The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has approved $82.7m to improve high-speed and intercity passenger rail projects in New England.

The funds will be used to upgrade the North-east Corridor, Connecticut’s New Haven-Springfield line, Maine’s Downeaster route and the Vermonter service.

About $30m will be given to Connecticut Department of Transportation for the construction of 6 miles of dual track from Hartford to Windsor, which will connect with an existing siding to provide a 9-mile dual track segment on Amtrak’s New Haven-Springfield line.

In addition, a new 8,500ft siding will be added through the Hartford Yard to better clear freight trains off Amtrak’s main line and to ease congestion.

The projects also include repairs and maintenance of bridges, signal improvements and grade crossing improvements.

About $26.2m will be extended to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation for the construction of an electrified third track parallel to the North-east Corridor’s main line, and a new platform for the station in Kingston.

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The third track will provide faster trains to overtake slower trains, which are set to reduce congestion and to improve on-time performance in the North-east Corridor for Amtrak and commuter trains.

Elsewhere, the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA) has been allocated $20.8m to ease congestion and reduce delays on segments of Amtrak’s Downeaster service.