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March 17, 2011 | last updated December 1, 2011 12:09 pm

DOT studies L-A Amtrak extensions

A proposed Downeaster extension between Portland and Auburn would likely cost upwards of $230 million, and an extension to Montreal could reach $900 million, according to a recent study.

Transportation planners from Los Angeles-based firm AECOM told Auburn residents yesterday that setting up a desired train service from the city to Portland would require an $8 million-a-year subsidy, the Sun Journal reported. The estimated costs are inflation-adjusted 2020 dollars. The firm also said that an extension from Auburn to Montreal could bring another 204,400 passengers to the Amtrak Downeaster service. The study proposed eight daily round trips from Portland to Auburn, with extensions to Bethel, South Paris and eventually through New Hampshire to Montreal. Such service would require massive capital improvements to existing rail lines and could reach $900 million, according to the paper.

The Maine Department of Transportation commissioned the study.

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