Monday, January 17, 2011

Three Maine Towns Compete for New Maine Narrow Gauge Museum site

Three towns to compete for new Maine Narrow Gauge Museum site - TRAINS Magazine

PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. and Museum will choose among three locations to relocate, the Falmouth Forecaster (Maine) has reported. Rising rent at its current Portland location is prompting the museum’s search for a new home.

Portland, Gray, and Monson, Maine, all submitted bids. None submitted offers of direct financial support. Monson’s bid includes an offer of a 624-square-foot room in its community center. Gray’s bid proposes reinstating the former right-of-way of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Railway. Portland said it was willing to partner with the railroad to “enhance programs, as well as directional signage and street lighting to your attractions.” The city says the train could eventually become a form of transportation along the waterfront.

The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. and Museum currently operates on a 1.5-mile loop of 2-foot-gauge track in Portland. It’s considering a move because retail rent costs along the city’s waterfront have risen high enough that the railroad can no longer invest as much as it wants in its 400-plus artifacts.

Brian Durham, president of the railroad’s board of trustees, said a relocation committee will meet over the next couple of months to consider the proposals. He expects the committee will issue a recommendation to the museum’s board in March.

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