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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

New England Central closer to restoring hurricane-damaged network


The New England Central Railroad (NECR) continues to repair track that was damaged by Hurricane Irene in late August. Crews have been rebuilding sections of a line between the Canadian border near St. Albans, Vt., and New London, Conn., that encountered flooding, washouts and downed trees.

The short line now is focusing repairs on a six-mile track segment near Roxbury, Vt., that remains closed. NECR officials expect service on the route and the railroad’s entire 394-mile network to return to normal on Sept. 24. Owned by RailAmerica Inc., NECR operates lines between the Vermont-Quebec border just south of Montreal and the tidewater at the Port of New London, Conn.

The short line already had been busy with a high-speed rail project, RailAmerica officials said in a prepared statement. Along with the Vermont Agency of Transportation, Amtrak and other partners, NECR plans to improve track and signals on its line between St. Albans and the Massachusetts state line to accommodate higher passenger train speeds.

“After having prepared and managed the high-speed rail project so well, [the hurricane] is way more than we bargained for,” said Paul Lundberg, RailAmerica’s senior vice president and chief operations officer.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/13/2011