(Via the Trains.com Newswire)
BRUNSWICK, Maine – The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority has authorized the award of a design-build contract for a layover facility in Brunswick for Amtrak Downeaster service trains. The contract was awarded to Consigli Construction Company of Portland and will cost about $12 million. It will take up to 18 months to complete.
The facility will be constructed on property owned by the authority between Church Road and Stanwood Street, and will provide an enclosed facility to service trains during the day and overnight. Trains are currently serviced outdoors adjacent to the Portland Transportation Center on Thompson’s Point. Before construction can begin, an environmental assessment must be conducted, and the Federal Railroad Administration must approve the design and location.
Once the Brunswick layover is complete, the Downeaster will make one additional daily round-trip between Brunswick and Boston without increasing the current frequency of train movements. Presently, trains travel between the Portland and Brunswick at the beginning and end of each day. The Brunswick facility will eliminate the need for trains to idle outside for hours each afternoon between runs, enabling them to be brought inside and shut down for servicing. The 60,000-square-foot, two-story building will be large enough to accommodate three complete Downeaster train sets plus additional locomotives.
The authority said it has secured a funding source for the new facility. The Portland Transit District became an urbanized area after the 2010 U.S. Census, so it now qualifies for a release of federal formula funds.
The Boston-Portland Downeaster was extended to Brunswick in November 2012, with early ridership exceeding the rail authority’s projections.