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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Maine DOT considers Amtrak Downeaster expansion

The Downeaster line connects Boston and Portland, Maine. If expanded, the line would also connect to Brunswick, Augusta, Waterville and Bangor.
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The Maine Department of Transportation is studying a potential expansion of Amtrak’s Downeaster line from Brunswick to Augusta, Waterville and Bangor.

The Downeaster Line connects Portland, Maine, to Boston and is managed by the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority.

Cost estimates range from $628 million to $902 million to build a 100-mile alignment, according to the results of a transit propensity study released last month. Those estimates don’t include potential unknowns, such as a layover yard, vehicle procurement, property acquisitions and parking, according to the report.

Ridership estimates range from 5,150 to 7,250 monthly riders, in addition to the existing Downeaster monthly ridership average of 47,500. The study reports an estimated opening in 2040 if the expansion moves forward.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/25/2023