Senator Collins Announces More Than $2.1 Million for Railroad That Serves the Downeaster Amid COVID-19

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA) has been awarded $2,140,075 for operating and preventive maintenance expenses.  This funding, awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA), was allocated through a section of the CARES Act that Senator Collins authored that directed $48.5 billion to support transportation and housing programs.


“Passenger rail systems are facing significant financial pressures due to the ongoing pandemic.  The Downeaster serves as an economic engine for Maine, providing good jobs, supporting local vendors of goods and services, and strengthening our tourism industry,” said Senator Collins.  “This critical investment will allow the Downeaster to make important improvements to its rail line in Maine, enhancing safety, efficiency, and reliability for the hundreds of thousands of passengers who use this service each year.”


As the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Collins announced more than $83 million earlier this year to help Maine’s public transportation systems respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The NNEPRA is a public transportation authority created in 1995 by the Maine State Legislature to develop and provide passenger rail service between Maine and Boston and points within Maine.