The New England Passenger Rail Authority, which operates the Downeaster in partnership with Amtrak, revealed plans for a new station that would make travel easier on the popular train that runs from Brunswick, Maine, to Boston, Massachusetts. It might even go close to the location of a former train station that was demolished over 60 years ago.

Currently, to get to the station at Thompson's Point, the Downeaster has to go off the main track onto a route known as the Mountain Division, which the Maine Central Railroad used to haul freight and passengers from Portland to St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Most of the line was abandoned in 1983, but parts are still used by CSX Transportation, The Conway Scenic Railroad, and of course, the Downeaster.

Trains have to back in and back out of the Mountain Division track, which slows things down. Since the current Portland station is not on the Maine line, trains going to or from Brunswick have to essentially take a detour off the main line to the station.

According to the Portland Press Herald, the New England Passenger Rail Authority has three locations in mind for the new station that would be along St. John Street, and will announce the sites in a meeting on April 25.

One of those sites could be near the location of the old Union Station. It was demolished in 1961 and was the impetus for the creation of Portland Landmarks, which works to preserve historical structures in the city.

Public Domain
Public Domain

Whatever site is chosen, let's hope this gets approved. A station along St. John Street would shave 15 minutes off the travel times.

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