Senator Collins Announces Nearly $17 Million for Railroad That Serves the Downeaster

Funding will allow for the addition of a sixth round trip each day between Brunswick and Wells, meeting projected increase of passengers

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 $16,867,281 for infrastructure upgrades to railways in Wells, North Berwick, and Brunswick.  This funding has been awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) fiscal year (FY) 2019 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program.

 

“In the recent years, the Downeaster has set new records for both ridership and ticket revenue.  It is an economic engine for Maine, providing good jobs, supporting Maine vendors of goods and services, and strengthening our tourism industry,” said Senator Collins.  “With this funding, the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority will be able to make important improvements to this rail line in southern and midcoast Maine, increasing the corridor’s capacity and improving safety, efficiency, and reliability for the hundreds of thousands of passengers who use this service each year.”

 

Through this project, NNEPRA will construct a six-mile extension of an existing two-mile passing siding on the Pan Am Railway's Freight Main Line in Wells, along with a new passenger platform and pedestrian bridge at the Wells Transportation Center (Wells Station).  The improvements will provide needed capacity to meet projected increased passenger demand, freight demand, reduce interference delays between freight and passenger trains, and allow the addition of a sixth round trip each day between Brunswick and Wells.

 

As the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Collins secured $325 million in the fiscal year (FY) 2020 funding package for the CRISI Program, which leverages private, state, and local investment to address critical passenger and freight rail needs across America.

 

The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (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.