ROCKLAND — There will be no passenger train service between Brunswick and Rockland this summer.

Amtrak was unable to conduct a risk assessment of the 58 miles of track along the route, which is necessary before service can resume, Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, said Tuesday.

Quinn said Amtrak had other existing routes to tend to before it could review the Brunswick-to-Rockland line, and there was not enough time for the assessment to be done to start this summer’s proposed pilot program. Amtrak must make sure the track is able to handle the speeds of passenger trains.

Quinn said she hoped, however, that a more robust schedule could be in place for the summer of 2019. “We want to take the momentum started this year and roll into next year,” Quinn said.

Gordon Page, executive director of Rockland Main Street Inc., said Tuesday that the news was disappointing to the downtown business district. He said, however, that he expects a lengthier schedule to be offered in subsequent years.

The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority Board voted on Feb. 26 to proceed with a three-week pilot program for passenger train service between Brunswick and Rockland in 2018.


The trains were expected to run for three weekends, including during the Maine Lobster Festival and the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors show in August.

Board members said they’d received more than two dozen letters of support from local community members, according to Page. Board members also cited the enthusiastic support of the communities, particularly Rockland.

The train was to make stops in Bath, Wiscasset and Newcastle, as well as Rockland.

The train station is owned by the Maine Department of Transportation, but Rockland would be responsible for installing lighting outside the station, as well as maintaining the platform.

Amtrak also had to negotiate with Central Maine and Quebec Railway, which leases the 58-mile Brunswick-to-Rockland line to move freight.

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