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Downeaster Expansion

Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority
Downeaster Expansion Project

Cost Estimate: $38 million


This project will expand Amtrak Downeaster service from Portland to Freeport and Brunswick. The Downeaster currently makes five daily round trips between Boston and Portland, serving 10 communities in three states along its 116-mile corridor.


Elements include rehabilitation of 30 miles of track, installation of signals, and upgrades to 36 grade crossings.


Work is well underway, with 27 miles of new rail installed and 211 joints welded. More than 19,000 ties were laid down and 13,000 tons of ballast delivered. There have been 30 grade crossings rehabilitated, and warning devices have been installed or replaced at 27 of those.


Turnout construction and signal design is continuing throughout the winter as weather permits. Service to Freeport and Brunswick is expected to begin in November 2012 once all improvements are completed.


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