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A non-profit group working to enhance rail service in Maine and New England

The History of Maine Rail Group

MRG, Inc. (Maine Rail Group) was founded in 1988 to help save the former Maine Central "Lower Road" main line between Brunswick and Augusta from abandonment. That effort was successful and the State of Maine leases sections.

Soon after the group's formation, it was given three passenger rail cars formerly owned by the Norfolk & Western Railroad. After retirement from N&W passenger service in the early 1970's those cars became part of an off-line restaurant in Sabbatus, Maine. The two coaches were restored for rail excursions and were used for a time by the former Maine Coast Railroad, later sold to Finger Lakes Railway in Geneva, NY for a new career in excursion service. The third car, a 1948 Pullman-Standard diner long used on N&W's "Powhatan Arrow", was sold to Conway Scenic Railroad and moved by rail from Newcastle, Maine to North Conway, NH in November, 2008. CSRR extensively remodelled it as a full service diner and it enterred service in 2010 on their Crawford Notch Line as the "Hattie Evans", honoring an historical railroad family of the region.

MRG, Inc. is an independent all-volunteer group that promoting awareness of railroads' contributions to Maine's economy and their important role in moving passengers and freight. It advocates for railroad utilization and encourages preservation and productive use of Maine's rail system and its regional connections. We are currently advocating legislative action on the extension of passenger service from Brunswick to Bangor, and/or Portland-Lewiston-Bangor routes (Link). We follow and inform our members and the public of rail-related developments through our bimonthly newsletter, bi-annually updated railroad maps, contacts with railroad and public officials, state DOT's, Maine Better Transportation Association, TrainRiders Northeast, NH Rail Revitalization Association, the 470 Club, Maine Rail Transit Coalition (MRTC) and other throughout New England (link). We encourage dialogue among railroad interests, and the general public for mutual education and rail expansion opportunities.


©2021 MRG,Inc.~ P.O. Box 5494, Augusta ME 04332