PORTLAND, Maine — The trustee for the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway said in court Thursday morning that he and a New York investment group hope to close the $15.85 million bankruptcy sale in one week.

“The U.S. closing at least will happen next week,” the railroad’s trustee, Robert Keach, told the court, saying the parties expect the deal to close by May 15.

Sale of the railroad’s Canadian assets still requires approval by federal regulators there, according to Keach.

Judge Louis Kornreich, who presided over Thursday’s hearing, in January approved the sale of the railroad that fell into bankruptcy after one of its trains carrying crude oil careened unmanned into the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic in an accident that killed 47 people.

Representatives for the railroad and the buyer, the New York-based Fortress Investment group, departed Thursday’s hearing to continue negotiations toward closing the sale.

Attorneys for Fortress declined comment following the hearing and a representative from the buyer was unavailable by phone this morning.

Fortress subsidiary Railroad Acquisition Holdings said in February that it would operate the railroad as the Central Maine and Quebec Railway, but the company has said it is not detailing its plans for the railroad’s assets until a sale is final.

Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.