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2018 Downeaster train connection to Rockland


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#21 DSS&A

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 06:39 PM

More information about the proposed seasonal service to Rockland was discussed at yesterday's NNEPRA meeting. Additional track improvements were also discussed at the meeting.

http://www.trainridersne.org

#22 lo2e

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 06:18 AM

I saw in those meeting notes that they're shooting for a 2-hour one-way trip from Brunswick to Rockland, which is pretty close to how long it would take to drive Route 1 at certain times in the summer due to traffic in Wiscasset and Thomaston.  Interesting to find out what the top speed on the Rockland branch will be, since there aren't a lot of real straight stretches of track.

 

I also saw this:

 

 

Ms. Quinn informed the board that the Lewiston-Auburn passenger rail feasibility study is underway. 


#23 HP_Lovecraft

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 10:05 AM

They have been talking about a train up to "The Dirty Loo" for 5 years.  It does make sense, in that the Downeaster has 3 trainsets, which they alternate going to Brunswick, or sitting idle in Portland.  Those idle trains could be making extra revenue by using existing PanAm lines up to Lewiston.

 

My understanding from a couple years ago, is that before that happens, they want money to add a seperate Lewiston platform in portland. And they want to redesign the awkward "Y" that the train has to back into when heading to brunswick.  This was the result of knocking down the beautiful original station 50 years ago, and building the newer station further away at an inconvenient location.



#24 Thirdrail7

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 04:15 PM

 

I saw in those meeting notes that they're shooting for a 2-hour one-way trip from Brunswick to Rockland, which is pretty close to how long it would take to drive Route 1 at certain times in the summer due to traffic in Wiscasset and Thomaston.  Interesting to find out what the top speed on the Rockland branch will be, since there aren't a lot of real straight stretches of track.

 

 

I believe I read the route is Class III track on another site. That would make it 60mph for passenger even though the reported curvy profile would make it extremely unlikely it would stay at that speed for long.

 

 

They have been talking about a train up to "The Dirty Loo" for 5 years.  It does make sense, in that the Downeaster has 3 trainsets, which they alternate going to Brunswick, or sitting idle in Portland.  Those idle trains could be making extra revenue by using existing PanAm lines up to Lewiston.

 

 

It could also rack up a lot more expenses in addition to wear and tear.  The question is: will it be worth it? That's a subjective question but I hope the answer is yes across the board.


Edited by Thirdrail7, 31 January 2018 - 04:16 PM.

They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.


#25 DSS&A

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 07:12 PM

Wiscasset agrees to build a new train platform for Amtrak service.

https://www.coastalj...ves-nod-amtrak/

#26 Palmetto

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 08:44 AM

Hmm, good, but having checked out Wiscasset in Trip Advisor, it seems that there's not a lot to do in Wiscasset.  A few historic homes to visit, Monkey C Monkey Do [you'll need to taxi there, if there is one] which is an aerial adventure park, and a few shops and restaurants.  There's also an overpriced B&B a couple of blocks south on Rt. 1 for those that like B&B's.  



#27 Lonestar648

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:32 AM

Making those weekend runs in the fall could be sell outs considering all the traffic at that time of the year.

#28 Palmetto

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 01:07 PM

Making those weekend runs in the fall could be sell outs considering all the traffic at that time of the year.

True, but I don't think the service is scheduled to run past Labor Day or so.  That's ending about a month prior to the leaf-peeping season.



#29 Lonestar648

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 06:07 PM

Agree that the schedule is for the Summer, just saying they should have looked a couple months more for additional solid revenue.



#30 DSS&A

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 06:31 PM

Bath voted to support the extension of Downeaster service on the Rockland Branch last night.

http://www.theforeca...-include-bath/#

#31 Thirdrail7

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 08:32 PM



 

 

The Downeaster is  probably the same as many of the small state-funded routes.

But since you can book it on amtrak.com, with guaranteed connections, does it matter?

