nnepraThe Board of Directors of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority voted unanimously on Monday to build their $4 million dollar passenger train maintenance facility on an 8-acre parcel near Bouchard Drive in Brunswick.  The consulting group hired by the Authority to evaluate 3 potential sites made their recommendations late last week, suggesting the Bouchard Drive property as their first choice because of its previous use as a rail yard for many years, its proximity to Maine Street Station and its cost effectiveness.

Patricia Quinn, Executive Director of the Rail Authority told reporters that she plans to create an advisory group to guide the design of the facility that would include the Consultants, NNEPRA staff, the Brunswick municipal planner and a member of the Board of Selectmen and several property owners living adjacent to the proposed facility.

The proposed 60,000 square-foot building will allow Amtrak to perform indoor maintenance and refueling work on the three train sets that operate the daily service.  The trains are expected to begin operating between Brunswick, Portland and Boston next autumn.

The has a summary article on the process - go here.{jcomments on}



The exhibit train arrived in Freeport Friday afternoon the 12th in preparation for public viewing of the train on Saturday and Sunday, August 13-14.  The train, coupled with two PanAm business cars and an F40 PanAm locomotive, was painted in PanAm's stunning cobalt blue livery.

The very shiny and freshly painted Amtrak sections included a P-40 diesel-electric locomotive and a non-powered-control unit to allow push-pull operation.  Those units are arrayed in an historic Amtrak paint scheme.  The air conditioned Exhibit Train also includes three baggage cars that have been renovated and transformed into exhibition space through the addition of display cases.  The major events and achievements of Amtrak's four decades are conveyed through advertising materials, photographs, and other items.

Maine's 'Track Star'

patriciaWhen #682 arrived in Saco this morning, few knew that Maine's 'Track Star' was on board heading for another transportation meeting, this time in New Hampshire.

NNEPRA's Executive Director, Patricia Quinn, was appropriately labeled 'Maine's Track Star' in an article in MaineBiz.

Respected throughout New England and the entire Amtrak system, Ms. Quinn has accomplished much on behalf of the State of Maine, the Downeaster, its station communities and the passengers.

Read more in MaineBiz.{jcomments on}

Towns Along Downeaster Expansion Route to Brunswick Examine 'No Whistle' Zones

With Downeaster expansion to Freeport and Brunswick scheduled to begin in late 2012, municipalities along the route are examining how to maintain and expand grade crossing 'quiet zones.'

The Federal Railroad Administration, working from guidelines established by the US Congress, has a set of criteria for such exemptions to the safety whistle requirement. It can be read here.

NNERPA Executive Director Patricia Quinn is quoted in a Press Herald article.{jcomments on}

Amtrak Exhibit Train to Stop in Freeport

40thThe Amtrak Exhibit Train, celebrating 40 years of passenger rail service in the US, will be open to the public on August 13 and 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The train will be parked near the Community Center at Depot Street in Freeport.

The train contains historical memorabilia and exhibits, including a look at the future of High Speed Rail in America.

Representatives from TrainRiders/NE will be among those present to assist visitors with information about our organization and the successful growth of the Amtrak Downeaster. Come meet us and representatives from NNEPA, PanAm Railways, Maine Eastern Railroad, Amtrak and Operation Lifesaver.

Once this train departs, the next Amtrak train to arrive in Freeport and Brunswick will be the Downeaster in late 2012 as expanded service along the coast is inaugurated!

More here.{jcomments on}