Earlier this week, President Joe Biden unveiled his $2 trillion infrastructure plan.  In addition to increasing the number of electric vehicle recharging stations and improve the country's roads and bridges, the plan also calls for an increase in the number of passenger train routes (President Biden loves his trains).

It looks like the increase in passenger rail lines could help us here in Maine.  Shortly after Biden unveiled his plan, Amtrak announced the specifics if their portion of the plan.


 

What Maine communities would the new routes service?

According to the Bangor Daily News, the Downeaster line, which currently has stops in Portland, Old Orchard Beach, Wells, Saco, and Brunswick could be extended as far as Rockland.

If it does happen, this would not be the first time (in the 21st century) that rail service went to the mid-coast Maine town.  From 2003 to 2015, the Maine Eastern Railroad ran season passenger service from Brunswick to Rockland.  In 2017, Amtrak had looked into running seasonal service to Rockland (with stops in Bath and Wiscassett), but that plan was abandoned.

Amtrak would get $80 billion under President Biden's new infrastructure plan.  They would use that money to create 30 new routes, which would connect 160 communities.  In addition to the Rockland extension, the plan also calls for rail service from Boston to Concord (NH) and from Burlington (VT) to Montreal.


 

When would service start?

The plan calls for the expansion to be completed by 2035.  But, as service ran to Brunswick as recently as 2015, we'd probably see service return much sooner.


 

Where can I read more about President Biden's plan?

USA Today has a great breakdown of everything the plan encompasses.

 

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