Central Maine & Quebec opens car repair, cleaning shop

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DERBY, Maine — The Central Maine & Quebec Railway has opened a new tank car repair and cleaning facility at the former Bangor & Aroostook shops in Derby, Maine, 40 miles north of Bangor.

Katahdin Railcar Services LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of CMQ, opened for business on May 31. CMQ CEO Ryan Ratledge tells Trains News Wire that a customer inquired about railcar cleaning services a year ago and that planted to seed to rehabilitate a 24,000-square-foot building at the former Derby shops into a cleaning and repair facility. The shop includes a state-of-the-art pressure washing system that has a robotic arm that can reach into cars and clean it remotely, Ratledge says. To support the process, the company built an on-site wastewater treatment system. The facility is also entirely enclosed, perfect for working during Maine’s harsh winters.

“Everything is inside, so we won’t have to slow down when the cold winter months come,” he says.

Ratledge says the company will be staffed with CMQ carshop employees and that he expects it will provide enough contract work to keep six to eight employees busy year round. One advantage the company has is that since it’s associated with a railroad, it will also be able to clean and repair entire unit trains without having to worry about where cars will be stored.

“What’s unique about our facility is that it’s part of a railroad,” says CMQ Vice President of Operations Chad Mowery. “There are a lot of third-party tank car facilities out there, but none that have our flexibility. We have the ability to handle unit trains, or store cars, do the work when needed, then send them outbound.”
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