Friday, February 20, 2015

Narrow Gauge Rail Museum to Remain in Portland ME Until 2017


PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum will stay put on Portland's eastern promenade for at least another year, after its new landlord agreed to a lease. The 2-foot-gauge museum plans to move its operation to Gray to allow the 10-acre waterfront property to be redeveloped.

Donnell Carroll, executive director of the museum, says he is pleased to have reached a lease agreement that maintains operations in Portland until a new facility is built roughly 25 miles away in Gray. Carroll says the agreement extends through 2016 into early 2017, giving the museum time to develop the Gray site.

The museum has much of the rolling stock of the old Edaville Railroad in Massachusetts, most of which came from two of Maine's fabled "two-footers," the Bridgton & Harrison and the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes railroads. It operates on about 1.5 miles of track along the Casco Bay waterfront, offering seasonal tourist rides and the popular Polar Express around the Christmas holiday.

A pending zoning change to allow the developers to build taller buildings for residential use is facing opposition from neighbors concerned about the impact on water views, as well as the historic Portland Co. buildings.

The Portland Co. built locomotives, rail cars, and ships at the site.

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