In response to Tony Donovan’s letter (March 21), I do not profess to be an “expert” on railroad development, but I daresay my hands-on experience in railroad operations goes back long before he drew breath.

Donovan reveals Jared Golden’s and Nate Libby’s plan, which somewhat misleads those familiar with the line by omitting that, in not calling for crossing Back Cove, indicates that Lewiston trains between Yarmouth Junction and Amtrak’s Portland depot will move via PanAm Railway’s Brunswick line, which requires a lease/rental agreement with PanAm for using its tracks between there and Portland, or by transfer of passengers at that junction to/from Downeaster trains. Either option also requires a separate lease/rental agreement to utilize Pan-Am’s tracks between Danville Junction and Lewiston.

The $25 million cost for rehabbing 16 miles of “key trackage,” and undoubtedly acquiring bits of adjacent commercial real estate for flagstop shelters and parking purposes, is a serious waste of tax dollars when PanAm’s near parallel tracks already exist from Portland to Danville Junction, and a single lease/rental agreement to use those rails the entire distance to Lewiston would not be consuming that amount of money for a good 30 years or more, as well as restoring passenger rail service much sooner than in four or five years.

I may be old and deranged, but I am not derailed at recognizing pork barrel wasting of taxpayer dollars, and spending $25 million rehabbing Danville to Yarmouth Junction tracks certainly qualifies as such.

John R. Davis, Paris

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