Construction of the Brunswick Layover Facility, which began on October 16th, 2015, is substantially complete. Consigli Construction of Portland, Maine was the design-build contractor for the project. The facility will begin the overnight servicing of Downeaster trains in November.
The Downeaster MBTA Track Improvement Project will add double track and replace rail in Massachusetts on the portion of the Downeaster line owned by the MBTA. These improvements will help improve Downeaster reliability/on-time performance and set the stage for more Downeaster frequencies. The total Project cost is $26,027,764; NNEPRA received a FRA grant for $20,822,341 and the MBTA provided a match of $5,205,423.
In 2011, NNEPRA received a grant for $600,000, which will be matched with $150,000 in State Funds, to complete the Downeaster Service Development Plan. A Service Development Plan (SDP) is a plan for developing high-speed intercity passenger rail service, either initiating new service or improving existing service (e.g., adding train frequencies and/or reducing trip times). It is required by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to justify requests for capital funding for service improvements.
Royal Junction Siding will provide additional track capacity necessary to enable more frequent and efficient daily operation of Downeaster trains and freight trains between Brunswick and Boston. This passing siding removes a key bottleneck for the Downeaster that will create more options for the travelling public while improving the financial and operational efficiency of the service.