October 17, 2017
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Comments for: Amtrak expansion celebrated in Freeport, Brunswick

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  • Anonymous

    No photos, BDN?

  • As much as getting service into Bruswick and Freeport is good, the obvious question remains unanswered, that being why hasn’t the service been extended further north ? Granted, the timing of running passenger and cargo service, on the State-owned MMA track’s, is an issue that will need to be worked out. But by extending the current rail service further north, and Maine’s Tourism folk’s doing a little creative thinking, the whole of Northern Maine could be opened up to both tourism, which is what the Hancock – Ellsworth train is going to do, but also to more commercial business’s. Reliable rail service, properly planned and managed, can go a very long way in demonstrating the business stability of a region thru reliable transportation. The transporting of the new Millinocket bio-coal product to the coastal port’s is a textbook example, as is the expansion of the same rail service to Eastport’s dock’s and Calais’ LPG site. The Northern Maine business community keeps complaining about a lack of adequate transportation for their product’s to reach market’s and, at the same time, getting raw materials in. Well here is an opportunity for them to make their arguement’s, and for AMTRAK to expand and be more profitable. It also has the effect, if done correctly by both the AMTRAK and the Maine Tourism Office, of opening Northern Maine’s recreational opportunity’s thru the use of ‘tourist train’s’. Is everyone gonna like this ? Probably not. But isin’t about time that we all started to look and use what is here instead of always squawking about what we don’t have ?

    • John Dough

      Mike,

      Amtrak loses a billion dollars a year now in presumably the most profitable markets. Extending it into less profitable markets would only push it further into the red. If there was a buck to be made with freight rail in northern Maine, don’t you think some greedy entrepreneur would have seized the opportunity already?

      I’m sure if you think about it for a few minutes, you’ll see how insane it would be to send freight trains into areas where there is little concentration of freight to be shipped or received.

      • If Northern Maine is such a black hole as far as freight trains are concerned, then why is Irving got over 80% of the old MMA-bonded rail line’s capacity under active time lease ? Irving may be a PITA but Irving does not spend money on dead project’s for giggle’s and grin’s.

        And as far as profitable goes, with the opening of Bald Mountain to active mining, and needing a way to get the ore to the processor’s and smelter’s in Canada, can we all say profitable enterprise ? No, Irving saw the rail’s as an investment for when the Maine timber industry comes back (Which we ALL hope is soon !). Bald Mountain is gonna be an unexpected dividend. And the accompanying freight that get’s hauled up there, in addition to his own mining equipment, is just gravy for the roast beef.  That’s why the freight system is gonna be used. But it needs another leg. Even Irving knows that since ‘stovepiping’ your cash flow makes it vulnerable to economic event’s that no one has control over. And you can bet the Stanley Cup that Irving has learned that lesson a long, long time ago.

  • HoffT

    If it was available, I’d take the train from Bangor to Boston.

  • John Dough

    Really? $38.3 million for less than 50 round trip passengers a day and you want them to spend even more to push this boondoggle even further into even more sparsely populated areas?

    Really?

    No wonder you people are at the top of the tax burden heap!

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