I worked for over 10 years for the Maine Central Railroad and enjoyed every minute of it. For about twice as long, I have served as a docent on the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad. Bottom line: I’m a railroad enthusiast.

Nevertheless, I applaud Pem Schaeffer’s Nov. 12 Maine Voices column outlining the financial and ridership details of our Downeaster passenger service.

It’s an inexcusable, huge waste of taxpayer dollars to spend money on rail upgrades and extensions when that money is so badly needed for our highways and bridges.

I haven’t done the math, but I speculate that for the same amount of money, we could offer free bus service in the same territory. And I’m as happy as a clam taking the bus to and from Boston.

John Parker