LEWISTON — Rail backers and local officials will be on hand Tuesday to discuss rail service between Portland and the Twin Cities.

The Maine Chapter of the Sierra Club is hosting an event to celebrate International Transit Day at the banquet hall of the Royal Oak Room, the refurbished former Maine Central Railroad station at 1 Bates St.

Called Rail n’ Ales, the event is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.

Mayor Robert Macdonald, state Sen. Margaret Craven, State Rep. Wayne Werts and Robert Thompson, executive director of the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, will talk about the next steps needed to bring rail to the downtown.

They’ll be joined by Tony Donovan of the National Association of Realtors Smart Growth Action program. Donovan is an advocate of bringing rail back to the Twin Cities on the St. Lawrence and Atlantic rail line, running from India Street in Portland through Falmouth, downtown Yarmouth and New Gloucester and ending in Auburn.

Topics will include a project update and discussions about the economic and environmental benefits of expanding passenger rail in Maine.

The event will include a tour of the refurbished Ironhorse Court and Royal Oak Room, which served as the Lewiston depot for the Maine Central Railroad from 1916 to 1960. It was operated as the Steel Service Center until 2008, when owner Robert Roy Jr. began working to turn it into an event center.

For more information about Tuesday’s meeting, contact maine.chapter@sierraclub.org or call 207 761-5616.

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