Requiem for the Maine Eastern . MERR #764 . EMD GP10 . Rockland Yard . Watercolor . 12" x 16"
... I came upon this GP9 (GP10 upgrade) #764 along side the Maine Eastern Railroad (MERR) turntable and roundhouse at the Rockland Yard, in June of 2015. Little did I know then, that the Maine Eastern would cease to exist as of December 31, 2015. The Main Eastern operated on state owned track and right-of-way from 2004 through 2015, providing passenger and freight service between Rockland and Brunswick, Maine. In 2015, the Maine Department of Transportation awarded a new contract, starting January 1, 2016 to the Central Maine and Quebec Railway (CMQ) as a freight carrier only. The Maine Eastern had subsidized passenger service and excursion trains over the 52-mile route... from the profits of their freight business. MERR passenger trains were powered by a pair of former New Haven EMD F9 cab units, #488 & #489. Under the new operaton, passenger service along this line, which had connected with AMTRAK service at the Brunswick Station.... is terminated.
When not working freight, #764 occasionally helped out in passenger service. As of February 2016, Maine Eastern locomotives: EMD GP10 #764, MLW (ALCO) M-420W #3573, ALCO C424 #18 and EMD SW1500 #20... as well as those two beautiful F9's... are out of Maine and sitting at the Morristown & Erie Railway engine house in Morristown, New Jersey... awaiting future disposition. On April 6, 2016... #764 arrived at the Strasburg Railroad in Pennsylvania to begin temporary switching service on that line.