NNEPRA is in the process of developing a Downeaster passenger train layover facility in Brunswick to maximize the utility and efficiency of expanded Downeaster service. The facility will include an indoor layover building to store and provide routing servicing of Amtrak Downeaster passenger train sets near Brunswick Station, which in 2012, became the northern terminus of the Downeaster rail service.
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.