Board approves Downeaster summer pilot program

PORTLAND, Maine - Railway authorities approved a pilot program for this summer that would expand Amtrak rail service for three weekends.

The Bangor Daily News reports the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority board of directors voted Monday to approve the pilot program. The seasonal extension will add stops in Bath, Wiscasset, Newcastle and Rockland.

The program had originally been scheduled to run for 10 weeks this summer. However, the NNEPRA board voted to scale back the program because of funding problems.

Maine Transportation Commissioner David Bernhardt says the agency won't approve additional state or federal funds for rail service extension in the 2019 fiscal year.

NNEPRA executive director Patricia Quinn believes ridership fees can sufficiently fund the upcoming pilot program. The pilot runs during two festival weekends.

MDOT still has to approve the program.


Information from: Bangor Daily News,

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