POLAND — All are invited to join elected officials and community leaders across Northern New England to establish an advocacy voice for Passenger Rail to Montreal. Lunch and working sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, at Poland Spring Resort.

Bethel Area Nonprofit Collaborative is facilitating the Rail Rally which will focus on the dynamic and evolving questions, ideas and considerations that arise in bringing rail to western Maine, Bethel and beyond to northern New Hampshire and eventually Montreal. The Oxford Hills Chamber is also a sponsor of this event.

Topics for discussion will include:

* the need for and providing ancillary services (e.g., transportation to and from train stations);

* economic development along rail and around stations;

* political will to support passenger rail service through western Maine;

* funding for operating and capital expenditures;

* passenger demand for rail.

Along with passenger rail, the group is also advocating for:

* community transportation planning that is focused on alternative and non-motorized travel;

* public transit with more compact, multi-modal service center redevelopment;

* smart growth principals for sustainable development;

* commuter rail service between Portland and Auburn.

The day’s keynote speaker is Christopher A. Coes, the managing director for LOCUS, a network of real estate developers and investors who advocate for sustainable, walkable development.

There is a $25 registration fee.

For more information, contact Western Maine Economic Development Council at 207-739-6545 or [email protected]