The New England Passenger Rail Authority, which operates The Downeaster in partnership with Amtrak, has now revealed three possible locations for a new station that would make travel easier on the popular train that runs from Brunswick, Maine, to Boston, Massachusetts.

Currently, to get to the station at Thompson's Point, the Downeaster has to go off the main track onto a route known as the Mountain Division, which the Maine Central Railroad used to haul freight and passengers from Portland to St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Most of the line was abandoned in 1983, but parts are still used by CSX Transportation, The Conway Scenic Railroad, and of course, the Downeaster.

Trains have to back in and back out of the Mountain Division track, which slows things down. Since the current Portland station is not on the Maine line, trains going to or from Brunswick have to essentially take a detour off the main line to the station.

According to the Portland Press Herald, the New England Passenger Rail Authority has selected three locations in mind for the new station. One is between Congress Street and Park Avenue behind Amato’s McDonald’s on St. John Street. A second is between the southern end of St. John Street and Mercy Hospital.

The third site is near the location of the old Union Station. It was demolished in 1961 and was the impetus for the creation of Portland Landmarks, which works to preserve historical structures in the city.

Public Domain
Public Domain

It's a shame that the station was torn down. It would have been a great building for passenger trains once again.

Whatever site is chosen, let's hope this gets approved. A station along St. John Street would shave 15 minutes off the travel times.

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