Jump to content
DSS&A

2018 Downeaster train connection to Rockland

Recommended Posts

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

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

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

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.

 

Ken

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

. 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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it appears the pilot of the Rockland extension for the Downeaster will only be running for three weekends in August: http://mainepublic.org/post/maine-passenger-rail-extension-will-be-limited-three-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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took the Maine Eastern one-way from Rockland to Brunswick to connect with the Downeaster to Boston in 2014. My blog post is here: http://subwaynut.com/updates/2014/08/03/by-rail-from-rockland-maine-to-boston-the-maine-eastern-railroad-to-the-downeaster-with-a-made-but-iffy-connection/

 

It was during the Lobster festival weekend (I didnt go to the lobster festival, just walked from the Concord Coach I had gotten on in Searsport to the Maine Eastern Station. They were running a second special Lobster express train later in the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brunswick to Rockland Service Put On Hold

 

https://www.pressherald.com/2018/03/27/brunswick-to-rockland-train-service-is-put-on-hold/

 

 

 

Amtrak was unable to conduct a risk assessment of the 58 miles of track along the route, which is necessary before service can resume, Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, said Tuesday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×