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Old 10-13-2012, 09:30 AM
 
17,161 posts, read 22,175,230 times
Reputation: 31232

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about 12 years ago, I remember getting in a train in richmond, we went to brunswick, for some event and came back to richmond...
they charged, ,,the passengers cars were packed,,,,
I remember the ride well,,,
an older model, everything shook and rattled,,,,tho it was fun,, even tho ,all I could imagine was just going off the rail and into the kennebec river,,,,

if more "events were planned that included train rides,,,(even if it wasnt that far),,this would work with existing trains- kids love trains..


there's enough history along the tracks,,,that people would pay for rides/tours with a train ride. gotta have a tour guide ,,,,serve beer/wine and on certain nights,,and this would work..- if they are already doing this- they need to market better
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:18 PM
 
1,360 posts, read 1,856,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mainebrokerman View Post
about 12 years ago, I remember getting in a train in richmond, we went to brunswick, for some event and came back to richmond...
they charged, ,,the passengers cars were packed,,,,
I remember the ride well,,,
an older model, everything shook and rattled,,,,tho it was fun,, even tho ,all I could imagine was just going off the rail and into the kennebec river,,,,

if more "events were planned that included train rides,,,(even if it wasnt that far),,this would work with existing trains- kids love trains..


there's enough history along the tracks,,,that people would pay for rides/tours with a train ride. gotta have a tour guide ,,,,serve beer/wine and on certain nights,,and this would work..- if they are already doing this- they need to market better
You can sell just about anything with the right marketing strategy, right?
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:23 PM
 
1,360 posts, read 1,856,424 times
Reputation: 1244
mainebrokerman: Here's a train you might like to ride and see some wildlife. Downeast Scenic Railroad | Travel Maine's historic Calais Branch Line in a beautifully restored vintage train. Tomorrow is the last chance for this year. (no alcoholic beverages allowed, but you can bring your dog if you have one)

Maybe I've overlooked something, but I don't see any evidence of relying on the government/tax money to fund this rehabilitation endeavor. I'm ok with that. http://www.downeastscenicrail.org/ride/about/history/

Pick your favorite http://www.dieselairhorns.com/sounds.html

Here's the link for anyone who wants to support this non profit organization the Downeast Rail Heritage Preservation Trust. http://www.downeastscenicrail.org/ride/donate-support/

Last edited by mainegrl2011; 10-13-2012 at 12:39 PM..
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:09 PM
 
Location: World
3,148 posts, read 3,210,342 times
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How many roads, highways in this country are self-supporting?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mainegrl2011 View Post
I don't think so. alot of Mainers who want a system connecting all the cities? Really? I'd like to see your survey results. From the article in the Press Herald I would say more people are interested in riding the train to visit Boston than vice versa. I don't think all that many Mainers want a system connecting all the cities. The train would provide an option, but I don't consider riding on a train living more freely. A train is not the way to see Maine. Well, maybe for you--should I say with your NJ ideas.

The Press Herald mentioned that the train isn't self-supporting (54% of the $15 million operating budget is funded by ticket sales and food purchases) 80% of the subsidy comes from the federal government. Is this something the Federal government really needs to spend money on? Is the train really helping Maine's economy that significantly? The article also says that $1.5 million comes from the state from a portion of tax on rental cars. Is there something else that the state could better spend the $1.5 million on? The article also speaks about a new Inn in Brunswick built specifically in anticipation of the train. Time will tell as to whether the Inn was worth the investment.
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:59 PM
 
468 posts, read 611,460 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mainegrl2011 View Post
Hi beltrams: TWT I hope for the sake of Maine's economy that you are right....However, security woes aren't exclusive to airplanes. Wasn't it a train that was attacked (blown up) in both Spain and England. When the airlines go out of business due to high jet fuel prices or ridership dips due to the high ticket costs, TSA can transfer to train stations.

I have relatives who enjoy a trip to Boston via train now and then. This benefits the economy of Boston. My mom used to speak fondly about passenger trains, but that was reflecting on a time when her other options were walking or horses, a time when most people didn't have a car. A good friend of mine used to be an engineer on a train...Brownville Junction. I think this was my first (or maybe second--doesn't matter) mention of subsidies so don't try to suppress freedom of speech. Regarding the funding gap you mention of 85-90%. Which part of the country was that--Amtrak overall nationwide? The Press Herald says the Downeaster is only 54% self supporting. The federal government paid about 80% of the subsidy, leaving 20% to the State of Maine.

Sounds like Portland needs to do a better job of marketing Portland and providing easily accessible transportation to the sites for tourists who get off the Downeaster. Portland isn't my favorite city, but there are touristy things to do there. Maybe we should revive travel by stagecoach (horses)--certainly that would save on gasoline and jet fuel and be a tourist magnet. Rental cars? Who needs them? Get out the Clydesdales and offer sleigh rides in the snow right off the train station in Freeport and Brunswick. No, I'm not being sarcastic, I'm being serious. Bar Harbor is offering horse and carriage rides much like les caleches in Quebec City. The Brunswick Inn has been built in the hopes that the train tourists will come.

There's more oil to be drilled right here in the U.S. of A. to keep the U.S. going for many years, but that is another discussion. I don't think there's any need for gasoline or jet fuel to be priced at $6 a gallon.

