cape ann rail system

The Cape Ann Rail System is a freelance road set in Maine in 1981 +/- (this year was chosen as it was the only year that all roads of interest - Maine Central, Bangor & Aroostook, Boston & Maine, Conrail, Amtrak - co-existed).

Marias Industrial park
Marias Industrial Park

The Cape Ann Rail System is a prosperous line stretching from Sanford to Portland, Maine. The portion modeled is a piece of the middle, consisting of Kenton (a big passenger hub where Amtrak and Cape Ann passenger trains connect), the seaside resort town of Cape Ann, the sprawling industrial park at Marias, double-track main lines through the forests at Cascades and Pamola, a classification yard at Davis, and Quinn Intermodal Yard. See the system map. About half the traffic is bridge traffic heading from one interchange to the other, and half is waybilled for local delivery.

Quinn Intermodal
Quinn Intermodal Yard

The railroad saw the potential for intermodal container traffic early and built Quinn Intermodal Yard near the freight yard at Davis. Quinn Intermodal operates 24/7 with containers coming in from European ports via Portland and being transloaded to interchange trains or direct to road. Quinn specializes in handling 40' containers.

Kenton Freight Forwarders
Kenton Freight Forwarders

A smaller facility, Kenton Freight Forwarders in Kenton, handles 20' containers and Less Than Carload (LCL) shipments for local customers.

There are two interchanges. The northern interchange point (NPO) connects to Maine Central, Bangor & Aroostook, and Canadian roads. The southern interchange point (SPO) connects to Boston & Maine and Conrail. Each interchange is protected by a tower and train order signals.

The Acadian streamliner accelerates out of Sanford

Cape Ann operates two passenger trains - The Angus King, a local commuter run; and The Acadian, a long distance train traversing most of the state daily. Cars of The Angus King join The Acadian at Kenton, in the same manner as Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited combines Boston and New York sections to Chicago. The railroad was not compelled to join Amtrak back in 1971, as it had no interstate passenger service and thus was not part of the Act that created it - Cape Ann's entire line is within the state of Maine.  Amtrak's Downeaster service does pass through the system several times a day and connects with Cape Ann trains at Kenton. Every timetable carries this notation: "All trains stop at Kenton" which has become a local saying.

Bolton Maintenance Facility

The Johnny Bolton Memorial Railcar Maintenance Facility in Kenton provides service work on all Cape Ann rolling stock and locomotives, as well as Seacoast and Rockland Line under contract. This facility is named in memory of real-life Amtrak conductor Johnny Bolton, a favorite on the Downeaster service; who enjoyed learning the names of all his regular riders.

Note: There is no real Cape Ann, Maine. The name was borrowed from the 1959 Doris Day film, "It Happened to Jane", about a railroad dispute set in fictional Cape Anne, Maine (available on DVD from Netflix).

Home • Revised Dec 13 2018