2.7.14

GOOD NEWS FOR THE DOWNEASTER.

We've ridden Amtrak's Downeaster to Brunswick, Maine, and followed the wrangling between town and carrier over the siting there of a maintenance base for the train.  In its absence, the Brunswick trains must dead-head to or from Portland, yielding less-than-optimal equipment utilization, particularly with rakes of coaches in short supply, and running on a line effectively isolated from the rest of the Amtrak system.

There's good news.  The Brunswick base is not a noxious facility.
The Federal Railroad Administration has found that a proposed layover facility for Amtrak Downeaster trains will have no significant environmental impact on a Brunswick neighborhood.

Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, says the decision means her agency can move forward with plans to build a $12 million layover facility for passenger trains at the site of the Brunswick freight yard between Church Road and Stanwood Street.

“This is huge. It will enable us to move forward with construction of the facility,” Quinn tells the Portland Press Herald. “This is the outcome that we had hoped for.”
The schedule for construction is not yet public information.

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