Re: “Decision for Amtrak is a ‘huge’ win,” June 18:

With the Federal Rail Administration concluding that a 650-foot-long Brunswick train layover facility will have no significant impact on the environment, Patricia Quinn and her cohorts at the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority apparently construe this to be concurrence with their claim of its being needed to reduce fuel costs, pollution and eliminate noise, and now appear to be dancing in the streets in anticipation of receiving a $12 million government grant to fund it with.

I may lack degrees in business administration and high finance, but I’ve been around long enough to recognize agency pork barrel projects that waste taxpayer dollars.

This idea certainly does, causing me to wonder if any of the masterminds on the FRA and NNEPRA payrolls have ever visited major passenger rail terminals, as exist in Boston, New York, Chicago, Oakland, Calif., Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, to observe how layover operations are conducted.

Efficient management requires their diesel units be shut down between scheduled runs during warm weather and by connections from external electrical power sources to the heater plug in engine blocks when freezing temperatures are the norm, which both cuts fuel costs and curbs pollution.

The FRA and NNEPRA observers would also note there are no huge barns housing entire passenger trains; what maintenance facilities exist are small buildings accommodating but one or two pieces of equipment receiving extensive repairs; that routine inspections are performed in Mother Nature’s environment, and the ensuing pings of ball-peen hammers checking for running gear defects is no more disturbing than a city street sweeper’s whine passing by one’s window or the squeal of a snowplow clearing roads.

Brunswick’s town fathers would serve their community’s and federal taxpayers well by denying a permit to construct such an unneeded monstrosity.

John R. Davis

South Paris