Maine's two largest developments, the $82 million rebuild of the mill's in Saco and the proposed $100 million Thompson Point project are both predicated on access to the Downeaster and good rail service to Boston.
Now grants to upgrade the Vermonter route have sparked interest in development along it's route.
"In towns and cities throughout the 350-mile corridor between New Haven and Montreal, officials . . . are anticipating high-speed commuter and interstate rail. They're now making initial plans to refurbish train stations into retail and office space as the first step toward remaking downtowns as pedestrian-friendly residential, commercial and shopping districts," the Associated Press writes
Throughout the country "Transit Oriented Development" is prospering at a time when housing starts and construction in general are flat.
Younger folks want the urban lifestyle of being able to walk. It's more environmentally sustainable and culturally rich.
At the center is the train station.
"It's not just about the train service," said Timothy Brennan, executive director of the Springfield, Mass. Pioneer Valley Planning Commission told the Associated Press. "It's how train service becomes a catalyst for development.
"I've been patiently and arduously trying to get rail back to Burlington," Moulton said.