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
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.