A freight train track in Belgrade is temporarily out of service while the track’s owner, Florida-based railroad CSX Corp., repairs a washout on the line, the Maine Department of Transportation confirmed Thursday.

“CSX is dealing with a big washout up there where they lost a culvert and a bridge,” said MDOT spokesperson Nate Moulton. The damage is a couple of miles north of the town center, where the line runs adjacent to Messalonskee Lake and crosses a stream that feeds into it.

CSX owns about half of the 1,100 miles of train tracks in Maine, including the rails carrying Amtrak Downeaster passenger trains in southern Maine and freight tracks that extend north as far as Bangor. The stretch in Belgrade is among many damaged by heavy rains Sunday night.

Moulton said MDOT is working to repair several state-owned lines, including one in Rockland, that were also affected.

“We’ve got problems, too, with our infrastructure. There is water damage across the lines in the state,” Moulton said. “We’re out there evaluating, repairing – and the private railroads are doing the same thing.”

A historic storm passed through Maine on Sunday and Monday, dumping up to 5 inches of rain in the central part of the state. The storm caused power outages and flooding, stranded motorists, washed away roads and prompted flood warnings for seven Maine rivers.


The downpour also created the washouts, which Moulton described as damage to the ground and support underneath the tracks.

“(The water) overwhelms the infrastructure, it just wipes out that … ground around it,” Moulton said.

CSX discovered the damage Monday morning, he said. To his knowledge, the washout did not lead to any derailments or stranded trains.

Moulton was unable to confirm whether any tracks or fragments had collapsed into the lake. As of Thursday morning, the tracks were still being repaired and not yet usable, he said.

CSX did not immediately respond to questions about the extent of the damage and how long the line will be out of service.

The railroad, one of the largest in the U.S., owns 21,000 miles of track across 23 states and two Canadian provinces. CSX expanded into Maine with a 2020 purchase of a regional carrier, Pan Am Railways.

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