Senator Collins Announces More Than $17 Million for Maine Railroad Improvements

Funding will improve approximately 75 miles of railroad track in Kennebec, Androscoggin, and Cumberland counties

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) has been awarded $17,468,840 for infrastructure upgrades and rail crossing safety improvements along approximately 75 miles of the Pan Am Railways freight mainline in rural parts of central and southern Maine.  This funding has been awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) fiscal year (FY) 2018 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program.

 

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao called Senator Collins this afternoon to notify her that these projects for which Senator Collins strongly advocated were approved.

 

“I am delighted to announce that the State of Maine will receive an investment of more than $17 million to make important improvements to this rail line in central and southern Maine, increasing the corridor’s safety, efficiency, and reliability,” said Senator Collins.  “In my travels throughout Maine, I’ve seen firsthand the positive effects of investing in our railroads to improve safety and boost our economy.  Enhancing the rail connection between manufacturers and the forest products industry and their markets can create a competitive advantage for Maine, helping to create jobs in rural parts of our state.”

 

Through this project, MaineDOT will address rail safety concerns by replacing equipment that, in some cases, is almost 50 years old.  The project will modernize 75 miles of Pan Am Railway mainline track in Maine, including replacing 37 miles of rail, upgrading 25 switches, at-grade rail crossings, extending and upgrading an existing siding, replacing signal systems, and replacing bridge deck timbers on eight rail bridges.

 

In September 2018, Senators Collins and Angus King sent a letter in support of MaineDOT’s grant application.

 

As Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Collins has continuously worked to ensure the CRISI Program is funded.

 

The CRISI grant program directs much-needed critical investment to rural America. By directing at least 25 percent of available funds towards rural communities, the Department is able to safely connect and upgrade rural America’s rail infrastructure.