I have just returned to Skowhegan from Waterville, via US Route 201.

Once again, I couldn’t avoid the gaping holes by the railroad tracks just north of Hinckley. It feels like I will be paying for another front-end alignment soon.

What is the problem? As I understand it, Pan Am Railroad

is responsible for keeping the pavement in good repair where their tracks cross the roadway.

Fairfield officials, however, have been unsuccessful in their efforts to have Pan Am Railroad take corrective action to maintain these road crossings.

I understand that the railroad plays an important role in serving local industries such as Sappi and Huhtamaki. Nevertheless, that does not give the company the right to ignore its responsibilities for proper rail and road maintenance and the safety of our highways.

I suggest that the town (or the state of Maine), when faced with these issues, perform the repairs themselves and send the bill directly to Pan Am.

I recently read that the company was upgrading its railroad beds in hopes of expanding into the “large oil trains” boom.

Surely, it won’t mind paying for a few repairs to the crossings it has neglected.

Richard J. LaPorte


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