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Rockland included in Amtrak's growth plan

By Stephen Betts | Apr 01, 2021
Amtrak's current and proposed routes.

Passenger train service could return to Rockland if Amtrak's plan for future growth becomes a reality.

On March 31, The national rail service issued its "vision" for the next 15 years, following the release of President Joe Biden's plan for investing in the country's infrastructure.

"With a growing and diverse population, a global climate crisis and longer traffic jams, America needs a rail network that offers frequent, reliable, sustainable and equitable train service. Amtrak has the vision and expertise to deliver it. Better rail service means cleaner air, less traffic and happier people," the plan states.

"Population growth and future U.S. transportation needs support the development of corridor routes that could efficiently serve 160 additional diverse communities. Amtrak has met with stakeholders across the U.S. – state officials, mayors, businesses and others – to identify their local needs and expectations. Our vision incorporates this input and we will work in partnership with stakeholders to grow and improve passenger rail. Our vision builds upon Amtrak’s national network of long‐distance trains, integrating new and improved corridors into our existing system."

Rockland City Manager Tom Luttrell said April 1 he has not heard anything directly from Amtrak.

Regular passenger train service ended in Rockland in April 1959. The train station is where the Trackside Station restaurant is located at the intersection of Union and Pleasant streets. The station was built in 1917-1918.

Seasonal excursion passenger service between Rockland and Brunswick began in July 2004, stopping that first year adjacent to Sandy Beach. In 2005, passengers were dropped off outside the train station on Union Street. In 2006, the station building was renovated and a restaurant was added.

That service ended when the state ended its contract with Maine Eastern Railroad and awarded a contract to Central Maine & Quebec Railway.

Amtrak's Downeaster began service between Portland and Boston in 2001 and in 2012 extended it to Brunswick.

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Comments (4)
Posted by: Valerie Wass | Apr 02, 2021 10:08

This has been a headline over the past several years.  I will believe it when I see it actually happen.


Posted by: ANANUR FORMA | Apr 02, 2021 08:08

Happy this is going to happen, have heard this might take place for a few years, now. Too many polluting cars in the road.

Would be fun to be on a train.

Posted by: ANANUR FORMA | Apr 02, 2021 08:08

mistake printed 2x.

Posted by: Jonathan J Beitler | Apr 01, 2021 21:06

What you can hardly see in the national map published with the article is a blue line connecting Brunswick to Rockland. This is meant to indicate "New Service".  You can go to the link below, if interested.

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