US backs $8.2M grant for eastern Conn. freight rail extending through New England to Canada

IndustriesAssociated Press

Eastern Connecticut has won an $8.2 million federal grant to upgrade freight rail.

Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., called the grant a big win that will help boost economic development in the region and drive more traffic through the port of New London.

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Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says the state is working to modernize Connecticut's rail system and link it to the national freight rail network.

The state Department of Transportation will upgrade the rail line to meet new freight standards, including increased weight capacity. The state will upgrade 19 miles of outdated rail through Franklin, Norwich, Stafford and Willimantic.

Elected officials in Connecticut, backed by regional business owners and Genesee & Wyoming Inc., owner of New England Central Railroad, lobbied federal transportation officials for the money.

New England Central is contributing $2 million.