BETHEL — The Board of Selectmen unanimously voted Monday evening to draft a letter of support for a proposed “Hotel Train” to run between Montreal and Boston through Western Maine and New Hampshire.

Montreal entrepreneur Francois Rebello, the man responsible for the proposal, said during a meeting of the Androscoggin-Oxford-Coos Counties Corridor Committee that he envisioned the train being a luxury overnight service that would collect travelers in the evening in Montreal and arrive in Boston the next morning with possible stops in Bethel and on the southern Maine coast.

He added that an overnight train would be attractive for tourists, who could fall asleep in one city and wake up in another, and that some may find it cheaper than airfare.

“We think that we’re well positioned to get it here,” Town Manager Jim Doar said. “They would load the train in Montreal at night, have dinner, drinks, go to bed in sleeper cars and wake up in Boston. All the towns along the corridor are being asked to write letters of support to get some political momentum to help make this happen,” he said.

Bethel has a train station platform that would require some maintenance if it was selected as a stop, Doar said.

“It’s much better than having to build one from scratch,” he said. “I think it’d be a great idea.”


Resident Jessie Seymour Perkins said, “It’s believed that it’s the only passenger rail platform between Montreal and Portland.”

“I think that’s absolutely right,” Doar said.

In other business, the board approved residents Peter Hedden and Gabe Perkins to the Comprehensive Planning Committee.

Doar explained to residents that the Comprehensive Planning Committee meets every 10 years or so to update the plan.

The board also unanimously voted to move forward with applying for a Recreational Trail Program grant to extending the Bethel Pathway that connects Route 2 to Davis Park.

Doar said Carol Bourque, a member of the Mahoosuc Pathways, is “working diligently” to get the grant.

“She actually wrote the grant, along with Gabe Perkins, so the board would be voting to give them approval to submit an application for the grant,” Doar said. The ultimate goal would be to “extend the pathway to Angevine Pond and Bingham Forest.”

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