Proposed Passenger Train Service Study Between Brunswick & Bangor In The Works
A proposal to conduct a feasibility study on extending passenger rail service from Brunswick through Augusta and Waterville and then to Bangor, was recently presented to the Maine Legislature by Senator Joe Baldacci of Penobscot County.
Tonight, Bangor's Municipal Operations Committee will take into consideration putting the City’s endorsement behind passage of LD 227, according to a post on Baldacci's Facebook page.
The last time a passenger train pulled into the old Bangor Union Station where the Penobscot Plaza now stands was back in early 1961. The station was served by both Bangor & Aroostook Railroad and Maine Central Railroad.
Since then folks in the area could only dream of passenger service like that provided by Amtrak's The Downeaster, which currently only comes as far northeast as Brunswick.
A recent commentary in the Portland Press Herald tells of how passenger train service between Portland and the Lewiston/Auburn area would relieve ever increasing "major highway congestion", and also that the particular "transportation sector" between those two areas is responsible for creating 54% of Maine's total greenhouse gas emissions, so now would be a good time to "study" extending passenger trains further north of Brunswick.
The article also informs us that Maine's rails are valued at $1 million per mile.
Studying passenger rail service north of Portland to places like Rockland and Bangor has been brought up before, but officials have balked at the cost. Thinking back, one can only dream now of what once was when vacationers and travelers rode the passenger rail from Boston to places like Hancock Point, before taking the ferry across Frenchman Bay to Bar Harbor.
Maybe again, someday? After tonight, who knows? We may live long enough to see it.
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