BRUNSWICK, Maine (NECN) - A neighborhood group in Mid-Coast Maine has launched a new website in hopes of putting the brakes on a controversial railroad project.
The Brunswick West Neighborhood Coalition says the proposed 65,000 sq. ft. $12.2 million layover facility would ruin the quiet character of their community.
"They're trying to stuff a big giant building into this little space," said Coalition Chairman Dan Sullivan pointing to a wooded lot just a few hundred feet from his home on Bouchard Street.
"All morning when we're sleeping, they'll be making noise and the smoke from the trains in the summer will come this way when they're idling," said Sullivan.
But the Executive Director for the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, Patricia Quinn, says for logistical reasons, it makes sense to build the layover facility at the end of the line in Brunswick less than a mile from the train stop.
"There aren't other sites that have the size, topography and access to the railroad that are suitable to our needs," said Quinn.
She says the project will allow Amtrak to add a third daily round trip out of Brunswick.
But neighbors say a complex the size of two football fields simply shouldn't be located between two neighborhoods with hundreds of homes.
They've launched a website www.savebrunswickwest.com to increase public awareness and encourage people to sign a petition in favor of relocating the facility to a more commercial-industrial location.
"If people can look at our website they'll come to see we are fighting for them," said Sullivan. Quinn says they did look at seven other locations, but none suited their needs as well as the lot between Church and Standwood streets.
Pending an environmental review by the Federal Railroad Administration she she says hopes the project will move ahead. Residents who supported the train coming to town, say they wish they'd had a better understanding of the baggage that came with it.