• Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  • 9118 posts
  • 1
  • 604
  • 605
  • 606
  • 607
  • 608
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
jonnhrr wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:48 am
njtmnrrbuff wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:19 am I definately plan to use the Downeaster for travel between Wells and Brunswick. I also plan to use any bus routes too. I want to visit the Seashore Trolley Museum without driving. This would probably require an Uber from Saco.
There are bus routes radiating from the Saco Transportation Center but they go to Biddeford, OOB, or Portland and none go near the trolley museum, so Uber or taxi is your best bet. Wells might be a closer stop for the museum, not sure. Kennebunk/Port is somewhat of a transit black hole unfortunately.
Mr. HRR, might Seashore actually be located within Arundel, and that K'Port is simply their PO address? I haven't been near the place in over 60 years, but I thought I recall something to that effect.

Now what would really be nice for Mr. Buff would be if the NNEPRA established a stop at Log Cabin Road , or about a half mile away from Seashore. You could walk it then.
  by MEC407
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:28 am Mr. HRR, might Seashore actually be located within Arundel, and that K'Port is simply their PO address? I haven't been near the place in over 60 years, but I thought I recall something to that effect.
It is located in both Arundel and Kennebunkport. The red line in the image below is the Arundel/Kennebunkport border. Arundel on the left, Kennebunkport on the right. The museum has a Kennebunkport street address because the curb cut for their driveway is mostly on the Kennebunkport side, and they have a Kennebunkport post office box because Arundel doesn't have a post office.
Screen Shot 2021-01-17 at 08.44.15.png
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Wow, Mr. Maine Central.

I searched for a map that showed the municipal limits, and was unable to locate such.

Now so far as the Arundel (or whichever municipality) stop at Log Cabin Road, Kennebunk was a B&M stop (I took the State of Maine, and FCI Danbury Inmate's Budds, to/from there several times), I wonder to what extent NNEPRA has given thought to such. FWIW, the former B&M station was "not exactly" smack downtown.
  by MEC407
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:21 am ...Kennebunk was a B&M stop (I took the State of Maine to/from there several times), I wonder to what extent NNEPRA has given thought to such. FWIW, the former B&M station was "not exactly" smack downtown.
The town of Kennebunk gave it considerable thought (with NNEPRA's approval / willingness to do it if Kennebunk coughed up the $$$), and was very close to pulling the trigger, but the town decided to pull the plug at the last minute. It was discussed in this thread, but probably too many pages back to be easily found.
  by MaineCoonCat
 
TRNE wrote: Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:13 pm The Kennebunk Board of Selectmen has done it again. They've cancelled the planned Downeaster stop! More here: http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/2018 ... RmtwCjpEvQ" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

KENNEBUNK -- The Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday to pull the plug on plans for an Amtrak Downeaster station that would have brought passenger rail service to downtown Kennebunk.

Four years after voters approved $300,000 for a seasonal train stop in town, the board voted unanimously Tuesday to officially halt the plans that appeared to be close to coming to fruition just a few weeks ago.

Board Chairman Dick Morin read a statement from the board saying, “As we narrowed the conversation regarding the details of the project with regard to things such as renting versus owning and space availability for parking and restrooms, it became more apparent that this location, with its significant limitations presented a situation that would make us losers if it won, meaning if it was successful, and losers if the project failed at that location.”

Town Manager Mike Pardue said that the property at 12 Depot St. -- the old train depot owned by Tim Dietz -- ultimately did not meet the needs for a train stop from the purview of the Maine Department of Transportation. Pardue said he met last week with representatives from the Maine DOT, and they felt the site was deficient in size and had concern over investing $1.1 million, including $800,000 of state funds, in a site that was very constricted.

In 2014 town voters approved $300,000 to develop a seasonal train stop, with an additional $800,000 available in grant form from the state if the station is completed by December of 2019. The project was rejuvenated over a year ago, with support from several residents and the Economic Development Committee, but has hit roadblocks in the search for a suitable site along the rail tracks.

A proposal to put the train stop on the other side of Summer Street at the former granary, owned by David Gould, met with resistance from neighbors who lived on nearby Plummer Lane. Morin and Selectman Ed Karytko have opposed the train station from the beginning, saying that it will cost the town for construction and maintenance, without providing a significant benefit.

Selectman Blake Baldwin, who as former chair of the Economic Development Committee, worked to bring the idea of a train station to Kennebunk before voters five years ago, was disappointed Tuesday that the project could not be brought to fruition.

“As one of the original participants in 2013 I’ve been disappointed and frustrated in our inability to get this project to fruition. And yet at this date I’m prepared to waive the white flag of surrender. Not because I want to, but because we as a community are spending scarce resources in the form of staff time and taxpayer dollars to pursue a project that just doesn’t seem to want to come to fruition,” he said.

Baldwin said he thinks train service is important to put a community at a competitive advantage, and to improve public transportation options to reduce the impact on climate change.

Clearly frustrated, Baldwin said, “As for this project, I think tonight we are singing the death knell. Unfortunately that means we are losing $800,000 that would offset the ability to create that infrastructure, but I don’t think any of us, in good conscious, can see trying to move this any further down the line.”

Pardue said the town has spent roughly $100,000 of the $300,000 appropriated for the train stop to date. A letter sent to Pardue Tuesday evening just before the meeting from the Maine DOT noted that they are willing to share that cost to a maximum of $50,000.

Pardue said DOT officials have also offered to discuss ways to help bring public transportation to the town. He said within the next month they have agreed to meet with the EDC to discuss establishing a seasonal express shuttle service from the Wells train station directly to downtown Kennebunk with a loop to Lower Village.

