In 1864, a group of businessmen from Bangor obtained a charter from the State of Maine to construct a railroad from Bangor to Moosehead Lake. The first president of the line was Hannibal Hamlin. In 1868, the State of Maine granted 75,000 acres to the company for the construction of the railroad.
In 1891, the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad (BAR) was incorporated combining the Bangor and Piscataquis and Bangor and Katahdin Railroads. In 1893, a BAR train operated to Houlton. One year later, the main line reached Caribou and the branch to Fort Fairfield was completed. By 1905, connections were made to Patten, Limestone, Ashland, and Van Buren. Also in that year, the railroad reached to the deep water port of Searsport.
The pulp and paper industry is the primary source of traffic for the BAR. Other major sources of traffic are: petroleum, forest products and chemicals. In 1995, Iron Road Railways bought the Bangor & Aroostook. In January 2003, the BAR assets were accquired by Rail World, Inc. and the name was changed to the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway.
The Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, began operation in January of 2003 and owns 510 route miles of track in Maine, Vermont and Quebec and employs approximately 170 people. The MMA operates about 15 trains daily with a fleet of 26 locomotives. Main-line operations are conducted regularly between Millinocket and Searsport, Maine, and from Brownville Junction, Maine to Montreal, Quebec. Service is also provided between Farnham, Quebec and Newport, Vermont to connect with the Northeastern U.S. Westbound trains to Montreal are pre blocked for Canadian Pacific destinations in the U.S. and Western Canada.
MMA connects with seven Class I, regional and local railroads and provides the shortest, most-direct rail link between Northern Maine, Saint John, New Brunswick and Montreal. In addition, MMA offers excellent access to port facilities on the Atlantic at Saint John, New Brunswick and Searsport, Maine.
Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Map (310KB PDF)
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