WASHINGTON — The Surface Transportation Board said it has completed its work in the multiparty effort to preserve freight train service in northern Maine.
After months of STB-led mediation and extensive involvement of federal, state, and local officials, Maine businesses and workers, the Board today formally approved the request of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway to abandon 233 miles of rail line in Aroostook and Penobscot counties. The action will pave the way for the state of Maine to acquire the line and find a third-party operator to serve rail customers in Northern Maine. Meanwhile, MM&A is continuing to operate on the line, the STB said.
In addition to facilitating mediation among the parties, the STB held a public hearing in Presque Isle, Maine, on July 7, where Board members heard from state, federal and local representatives, members of the public and MM&A officials.
“I am pleased that the STB was able to play a role in keeping the trains rolling in northern Maine,’’ said Board Chairman Daniel R. Elliott III. “It is an important achievement that will preserve jobs and businesses in the state and set the stage for future economic development.”