One flaw with Portland’s passenger rail connection has been the fact that you practically need a car to get to the train station.

And visitors who take the Downeaster from Boston to Portland have to take a taxi or a bus to reach any of the city’s attractions.

That may change following a federally funded study scheduled to get under way this spring by The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, which will look, among other things, at sites for a new station on Commercial Street.

The driving force behind the study is cutting the time for a trip, both between Portland and Boston and Portland and Brunswick. Moving the station to Commercial Street would do both.

But train riders would welcome the move for another reason. One of the beauties of travel by train is the way they can take you exactly where you want to go, close to the desitinations in the heart of the city.

A downtown train station would be a big improvement for the Downeaster passengers, and for the city.