Yes, I was thinking after I posted that TSA could indeed transfer to trains :-)

But in reality, taking over a train doesn't get a terrorist nearly as much as commandeering a plane as a train is quite limited in where it can go by the track it runs on and the fact that track switches are controlled remotely. It's also much harder to put TSA folks at most of the smaller rail and bus stations that only see one or two trains or buses stopping a day and maybe only a dozen passengers at each stop compared to airports that are centralized things serving hundreds to many thousands of passengers a day. (Hmm, that comment gets me to thinking about the TSA situation at Presque Isle....There's only like 2 flights a day there now, I think.....Talk about overpaid, useless, positions.)

Sorry about seeming as if my subsidies comments were directed mainly at you Mainegrl. I was thinking more of some discussions with others over the past year or so.

Yes, the 85% figure was for the nationwide system as a whole. I'm not sure where I read that, though.
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Maine's garden spot
3,095 posts, read 5,424,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beltrams View Post
Back when I lived in MA, I considered taking the Downeaster to Maine, but the problem of what to do and how to get out of the train station in Portland quickly ruled such a trip out. The problem is that the train doesn't/didn't go anywhere really interesting (I hate cities, Portland included.) On the other hand, I can see why Mainers would find taking the southbound trip useful. Boston is quite easy to get around in without a car once you step off the train in either North or South station and there's lots to do without ever leaving the city. There's also the MBTA, tons of rental cars (Zipcar included), and Logan Airport as well.

That all said, I think that service extension to Brunswick and Freeport changes this situation by quite a bit for the northbound tourist, especially if there were local transportation options available as well as places to stay close to Brunswick and Freeport stations.

Personally, I hope train service eventually extends to Bangor and even The County, the way it used to. Gasoline and diesel are eventually going to be priced beyond the means of mortal people thanks to explosive demand growth in China and India, combined with Peak Oil and electric cars will either be too expensive or won't have enough range for serious intercity travel.

It's no surprise train travel is on the increase. Then too there's the hassle of TSA at the airports.

As for subsidies, we've been over that a million times. All transportation modes are heavily subsidized, cars most of all, given that they benefit from the hundreds of billions of $$$ we have spent near annually on keeping access to Middle East oil open. Let's not go over this blatant fact any more. Amtrak's annual subsidy is on the order of 700 or so million dollars....about the price of one late model fighter plane...actually less than the plane. As well, Amtrak's national ridership continues to climb month after month and their revenue has been steadily coming closer to closing the funding gap every year. (It was up to about 85 or 89 percent if I recall correctly something I read a month or so ago.)

I predict that within 10 years, we'll see some of the major freight railroads get back into the passenger business as well. (This as opposed to pie-in-the-sky, super expensive, "high speed" rail.) Either RRs such as Warren Buffet's Burlington Northern Santa Fe will do it themselves or they'll sublease trackage rights to some other company or maybe supply the locomotives to pull other companies' cars as is already done on some long distance US tourist trains (yes, there are some besides Amtrak) and/or as the railroads used to do with the Pullman Company. The continuing woes regarding the world energy situation, the security woes at the TSA checkpoints in the airports, never mind the implications of $5 or $6 a gallon jet fuel, as well as the declining affordability of intercity automobile usage pretty much will push people back onto buses and trains.

Maybe then I'll see the return of trains such as this: The Potatoland Special - July, 1954 - Streamliner Schedules which, as an overnight train, is a schedule that fits my needs much better than the daytime Concord Coach/Cyr Bus Lines schedule to/from The County that presently exists.

Having trains drop tourists off in destination downtowns such as Freeport and Brunswick is a new, significant development and probably is a game changer.

'Sorry train haters.

I want to go to Hooterville...
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:39 PM
 
17,161 posts, read 22,175,230 times
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Originally Posted by AustinB View Post
I want to go to Hooterville...
it never rains in hooterville,,,

but at the junction?
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA/Dover-Foxcroft, ME
1,808 posts, read 2,892,417 times
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I wonder if there has ever been any talk about using the old rail trails that are now the Interconnected Trail System, ITS, from recreational use to new rail lines? It may come to that someday anyway as we steam into this century further.

A couple years ago I went to the Brunswick Station at a restaurant with family friends. They had told me that the line was coming up that way in a couple years and were very excited about it. They had visions of the new stop a boon for the town both from getting more tourists to locals using it to go south for work.

Funny thing about trains, I was just with my other CA sister the other day and we noticed a train right next to a new apartment building and I said, "Wow!, I' wish I brought my digital camera to take some pictures of the graffiti". She said "That's the ugliest thing I've ever seen. Trains are ugly. I hate trains". She would never take a picture of a train, anywhere. Man are we all different or what?
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:13 PM
 
468 posts, read 611,460 times
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My mom's house is within view of one of Boston's commuter rail lines and is a 10 minute walk from the town station and when visting, I never get tired of the train. Despite the fact that a few freight trains a day also use the line, the presence of rail is a definite plus as far as most people in the area are concerned.

As for taking back Its trails for rail in Maine, thinking of the trail that runs from Houlton to Presque Isle near me, I would think that the promise of new rail-induced benefits would have to be really pushed because as I see it, the present trail use is well patronized as is and many folks might be very hesitant to give it back for railroad use. In any case, the only gain for that particular rail line would be for passenger use and given that the present bus has only something like 20 or so riders a day, it will be some time before the area could support even a single, small train again.

Oh well.

I am not even sure who owns the Its rail bed real estate near me. Anybody know?
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Out West
20,632 posts, read 15,431,629 times
Reputation: 24176
Oh nevermind, it's not even worth it. Post edited.

Last edited by Three Wolves In Snow; 10-14-2012 at 11:37 PM..
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