Amtrak drops plans to extend Downeaster from Brunswick to Rockland this year

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ROCKLAND — There will be no passenger train service between Brunswick and Rockland this summer.

Amtrak was unable to conduct a risk assessment of the 58 miles of track along the route, which is necessary before service can resume, Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, said Tuesday.

Quinn said Amtrak had other existing routes to tend to before it could review the Brunswick-to-Rockland line, and there was not enough time for the assessment to be done to start this summer’s proposed pilot program. Amtrak must make sure the track is able to handle the speeds of passenger trains.

Quinn said she hoped, however, that a more robust schedule could be in place for the summer of 2019. “We want to take the momentum started this year and roll into next year,” she said.

— Courier-Gazette

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