For all of the “misinformation” Wayne Davis claims to find in Patrick Rael’s Nov. 14 letter regarding Amtrak’s proposed Brunswick layover facility, he agrees on two points: only in April were plans to locate the facility in Brunswick made public, and the original Downeaster plan provided only two trains per day to Brunswick.
If more are required for Downeaster success, why didn’t NNEPRA include them in its original plan? How did two trains mysteriously turn into five? And how are Brunswick West neighbors somehow responsible for trains not coming that were never promised in the first place?
It’s not surprising that the chairman of a passenger rail advocacy group would claim that NNEPRA “went out of its way” to listen to neighbors’ concerns. But only neighbors’ vigorous opposition has induced NNEPRA to listen to them at all. Minus their objections, the facility would have been built for a paltry $5 million, which NNEPRA now concedes would have been only half the budget necessary to build a facility with minimal acceptable mitigation. Abutters would have been subject to horrendous noise, vibration, and exhaust pollution. Several million dollars worth of property value would have been lost.
Let’s get this right. Consider all sites objectively, put stakeholders at the table as equals, and end the political theater. Brunswick deserves at least that much.