The Coastliner train on a section of the 57-mile Rockland Branch tracks. Courtesy of Midcoast Railservice

The new Coastliner train connecting Brunswick and Rockland is launching another trial run this weekend ahead of its expected launch next month.

The train, which debuted during the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland earlier this month, will make three round trips from Wiscasset to Bath Saturday. The train, which seats 76 people, will arrive at the Wiscasset waterfront at 9 a.m.; the first trip is at 10 a.m. and will arrive in Bath 40 minutes later. The second trip is at 12:20 p.m. and the third is at 2:40 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for an adult and $10 for children under 13. Infants are free. Reservations can be made on the Coastliner website.

“In a time of concern about resource conservation and environmental sensitivity, the public needs to be reconditioned to think about options other than the automobile and truck,” George Betke, co-founder and vice president of train operator Midcoast Railservice, said in a statement. “The spacious, restroom-equipped Coastliner offers a fuel-efficient, environmentally preferable means of public transportation with comfortable seating, oversized windows, climate control and internet access.”

Midcoast Railservice leased the 57-mile Rockland Branch tracks, which were built in the 1870s and refurbished in 2004, from MaineDOT last year through 2025 and has run freight cars on the line. It’s planning to launch the Coastliner next month for weekend service. Billed as an excursion experience, it will take about two hours to reach Rockland from Brunswick, with stops in Bath, Wiscasset and Newcastle planned.

A second 76-seat train is expected to be added soon after the service launches. Ticket prices are still being determined.

Maine Central Railroad operated a passenger line on the Rockland Branch in the early 1900s, and there have been several succeeding passenger lines. The last was Maine Eastern Railroad, which ran a passenger line that was shut down in 2015.

Midcoast Railservice, Amtrak and the Maine Department of Transportation have discussed using the Coastliner to extend Amtrak service from the Brunswick Visitor Center to Rockland, possibly next year.

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