An engine of the Maine Eastern Railroad, which once carried midcoast passengers and was decommissioned in 2015, is shown in this 2007 file photo. Credit: BDN File

A new passenger train is coming to the midcoast in late August.

The Coastliner Excursion is a new passenger train that will connect Brunswick and Rockland with stops in Bath, Wiscasset and Newcastle, according to its website. The train will be geared toward tourists wanting to experience the scenery of the midcoast.

The midcoast rails haven’t seen a passenger train since 2015 when the Maine Eastern Railroad passenger train shut down, according to the Times Record.

passenger rail expansion plans

The Coastliner debuted at the Maine Lobster Festival last weekend, going about 12 miles to Warren and back, according to the Times Record. The full route  will go 57 miles from the Brunswick Visitor’s Center to Rockland, and last about two hours. The train will run Fridays through Sundays, the Times Record reported.

People can take the 76-passenger train for the full line, or get off at certain stops through the midcoast towns. There will also be a Wiscasset to Bath line, according to the Coastliner website. People can also charter the train for the day. Ticket prices are still being determined, according to the Times Record.

Though the Coastliner hasn’t fully opened yet, Amtrak, Midcoast Rail Service and the Maine Department of Transportation have discussed using the Coastliner to extend Amtrak services from Brunswick to the Rockland station in the future, according to the Times Record. It’s not clear when exactly service will begin.

Jules Walkup reports on the midcoast and is a Report for America corps member. They graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism and moved to Maine from Tampa, Florida in July 2023.