AUGUSTA — Passenger rail expansion supporters say it’s a sure-fire economic development tool.
Currently, several bills dealing with passenger rail service are making their way through the legislative process.
Among the bills is one to fund a feasibility study on the viability of extending rail service from Brunswick to Bangor.
The Bangor senator who’s sponsoring the bill said rail service was never meant to be just for southern Maine.
“I believe that it makes sense. I believe there’s economic opportunity for a lot of parts of Maine where economic revitalization has overlooked, and I think this is an important opportunity that we only get once in a generation,” Sen. Joseph Baldacci, D-Bangor, said.
Baldacci made his remarks during a virtual seminar held by the Maine Rail Group, which favors expanding passenger rail service in Maine.
Others speaking at the seminar cited development projects that have taken place around railroad stations in southern Maine.
The legislature’s Transportation Committee members are expected to hold public hearings on some of the passenger rail proposals during the beginning of May.