 

That said, the Downeaster was supposed to start using the Kennebunk's 150 year old station back in 2014.  But it keeps getting delayed, over and over.  For the typical reasons- politics and money.  I hope this new Rockland extension doesnt end up the same way.

 

 

 

Here's some of the reason it keeps getting delayed. People were voting against it! There is finally progress though:

 

Kennebunk train stop plans moving forward despite mixed reaction

 


 

 


They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.


#32 Maverickstation

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 10:55 AM

 
 
The Downeaster is  probably the same as many of the small state-funded routes.
But since you can book it on amtrak.com, with guaranteed connections, does it matter?
 
That said, the Downeaster was supposed to start using the Kennebunk's 150 year old station back in 2014.  But it keeps getting delayed, over and over.  For the typical reasons- politics and money.  I hope this new Rockland extension doesnt end up the same way.
 

 
 
Here's some of the reason it keeps getting delayed. People were voting against it! There is finally progress though:
 
Kennebunk train stop plans moving forward despite mixed reaction
 

 
 

. Kennebunk is along the existing route south of Portland it has nothing to do with the Rockland extension.

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#33 Lonestar648

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 02:01 PM

Also, I imagine many who say they are against the train don't even know or understand what the current train does or how the extension will operate and the benefits. Have done many multiple year projects in different parts of Maine, where I found many many people objected and fought anything new, or changing the established.

#34 Thirdrail7

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 04:23 PM

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They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.


#35 HP_Lovecraft

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 07:06 PM

 

 

. Kennebunk is along the existing route south of Portland it has nothing to do with the Rockland extension.

 

Sorry, yes. I mentioned it as an example of how politics can drag things forever. The Kennebunk stop seemed like a no brainer. There is already a station there, amtrak passes 10 times a day and the town is well served by tourist buses.  It was all agreed to, permits approved, etc.  Then it dragged on for years while they fought over the cost to add a bathroom, etc.    I kinda got the impression they didn't want the type of people that would be visiting.

 

Rockland is the same situation. Seems simple enough, but seems like it could drag on forever.  Its too bad there isnt ferry service from rockland to bar harbor. That would make for an awesome trip.  You can almost get to bar harbor.  You can get a Ferry to Vinalhaven, and there is a ferry Bass harbor to Bar Harbor.  Maybe if enough demand exists, they could link up the ferry.



#36 Palmetto

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 08:32 PM

Bar Harbor would be a great destination, but there isn't even bus service that far down East.  Right now, Concord Coach goes only as far a Bangor.  So my conclusion is that there is not a lot of demand to go to Bar Harbor via public transit at the moment.  Two ferries?  That would put me off.



#37 Lonestar648

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 04:32 AM

Bar Harbor gets the Cruise line flood of tourists, plus many who drive or come by chartered bus.  The downtown can be so busy you can't drive through it.  As far as rail, I think Bangor would be a better revenue stop.



#38 lo2e

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 02:33 PM

Well, it appears the pilot of the Rockland extension for the Downeaster will only be running for three weekends in August: http://mainepublic.o...summer-weekends

 

The board approved train runs to Rockland during the weekends of the Maine Lobster Festival and the Maine Home, Boats and Harbor Show ― both of which are held in Rockland.

 

The Maine Lobster Festival is the first weekend of August, I don't know when the Home, Boats, and Harbor show is or the other weekend it will be running.

 

A little disappointing that it won't be running all summer, but I know the Lobster Festival is a very crowded event, so I guess it's a good test to see if they can pull off decent ridership for these major events.


Edited by lo2e, 27 February 2018 - 02:33 PM.


#39 Palmetto

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 05:55 PM

We should not be surprised if ridership is weak, though.  It takes a while for word to get around.  Three weeks will not be enough for that, I'm afraid.



#40 Lonestar648

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 06:09 PM

I am afraid the ridership will not be what they are expecting.  Also, there are many issues to work out, like connecting shuttles.  I guess the marketing has to be extraordinary in order to reach all those who might be interested.  I hope this is successful, it would be great to see the train run up the Maine coast. 






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