They have also agreed to hold a dedicated public listening session regarding transit needs for the elderly, disabled and low income community members. Pardue said he expressed the need in Kennebunk for senior citizens to be able to get around if they can no longer drive themselves to medical appointments and other places.

A hint that the project was again in peril surfaced in late August when the board was expected to sign a lease with Dietz at its Aug. 24 meeting, and came out of executive session without a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a lease agreement.

Dietz said following the meeting in August that he wasn’t sure what the delay was, but that he and his wife, Kathy, wanted to support the town, and were supportive of the train station initiative from the start.

“Negotiations have not gone the way we want and we don’t want to tie the community into a bad deal. And that’s really where we are today,” Selectman Chris Cluff said Tuesday. “We want to make sure we are being fiscally responsible with the town’s money and the state’s as well.”

Resident Sharon Staz told the board she was disappointed in the board’s decision

“I can’t tell you how disappointed I am that you came to this conclusion. I hope you mean what you say when you say you are going to focus on regional transportation for this community. They are big steps that can’t continue to be put off, and put off, and put off. We are too late already in solving many of the earth’s problems,” Staz told the board.

Finance Director Joel Downs said the net balance of funds approved to be used for the train station, with the reimbursement from Maine DOT, would be roughly $250,000. The board voted unanimously to permanently halt the project in order to free those funds for a future use.
Circa October 2018
  by Arborwayfan
 
Imagine if the Downeaster let passengers reserve a stop at a particular milepost, like the Canadian at least used to do out in "cottage country" in western Ontario. :wink:
  by pnolette
 
Would anyone know if Pan Am is still going to start work on the Wells siding extension this year?
  by artman
 
According to the Portland Press Herald today, yes:

https://www.pressherald.com/2021/01/25/ ... -in-limbo/

"This year, some of the major projects planned for 2021 mean that drivers in southern Maine can expect to see work on two bridges carrying traffic on I-295 over Route 1 in Yarmouth, reconstruction of the Congress Square intersection in Portland, work on the Eastern Trail in Scarborough and improvements to the railroad siding and platform for Amtrak Downeaster rail service in Wells. Those four projects alone will cost more than $54 million."
  by MEC407
 
NNEPRA posted a photo on Instagram today that showed a machine clearing brush along the railroad right-of-way. Unfortunately the caption didn't say where the photo was taken.
  by PT1101
 
The photo was taken in the vicinity of CPL 15 on the Brunswick Branch. As I drove by the BLF, I saw the hi-rail equipped excavator near Church Road, presumably waiting for 684 (and possibly 681) to pass before resuming duties. I do not remember the name of the company on the excavator, but it wasn't Pan Am.
  by MEC407
 
From Mainebiz:
Mainebiz wrote:A bill introduced in the state Senate last week would provide $300,000 for a feasibility study and the development of a plan to extend passenger rail service to Bangor along existing railroad corridors. The extension would begin in Brunswick, where the Amtrak Downeaster service to Boston currently dead-ends, and run through Augusta and Waterville.

The bill, sponsored by freshman Sen. Joseph Baldacci, D-District 9, and seven co-sponsors, has gone to the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation. On Monday, the Bangor City Council is scheduled to take up a resolution supporting the proposal.
Read the full article at: https://www.mainebiz.biz/article/legisl ... -to-bangor
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
It would be great to have some sort of passenger rail service running to Bangor and the other cities mentioned. It would certainly enable rail travel to get to some more remote areas of Maine. Btw, does anyone know if Amtrak Phase III F40 Cabbage # 406 is still in service on the Downeaster? If it still is and will be for the next few years, I would love to photograph it.
  by MEC407
 
njtmnrrbuff wrote: Sat Feb 06, 2021 9:29 am Btw, does anyone know if Amtrak Phase III F40 Cabbage # 406 is still in service on the Downeaster?
I asked a friend who's in-the-know about such things and this is their response:
IMG_9608.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
  by Choo Choo Coleman
 
MEC407 wrote: Sat Feb 06, 2021 7:27 am From Mainebiz:
Mainebiz wrote:A bill introduced in the state Senate last week would provide $300,000 for a feasibility study and the development of a plan to extend passenger rail service to Bangor along existing railroad corridors. The extension would begin in Brunswick, where the Amtrak Downeaster service to Boston currently dead-ends, and run through Augusta and Waterville.

The bill, sponsored by freshman Sen. Joseph Baldacci, D-District 9, and seven co-sponsors, has gone to the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation. On Monday, the Bangor City Council is scheduled to take up a resolution supporting the proposal.
Read the full article at: https://www.mainebiz.biz/article/legisl ... -to-bangor
Service to Bangor would be a great thing for that part of Maine.
Has there been any discussion to try for some federal dollars if they extended service to Bangor and then to the Downeast Scenic Railroad tracks and on past Washington Junction to connect with the extensive shuttle bus system that links to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor?
According to the National Park Service, Acadia was the second most visited national park (3.4 m) in the eastern United States in 2019 behind only Great Smokey Mountains National Park.
https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/visitation-numbers.htm
With Acadia having such a great shuttle system a connection to rail service could prove very popular with tourists and help unclog the roads. Local residents get the benefit of a safe, reliable transportation connection. The tourists get easy access to a great national park and help the train's bottomline for a relatively modest extension past Bangor.
With the current administration in office, now might be the time to go for it.
  by Backshophoss
 
That was one of the reasons to revive the GCRY,to help ease congestion in the Park at Grand Canyon.
  • 1
  • 604
  • 605
  • 606
  • 607
  • 608