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Maine Tissue and Paper Mills Receive Rail Improvement Grants

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According to a report this past week by The Bangor Daily News, Bangor, Me., USA, the Baileyville and Skowhegan tissue/paper mills will receive state grants for railroad improvements intended to make shipping and receiving from their facilities more efficient.

The state of Maine's Industrial Rail Access Program awarded about $843,000 to six projects in its latest round, including the paper and tissue mill awards, each with a matching amount from the recipient.

Woodland Rail, serving Woodland Pulp and the new St. Croix Tissue mill in Baileyille, will get about half of that total amount to make upgrades to 2.5 miles of track owned by the mill. The Maine Department of Transportation said in a grant announcement that the project promises to make the mill more competitive on cost and will support its 316 jobs.

The grant award comes in anticipation of truck to rail traffic increasing this year. The DOT explained that the project will "provide the reliability and resiliency in track structure to carry out regular intermodal operations in the intermodal yard."

Sappi’s Somerset mill in Skowhegan will also get the third-largest award, of $113,000, to rehabilitate 1,000 ft. of track and a paved crossing in its mill yard, which the DOT said will allow the mill "to continue to use and likely increase its use of rail." The mill employs about 760 people.


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