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BIW Trolley Tours Suspended for 2014

January 30, 2014

BATH, Maine, Jan. 30, 2014…The highly popular behind-the-scenes trolley tours of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard, conducted by Maine Maritime Museum, will be suspended for the 2014 summer season.

            The decision to halt the tours was made by BIW officials because of the concerns for visitor safety and shipyard security during what will be a highly demanding period of activity in the yard during the upcoming year. Construction is scheduled to begin on a new 51,315-square-foot outfitting building, various older buildings will be demolished and replaced and other facilities will be upgraded. In addition, work on four ships will be ongoing simultaneously in the yard - two Zumwalt-class destroyers and two Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers.          

            “We are very disappointed that BIW Trolley Tours will not be available this season,” said Amy Lent, executive director of the museum. “People, including many veterans, travel from all over the country to learn how these great ships are built for the U.S. Navy. They learn about the passion, dedication and commitment that Maine shipbuilders have for their work. It’s been a unique opportunity for Americans to see their tax dollars at work supporting our nation’s defense.”

            The museum staff is currently developing other trolley tours that will give visitors a sense of the magnitude of Maine’s shipbuilding heritage, both past and present, and insight into the area’s history.  Information about those tours will be posted on the museum’s website as soon as it is finalized.

            In addition to other historic trolley tours of Bath, the museum’s Kennebec River cruises will be enhanced to provide added emphasis on BIW from the water.

            “The DDG 1000 is an amazing ship and seeing it from the water is astonishing. We’ll do all we can to provide visitors an opportunity to learn about Maine shipbuilding excellence in other ways if the trolley can’t access the BIW shipyard,” said Lent.  

            “Discussions with the shipyard about resuming the trolley tours in the future are underway,” she noted.

            The BIW Trolley Tour has been reviewed by a large number of regional and travel publications and online travel blogs and newsletters.  It was called a “must-see” by the Boston Globe, a “Best of Maine” by Down East magazine and a “Best of New England” by Yankee magazine.

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