The last time passenger trains ran from Lewiston to Portland was in the mid-1950s. The Maine Rail Coalition wants to change that. For years, our group has worked tirelessly to conduct feasibility studies, budget analysis and community organizing efforts to implement a commuter rail system throughout Maine.
This 2022 legislative session is the time to take action. Two years ago, Gov. Janet Mills and the Legislature authorized studies of new transit links between Portland and Lewiston as well as between Portland and Bangor. The report will include two potential routes and so far proposed rail expansions have garnered serious support from local officials in Portland, Lewiston, Auburn, Waterville and Bangor.
All that we need now is the political willpower in Augusta to finish the job.
Our team regularly appears in local Maine media to advocate, educate and inform Maine citizens on the potential of passenger rail. We have also received accolades for our advocacy. Here are a few of our recent press hits and awards:
MRTC Director Receives Accolades on America Walks
Infrastructure bill offers a perfect opportunity to perfect transportation
Community to weigh in on study for potential train route between Portland, L/A area
Portland legislator pushes for Portland-Lewiston rail service
The passenger rail project would start with a pilot running from Portland to Lewiston. A 2019 study proved thousands of travelers would use the railways on a daily basis.
There would not be a significant cost for this initial expansion. All rails already exist, it is just a matter of refurbishment. For decades, Maine has had access to the railway between Portland and Lewiston, but no action has been taken.
A professor from Carnegie Mellon University has developed an electric train that can run on Maine’s existing lines and is willing to provide the technology to our state. This would further position Maine as a leader in the green economy.