I honestly have to agree with the idea that cruise-ship business to Freeport is a non-starter... the runs that were mentioned as probable in the Press Herald article last year essentially attached Brunswick runs to 682 and 686 SB, and 681 and 687 SB, plus the early and late stub runs between BRK and POR. By times:
Code: Select all
Train: 6821* 681 687
Boston N/A 9:00A 5:40P
Portland 6:00A 11:35A 8:10P
Brunswick 6:50A 12:30P 9:10P
Returns as: 682 686 6872*
Train: 682 686 6872*
Brunswick 7:00A 1:00P 9:30P
Portland 8:00A 2:35P 10:20P
Boston 10:30A 4:30P N/A
* - I made up the 4-digit train numbers for simplicity.
The PPH article didn't give any times regarding Freeport, and I didn't try to interpolate them. But if this is the schedule they go with, day trips to Freeport or Brunswick are really out of the question unless you don't mind only having an hour (at most) to shop, or you can make the early or late train (which cruise pax can't).
So far as relocating the Portland station goes, ISTR that NNEPRA and the city have always held the opinion that the current location at TP was considered temporary, to be replaced once the Brunswick extension became a reality. NNEPRA wants to move because they perceive the current location as both inconvenient to the main line and unable to provide them room with a second boarding track which they seem to feel will be important. The city would like them to move because they feel on general principles that the train station should be closer to the urban center (and if you think that's foolish, read this
and remember that "Bayside Trail" = "Where the Union Branch was between Elm St. and the sewage treatment plant, including the old rail yard"). It's also possibly worth noting that the City Council's Transportation Committee is currently made up of the 2 district councilors that represent the peninsula (now heavily populated by progressives who think cars are ipso facto
bad) and the councilor that represents the Libbytown and Stroudwater neighborhoods, where the Mountain Division runs. As I said in a prior post, most of the Downeaster stations are owned by the city they are in, and so my hunch is that the city would be willing to help build a new station in what they see as a preferable location.
Where would a 6th R/T go on the schedule? If the goal were to boost day trips to Portland from Boston, then a later departure from Portland would be in order; 10-11 PM would make it possible to catch a Sea Dogs game and hop back to Mass. after. However, that would mean either basing a trainset at North Station, or else running a 90+% empty train back BON-POR at 2 AM. I don't care if the guy playing at the Purple Shamrock has a guitar that spits gold doubloons at people, there aren't enough people looking to go to Boston to get hammered to make a run that late viable.
"...And then I thought, every time some company creates a more powerful locomotive does Superman become more powerful as well or is he stuck at 1938 locomotive power levels?" - A friend of mine elsewhere
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