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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Uncertainty clouds start-up dates for expanded Amtrak NEC service


Although start-up dates haven’t been determined, Amtrak does plan to expand Northeast Corridor service into Maine.

"This is something the state of Maine has wanted for a very long time," says Amtrak spokesperson Karen Dunn. "[But] we can’t implement service until the Big Dig is at least close to completion."

"Big Dig" is Massachusetts Turnpike Authority’s Central Artery/Tunnel Project.

But there might be a light at the end of this tunnel: Amtrak already placed help-wanted ads in Maine newspapers. While Dunn declined to pinpoint a start date, she did confirm that it takes a couple months to hire and train personnel on equipment and safety procedures.

NEC passengers also await word on a start-up date for Acela Express designed to travel from Boston to Washington, D.C. at 150 mph.

"All plans hinge on the [Alstom/Bombardier] consortium," says Dunn. "They’ve said they will deliver the trainset by the end of September."

Kathi Kube

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/15/2000