Federal Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says a grant agreement’s been finalized that allows work to begin on the rehabilitation and expansion of Amtrak’s Downeaster passenger train service to Brunswick.
Maine was awarded $35 million in federal stimulus money in January to the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, which manages the Downeaster. The train runs from Portland to Boston, with stops in New Hampshire.
The grant agreement finalized Tuesday starts work on the extension of the popular rail service from Portland to Brunswick, with a stop in Freeport. Construction is to continue over the next 28 months.
The $35 million stimulus grant augments funds from the state of Maine to cover the project, which includes the rehabilitation of 26.4 miles of existing rail lines owned by Pan Am Railways.