Train gears up for summer in Ellsworth, Hancock

Posted April 22, 2013, at 12:22 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — Drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians Down East will need to pay closer attention to railroad tracks after Saturday, as the Downeast Scenic Railroad gears up for the summer season.

Starting April 27, the railroad will begin operating work trains on tracks that serve the excursion rail service. The railroad will begin offering weekend and holiday trips on Saturday, May 25, the opening day of its five-month season.

The train will make passes over railroad crossings on Wyman and Washington Junction roads in Hancock, as well as Beal Avenue and Main, Lincoln, Park, Birch and Davis streets in Elsworth.

This season will be the fourth for the railroad, which leases 24 miles of tracks on a line from Brewer to Calais. The nonprofit has rehabilitated five miles of tracks between Ellsworth Falls and Hancock. The train lumbers slowly along the tracks, offering scenic views for about 90 minutes.