Downeaster Service Development Plan
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.
An SDP or equivalent covers three general topics:
1. Rationale for proposing improvements,
2. Service/operating plan and prioritized capital plan,
3. Implementation plan
NNEPRA has contracted with Gannett Fleming (GF) to complete the Downeaster Service Development Plan. The process began on June 15, 2011 and is expected to be complete in June 2014. The plan will:
- Assess the current condition of infrastructure along the corridor and propose an improvement plan.
- Model the operating plan for the Downeaster and consider impacts on other services using the corridor.
- Evaluate the Portland Transportation Center to determine the costs, benefits and issues associated with remaining in the existing station location or relocating to a new site.
Public meetings were held in the spring of 2014 to provide an overview of the Plan.