Central Maine & Quebec opens tank car facility

Written by Railway Age Staff
Maine Derby shops

Central Maine & Quebec Railway's facility at Derby, Me. Photo: Google Maps

New England has a major new facility for the cleaning, repair, and fleet management of tank cars.

Katahdin Railcar Services LLC (KRS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Central Maine & Quebec Railway (CMQ) opened the new facility May 31 in Derby, Me.

The opening comes after KRS rehabilitated a 24,000-square-foot building, part of CMQ’s 110-acre facility at Derby. KRS will provide full tank-car cleaning including repair, replace, and qualify all tank-car valves using a fully trained and certified staff. In addition, KRS and CMQ will provide multiple options for full repairs, cleaning, end of lease inspections, and storage capabilities.

The grand opening included a tour with local political representatives, state officials, and other dignitaries. Maine Sen. Susan Collins recently toured the facility.

Katahdin Railcar is located at the historic former shops of the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad, which operated the complex for nearly a century. Other work performed at the site by CMQ includes locomotive and freight car repair.

“We’re proud of the fact we can take an existing building that’s more than 100 years old, rehab it completely, and continue to invest in the community, by using local contractors,” said CMQ Vice President of Operations Chad Mowery. “We took the bones of the original facility and nothing else. Beyond the steel and brick, everything is new.”

The KRS facility will be able clean and repair all types of tank cars.

To clean tank cars, KRS has installed an automatic, internal cleaning system that uses a high-pressure water jet designed to use less water than previous systems. To support the process, KRS built an on-site wastewater treatment system.

In addition to car cleaning and repair, KRS will offer car owners complete tank-car fleet management, extending a service already available to other CMQ customers. CMQ offers storage space for as many as 1,400 railcars.

For cars shipped via home rails, CMQ creates online tracking reports and offers other information through its customer service reps, such as a car’s location and whether it’s on schedule. Since KRA is on CMQ’s network, it has the flexibility handle unit trains, store cars, do other work as needed, and then send the car on its way.

Central Maine & Quebec is a subsidiary of Fortress Investment Group, and operates about 500 route miles in Maine, Quebec, and Vermont.

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