Brunswick Layover Facility
NNEPRA is in the process of developing a Downeaster passenger train layover facility in Brunswick to maximize the utility and efficiency of expanded Downeaster service. A design/build contract to construct the facility has recently been awarded to Consigli Construction Company of Portland, Maine. The facility is proposed to be located at the site of the Brunswick rail yard, located between Church Road and Stanwood Street, approximately .6 miles west of the Brunswick Station. In the coming months, Consigli will prepare preliminary design plans for the facility.
The layover facility is proposed to include a set of railroad storage tracks and switches, a building to be used for the overnight storage of rail passenger equipment, and ancillary components to accommodate daily service and maintenance functions associated with rail passenger equipment. The layover building is intended to accommodate the overnight storage of three diesel locomotive-powered passenger train sets used for the Downeaster service. The approximate dimensions of the single story building are 635 feet long by 70 feet wide with a maximum height of 37 feet. Offices, locker rooms, wash rooms and storage facilities will be incorporated in an attachment on the north side of the building. The building will be equipped with a ventilation system to handle locomotive exhaust and will be heated. Three tracks will access the ends of the layover building on both the east and west sides, connecting through a series of switches to the railroad main line. A fourth siding track will be constructed outdoors adjacent to the south side of the building to allow for the possible storage of spare passenger cars. The building and yard tracks will have a “double-ended” configuration to allow for trains to arrive or depart in either direction.
The NNEPRA Board of Directors voted to select the Rail Yard (also known as the Brunswick West Site) as the proposed site for the layover based on recommendations made by consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff following a formal Siting Evaluation Study. The Siting Evaluation Study reviewed alternative site locations and considered the ability of the site to support Downeaster operations, potential environmental impacts resulting from the project, and mitigation for potential adverse impacts. The Study included a full complement of environmental site evaluation components including:
· natural resource evaluation and impact analysis
· hazardous materials identification and mitigation plan development
· air, noise and vibration impact assessment
· environmental documentation
Public meetings were held in Brunswick on June 23, 2011 and July 14, 2011 to provide an overview of the layover facility components, discuss alternate sites and gather feedback concerning specific sites.
The findings of the Siting Evaluation Study Report were presented at a Special (public) Meeting of the NNEPRA Board of Directors in Brunswick on August 18, 2011. Following the selection of a proposed site during its regular public meeting on August 22, 2011, the NNEPRA Board of Directors created an Advisory Group comprised of representatives from NNEPRA, Amtrak, MaineDOT and the Town of Brunswick including the Town Planner, elected officials and community members of the public to ensure stakeholders had input into the facility design.
Design performance specifications were completed in January 2012 and a public solicitation for a Design Build Contractor to build the facility was conducted. Consigli Construction was selected, having scored most favorably throughout the technical and price proposal process.
Construction on the Brunswick layover facility cannot begin until the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) makes a final determination that the project as proposed, complies with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). A draft Environmental Assessment (EA) which describes the need for the project and investigates the potential effects on physical, biological and human resources that could occur as a result of its implementation is currently under review and will be made available for public comment before a final determination is made.