News from the Belfast & Moosehead line
By Robert E. Holland
Since 2008, the Brooks Preservation Society (BPS), has operated the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad owned by the state of Maine. Investing in the railroad has infused dollars into the Waldo County economy.
Most notable were the many tour buses that the railroad handled near the end of the 2012 season. The buses brought overnight visitors to the state, tourists who stayed over one or two nights in Belfast to enjoy a train ride on a scenic and historic rail line. The tour bus operators indicated the tours that included a train ride were among their most popular offering. Increased tour bus business is forecasted for 2013.
Ridership on the train to the Common Ground Fair from Thorndike and Unity has surged over the past couple of years. The train has reduced congestion on Route 139 leading in to the fair grounds. The train stops in the fair to discharge passengers.
The 2013 season started out on a positive note. BPS received the H. Albert Webb Memorial grant to repair the foundation of the historic Brooks, Maine, passenger station. Mr. Webb had a keen interest in the railroads of New England. In his honor, his son established a foundation that funds worthy projects with the intent to preserve New England railroad heritage. The grant money will allow BPS to start work this spring.
This year, seasonal train operations will begin Memorial Day weekend, with trains departing at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. from the City Point Railroad Museum in Belfast on Saturday, Sunday and holiday Mondays.
FMI: Any organization or individual that would like to contribute to the repair and renovation of the station – be it material or money – is encouraged to contact BPS at 722-3899 or firstname.lastname@example.org
. For information about the line, visit www.brookspreservation.org