NEWCASTLE — A proposal by Amtrak to bring passenger train service back to Rockland could happen as early as this summer if the finances from both the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority and communities along the way comes through.

Amtrak Coastal Connection would have a train running to Rockland on summer weekends. Previously serviced by Maine Eastern Railroad, the route has been without any passenger rail since 2015 after the state of Maine ended a contract with the company.

Patricia Quinn, executive director of NNEPRA, gave the Newcastle Select Board an overview of why the service could work, and what it would take to make it happen.

“This is really just the beginning of kind of a dialogue, to get us hopefully to a place where we can run a few trains a week up the coastline of Maine, because it’s so beautiful here,” said Quinn. “The reason (for this meeting) is to get your feedback, get your input.”

Currently, NNEPRA has one train sitting idle at the Brunswick Layover Facility during some days. With the demise of Maine Eastern, the idea formed to use that train  for excursions up to Rockland during the summer.

According to Quinn, the infrastructure is almost already there. “We’re going to use the existing resources that we have,” she said.

That includes the state of the rails, which Quinn said are in great shape. “The line was rehabilitated by a state and federal project back about 15 years ago, and is really in very good shape. It’s a solid piece of infrastructure that has been maintained.”

If the route comes together, one trip on Friday evening and two trips Saturday and Sunday would be planned. In addition, NNEPRA would make efforts to get the Amtrak Great Dome Car for the route, as well.

“I think it would really be an asset, and I think it would really draw people,” said Quinn.

Four stops on the route are proposed: Bath, Wiscasset, Newcastle, and Rockland. For many of those locations, infrastructure exists that allows passengers to get off the train and visit the community.

For those that don’t, or for those that have incomplete infrastructure like Newcastle, the community would have to invest in the proper equipment to allow passengers to disembark.

“The building is a little rough, the parking lot is a little rough, but the bones are there for a train to be able to stop,” said Quinn of Newcastle’s station, on Academy Hill Road. Both the station and the freight shed still stand at that location.

Select Board members were instantly enthusiastic to the idea of having Amtrak visit again.

“This has been on Newcastle’s wish list for a long time,” said Ben Frey, a select board member. “I’ve never heard a single person say that they didn’t want the train to come back. I think we’re a big yes.”

Some officials from other towns were present to hear about the proposal, too. Christoper Hall, town administrator for Bristol, said he would be interested in some sort of connectivity to the station.

Stephanie Gallagher, executive director of the Damariscotta Region Chamber of Commerce, said she and most business owners are also enthusiastic about the idea of rail coming back.

“I can’t see how it would be negative to the area,” she said. “It’s driving more economic development to the area, it can’t be a negative thing.”

Making it happen this summer, said Quinn, would take a lot of work and the cooperation of multiple municipalities and organizations, but she’s optimistic that things can come together.

“I’d like to see a couple trains this summer, to be honest,” she said. “I think it would really be an asset, and I think it would really draw people.”

NNEPRA will also present its plans to the Wiscasset Select Board at 6 p.m. Jan. 23, and Rockland City Council at 5:30 Jan. 24.