August 2, 2010

Downeaster expansion project officially under way

From staff and wire reports

BRUNSWICK — Steel rails have been delivered to signal the start of work on the $38 million extension of the Amtrak's Downeaster passenger train from Portland to Freeport and Brunswick.

click image to enlarge

Maine Gov. John Baldacci makes comments as new rail is laid next to old tracks in Brunswick today.

AP

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New ties are put into place along the rail track in Brunswick today as the project to extend service from Portland gets under way.

AP

Gov. John Baldacci was joined by officials from the Federal Railroad Administration, Pan Am Railways and the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority today in Brunswick for the formal kickoff of the project.

The project involves upgrading 30 miles of track to bring the train to Brunswick in 2012. Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, says the expansion will boost ridership by another 36,000 passengers each year.

9:42 a.m.

BRUNSWICK — Traffic could be delayed in the town of Brunswick while rails are being delivered to help expand the route of Maine's Amtrak Downeaster passenger train.

WMTW-TV says motorists in Brunswick today should expect lengthy delays at a few of the town's railroad crossings.

The rails are part of a $38 million, two-year effort to upgrade 30 miles of tracks between Portland and Brunswick.

Federal stimulus money is paying for $35 million of the project; the state is paying for the rest.

 

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