

      the nation, 173 officers died in the line of duty, up 13 percent from
      153 the year before, according to numbers as of Wednesday compiled by
      the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

      nonprofit group that tracks police deaths also reported that 68
      federal, state and local officers were killed by gunfire in 2011, a
      15 percent jump from last year when 59 were killed. It marks the
      first time in 14 years that firearms fatalities were higher than
      traffic-related deaths. The data shows that 64 officers died in
      traffic accidents, down from the 71 killed in 2010.

      GREG BLUESTEIN Associated Press , The Associated Press –

  • Jonathan Smith

    Safety precautions are valid and important but environmentalist zeal on every issue has crippled our economy.  Environmentalists never offer cost saving alternatives like water power (oh no the fishies) or nuclear power (proven safety record but much maligned over misplaced fear).  Wind power is a joke – a giant waste of money (tax subsidies) so guys like Angus King can get wealthy. Let the oil come through – follow safety precautions thoroughly but stop trying to kill our economy. It hurts everyone.

    • Anonymous

      How about using the wind freebies slathered to big wind and fix the rail lines?

  • What kind of energy are environmentalist actually for besides solar, which isn’t practical at this latitude, anyhow?

  • Anonymous

    I wonder if the DOT inspects RRs and their equipment as diligently as they do trucks? If they are empowered to red tag an unsafe truck on the road. Can they do the same for a rail car or a section of track that is in danger of causing a derailment?

    • HalseyTaylor

      Yes.  The Federal Railroad Administration inspects locomotives and track.

      • Anonymous

        Well the Federal Railroad Administration should get on the job. There are highly toxic chemicals being moved over the aquifer that suplies Calais. The rail ties are rotting out and they can only go at a walking pace with the cars. The RR cars are wobling all over the place. It’s only a matter of time before an environmental disaster happens there. I believe these tracks are run by Pan Am.

  • So Irving wants to use their trains to haul crude to their refinery? They just asked US to buy the tracks in the County cause they can’t afford to maintain them. Sounds like we need to charge them a fee for each tanker that goes through the state. Also they will have to pay any clean-up costs associated with a spill. Again, J.D. Irving getting what they want. At YOUR expense tax payers!!!!!!!!!!

    • You need to check your facts. The tracks that were bought in the county did not belong to Irving. They belonged to MMA an American owneed company.

      • Dana, in fairness to John T. one needs to re-look at the rail ownership issue for everyone to be on the same page. The rail’s were owned by MMA and then declared abandonded. They were considered so critical to The County’s economic health that they were bought, under Bond money, by Maine’s DOT, and then their capacity, NOT OWNERSHIP, was put out for leasing. Irving grabbed over 70% of the rail traffic time lease on them. Some of us now see why, Bald Mountain being the biggest needed user for raw ore transport. One only need to go to the Brownville Junction yard’s or to the Mattawamkeag Crossing to see what majority of the car’s crossing thru or over belong to. Is crude shipment by rail happening ? Yes and it’s gonna keep happening. That means inspection’s and enforcement are needed. But does it mean that it’s so ‘bad’ on it’s own that it should be stopped ? That’s where eveyone gets jammed up with the 10th Amendment and the Interstate Commerce Clause. Oil is gonna flow and that’s a fact of life for the foreseeable future. But it also calls for no one, on either side of the aisle, to stop being aware of the hazard’s and consequences of a mistake, or worse, happening. John T. has a legitimate arguement. And it’s one well worth making and keeping an eye on !

  • Anonymous

    Oil tankers aren’t half the threat that other cargoes pose.  How about those chlorine tankers that used to roll right through downtown Bangor?  Or the LP tankers?

    • Anonymous

      Just to let everyone know that these crude oil shipments are not moving on track owned by the State of Maine.

  • Anonymous

    People whine because of pipelines, so now they move oil by rail…. People just dont think..

  • Anonymous

    Maine doesn’t need an EW highway, we have enough roads to maintain now. We could use safe rails which have been neglected . As fuel prices go up, rail becomes a better deal than trucking. Piggybacking trailers on the Montreal line would be more efficient than single trailers. 

  • Holy Cow ! Common sense, an actually useful alternative (that’s actually available right now !) and and the arguement for rail over the E-W Highway, all in the same reply ! There is a God !!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      If a little investment in the rail system is all it takes for the trains to overtake trucking in the competition for the freight business, then why haven’t the rail companies made that investment?

      • Anonymous

        Just possibly the transportation lobby, the trucking lobby, and the oil lobby might have something to do with it. Looking at countries with extensive, efficient, modern rail systems provides a pretty good argument that the failure to maintain a good rail system here has more to do with political will than economics. Like so many things in this country of crumbling infrastructure, bought and paid for politicians, revolving door lobbyists.

        • Anonymous

          Are you saying the railroads have been forbidden or otherwise prevented by politicians to invest in tracks and rolling stock?  Could it be that the truckers have outperformed Maine’s railroads, thereby reducing the revenue that railroads could have used to invest in their own equipment?  Is it possible that the railroad barons decided to pocket their revenue rather than invest it?  Or perhaps the biggest “what if” of all:  How can you be sure that the politicians are to blame, rather than the economics of a region where any attempt to bolster an economic engine is met with fury from a segment of the population that seems intent on keeping Maine as aboriginal as possible?

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    I get a kick out of the same people who say use the slow, inefficient rails in place of a modern, swift East-West highway are the same people who question the safety of running tank cars of crude on those same tracks.  Can’t have it both ways, you enviro-whackos!

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