Maine DOT's Passenger Rail Advisory Council Hears TrainRiders/NE's Proposal for Direct Service from Maine to NYC

WaynePRACChairman Wayne Davis and Vice Chair Andy Hyland briefed the DOT's Passenger Rail Advisory Council yesterday in Augusta on TRN's vision of direct service from Maine to New York City. The Downeaster would go as far as Worcester - connecting passengers to existing Amtrak service there. The proposal would require the upgrade of existing tracks from Lowell to Worcester. From Worcester, passengers would continue on to Springfield, Hartford, New Haven and then NYC.

June NNEPRA Board Meeting

"There's light at the end of the tunnel!"

nnepra logoToday's NNEPRA Board meeting still reported dismal ridership numbers for May, ridership was down some 15,000 and 147 trains were cancelled. That having been said, some 22,000 ties have been replaced with another 3,300 needed to finish the job. The surfacing crews are beyond Dover on their way to Wells. Next week, Amtrak hopes to be able to schedule mid-day trains between Wells and Boston, using a shuttle bus between Portland and Wells.

Next step on the Brunswick Layover Facility now that the DEP Commissioner has said "yes" to construction? NNEPRA needs to re-examine the costs with the construction company since the figures are two years old. The front-end plugin power equipment should be ready to go at the Brunswick layover property by August 1st. This will help to reduce engine idling.

DEP Commissioner Grants Permit to Allow NNEPRA to Proceed with Brunswick Layover Facility!!!

delayoverCommissioner Patricia Aho signed the approval letter to NNEPRA today which grants the rail authority its much sought after and frequently delayed Storm Water Runoff permit. There is, as expected, a list of "Special Conditions" that must be met. None seems to be excessively burdensome.

DEP Gives Tentative Approval to Construction of the Brunswick Layover Facility

Good news from the DEP. The storm water runoff application requested by NNEPRA has been tentatively approved, thus going a long way toward eliminating the last environmental obstacle to the construction of the Brunswick Layover Facility. While there are more than a dozen conditions attached to the draft decision, not one appears to be a 'deal breaker' for NNEPRA. The final decision is expected to be announced on June 17th.  More in the Forecaster: 
http://www.theforecaster.net/news/print/2015/06/04/dep-tentatively-oks-permit-brunswick-train-layover/235135