News Brief

TrainRiders/Northeast's 30th Annual Meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn by-the-Bay in Portland on December 14th at 12:30. The timing is convenient for north and southbound trains with free transportation between the Portland Tranportation Center and the Holiday Inn. You'll soon be able to use this website to make your reservations and luncheon selections - stay turned!

On the heels of a finding by the Federal Railroad Administration that the proposed Brunswick Layover Facility would have no significant environmental impact on the West Brunswick neighborhood and after a Maine judge invalidated a rain runoff permit, forces aligned against the construction have taken a new approach by lining up several Augusta legislators, inclulding an Amtrak conductor, to propose that the layover facility now be constructed at PanAm's Rigby Yard in South Portland. Everybody has an opinion about where best to site the much-needed structure as there have been more than a half dozen suggestions, from the Governor to politicians pushing their favorite service plans to NIMBYs (Not In My Backyard [more properly called NIMFY - Not In My Freightyard]).

NNEPRA, under Executive Director Patricia Quinn, has examined all with the help of outside consultants. The freight yard in West Brunswick was best for the efficient operation of the service. Ms. Quinn stands behind the decision to move forward with the selected site and has asked to meet with the aforementioned legislators to explain how the decision was reached and what the consequences are likely to be if opposition further delays the facility.

Here are two recent articles:


A recent Investor's Business Daily editorial has sections which definitely apply to the current Brunswick Layover Facility controversy. Read it and weep:

"In the mid-1930s, workers spent a mere 400 days building the Empire State Building. It took more than 3,600 days to wade through the red tape and politics and complete the replacement for the Twin Towers.

The country built the 47,000-mile Interstate Highway System in 35 years. But 34 years after Maryland decided to build a 19-mile Intercounty Connector, that stretch of highway is still under construction.

The problem is that a massive army of NIMBY and "public interest" groups, environmentalists and regulators has grown up in recent decades — a force with the singular mission of saying "no" to anything and everything anyone tries to do.

From an engineering perspective, anyone could build a Hoover Dam today — or an oil pipeline for that matter — but who'd be dumb enough to propose such a thing, knowing the ferocious public attacks, exhaustive "environmental reviews" and endless lawsuits they'd face?

Environmentalists these days even block "clean energy" windmill farms and solar power plants because of the damage they'll allegedly cause to local ecosystems."

The full editorial is below, but the above is enough to understand the bind America is in, from Brunswick to Maryland.The full editorial: