CMQ: CP Checking Its New Toy Twice

Canadian Pacific Railway’s pending acquisition of the Central Maine & Quebec has inspired more than just a flurry of pencil pushing and paperwork. CP’s leadership has outlined an ambitious plan for the CMQ, and is establishing an extensive capital budget to prosecute the upgrades needed to bring priority traffic back to the lines that had carried similar service under CP’s last ownership. The close of the sale between CP and Fortress/CMQ is aggressively scheduled to transpire prior to the close of 2019. It will be submitted for STB review as a “Minor Transaction,” and approval is expected to be in CP’s hands by July 1, 2020.

CP is not waiting for approvals before starting work. Its Track department has launched a series of inspections to map the newly acquired property in detail. During the first week of December, a ProScan LiDAR truck set out to cover the entire CMQ property, including all branch lines and spurs. The LiDAR truck scans the surface of the railroad right-of-way and captures data used to create a three-dimensional view of the track, ballast and ditch profile, and identify the location of right-of-way assets.

On 10.December, CP’s Track Geometry Train left Montreal to gauge the mainline and sidings from Farnham QC to Brownville Jct. ME, and back. This is a locomotive-hauled train consisting of several cars that use lasers to profile the line, evaluate rail integrity, and identify safety issues with the infrastructure. Its application on the CMQ is to support development of an expenditure plan to prepare the property to handle heavier, longer trains, running at higher speeds {Exclusive ANRP sources}.