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MassDOT slates meetings for passenger-rail expansions in New England

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the Vermont Agency of Transportation today will hold their first public meeting to discuss the findings of a study to expand passenger-rail service across New England, Quebec and New York.

Known as the Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative, the study looked into the possibility of increasing service to communities along the 470-mile corridor across the three regions, MassDOT officials said in a blog post.

"Covering longer distances than commuter trains, these trains would connect to a large network of metropolitan areas and small towns," they said.

The study team developed a plan for increasing services along the corridor to meet passenger demand over the next 20 years. Proposed service improvements include one roundtrip between Montreal and New Haven, Conn.; another between Montreal and Boston; and eight additional roundtrip trains between Boston and New Haven via Springfield, Mass.

Each train would travel up to 79 mph, MassDOT officials said.

The New England Central Railroad owns more than 200 miles of rail along the corridor, and the remaining segments belong to CSX Transportation, Amtrak, CN and the state of Massachusetts.

Today's meeting takes place at MassDOT's headquarters in Boston. Scheduled for Sept. 17 and 24, the remaining meetings will take place in Springfield and White River Junction, Vt., respectively.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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