Comments Submitted to the Rail Plan
Web site: Page 4
The following is a list of comments that have been received about the Rail Plan.
- Comment: I have used the Downeaster since it started running. It has greatly eased my travels between Maine and the Baltimore area.
I have been following the developments concerning this proposed Rail Plan. I feel that the plan needs to address the extension of Passenger Rail Service to the Lewiston - Auburn area. It appears that this extension might not be in the immediate future. I feel that if this is true it will deprive a large population center of easy access to rail travel. While the drive to & from Portland to use the Downeaster is not unbearable; it does detract from the value of train travel to Boston, especially if you have to return or pickup a rental vehicle in Portland.
I remember at the time the tracks South of Portland were being upgraded for Passenger Trains that a lot of work upgrading the tracks in the Lewiston - Auburn area also took place. If that is correct; then that should help to reduce the amount of work that would be required to upgrade the track between Portland and Lewiston - Auburn to the standards required for Passenger trains.
I note that the draft plan also addresses the proposed reopening of the Mountain Division between Portland and Fryeburg. This proposal offers great potential for Western Maine as well as the adjoining area of New Hampshire. A section of the Mountain Division in the area of North Conway has been upgraded to current standards; which leaves only the few miles of track to Fryeburg that New Hampshire would have to restore to take advantage of the proposed service between Portland and Fryeburg. The restoration of the Mountain Division between Portland and North Conway by both Maine and New Hampshire would greatly enhance these areas of both Maine and New Hampshire. This area is a center of year round tourism that lacks access to rail transportation of any kind.
The provision of Passenger Rail service to this area would bring significant year round economic growth to this area of both states. The roads into this area are not adequate to support the full potential that exists for growth. Hopefully, The TIGER Grant application for this project will be approved and fully funded to allow work to begin on restoration of the Mountain Division track and the ultimate restoration of freight and passenger service to this part of Maine and hopefully New Hampshire.
Name: Mike Crockett
- Comment: It seems a wise idea to extend rail service to Lewiston-Auburn and beyond to Montreal. It would be very convenient for those of us in western Maine, who would use it to travel to Portland and Boston, and Canada.
I don't think tourists who are traveling up the coast would choose train travel over cars, but those living here would definitely use it!
Name: Marion Scharoun
- Comment: I believe that the best and most promising future of rail in Maine is the connection of Portland-Auburn-Montreal, particularly Auburn as it is a working freight port. I do not believe that rail tourism along the coast will be successful.
Name: Ralph Tuttle
- Comment: It is imperative that a passenger rail service be developed and extended to the Lewiston/Auburn region with connections to Montreal. This has immeasurable economic and cultural advantages in serving the communities in ME.
In time the cost will be reaped back in extra business and a booming economy that will be sustained in ME. There are huge employment opportunities available. Without a passenger rail service we will lag behind all the other States. I strongly urge those in power to push this legislation forward with the stimulus money available
Name: Umesh C. Sarma, MD
- Comment: This is for Nate Moulton, fright rail service. I have always wondered why I never hear anything about getting the trucks to use the rail service as they do the farry boats. What is wrong with a "roll-on/roll-off" service where trucks drive onto a flat car in Houlton, Watervill, Boston MA, Hartford CT, and NY City. The drivers would have to go along with the trucks, but look at the fuel, wear & tear on trucks, and the driver's time. The lose in fuel tax would not be that bad because they would still have to drive a couple hours one way or the other to make their delivies.
The stope would have to be limited because the goal would be to have a load of potatos drine on the train mid afternoon and be in Boston or even NY the next morning/day in time to make their delivery that day. A rail service such as this would even expand the delivery range for Maine products by taking away all the driving miles of the first day. Of cause you would have to come up with a couple of dinning cars and some sleepers.
Name: Dabney Lewis
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comments submitted to the rail plan web site (page listings)