Brunswick, Maine, August 2014.
A different operating company that now holds the freight franchise between Brunswick and Rockland (primarily serving a cement plant, also the shipyard at Bath) begged off operating the tourist trains. Local interests have not given up on restoring through passenger service.
Not this season.
Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, said the planned extension of the train was cancelled because Amtrak could not conduct a risk assessment of the 58 miles of track between Brunwick and Rockland, Maine, that was to be used for the extension. The authority had announced plans to extend the train to Rockland for three weekends in August, with additional stops in Bath, Wiscasset, and Newcastle, Maine.Delay is the deadliest form of denial, particularly with the changes taking place at Amtrak.
Quinn told the Daily News that Amtrak would conduct its assessment later this year, and that the authority was aiming to offer the service in summer 2019 with a schedule that “hopefully can be more robust than three round trips.”
The full Bangor Daily News report notes the planned operation would include the weekends of the Maine Lobster Festival and the Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors Show. Sixty years ago, the through car service was a single coach detached from a Boston to Bangor train at Portland to be forwarded on a later local train. Three through trains a day might make the trains great again.