Limited summer passenger train service still uncertain

By Stephen Betts | Mar 26, 2019
Source: File photo Whether Rockland's train station will see limited passenger rail service this uncertain.

Rockland — A decision has yet to be made on whether there will be limited passenger rail service in Rockland this summer.

Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, said Monday, March 25, that a risk assessment on the 58 miles of track from Brunswick to Rockland had not yet been done. That would need to be completed to make sure the tracks are safe for passenger service, she said.

A decision is likely to be made by April 29, when the Rail Authority Board holds its meeting.

The Rail Authority also must reach an agreement both with Amtrak, which operates the passenger service, and with Central Maine and Quebec Railway, which leases the  58-mile Brunswick-to-Rockland line for moving freight.

The lack of a safety assessment of the tracks was the reason given last year when a proposed pilot project was shelved.

The Rail Authority Board had voted in February 2018 to proceed with a three-week pilot program for passenger train service from Brunswick to Rockland in 2018. The trains were expected to run for three weekends, including during the Maine Lobster Festival and the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors show in August.

The train was to make stops in Bath, Wiscasset and Newcastle, as well as Rockland.

Quinn said if a pilot program is to occur in 2019, there will also have to be continued interest from those communities.

The train station in Rockland is owned by the Maine Department of Transportation, but Rockland would be responsible for installing lighting outside the station, as well as maintaining the platform for passengers to get off and on the trains.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Barry Douglas Morse | Mar 26, 2019 21:52

Railroad Wings - Patty Griffin

Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Mar 26, 2019 16:58

I remember the train runs in years past. I was 17 yrs and rode the train from Boston to Maine and back. there was a time when it was usual for summer people to ride this way to summer in summer homes. I suppose the Boston run is no longer feasible? Memories!

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