Towns sign rail expansion agreement

Norwich — Officials from Mansfield, New London, Norwich, Windham and the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments signed an agreement on Thursday that calls for the towns and public agency to join efforts in a project that will expand freight and passenger rail service from New London to Brattleboro, Vt.

The proposed Central Corridor Line would use more than 100 miles of existing freight railway owned by New England Central Railroad to boost business, industry and tourism in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont.

The rail would have stops in New London, at the Mohegan Sun Casino and in Norwich, Willimantic, Mansfield, Storrs and Stafford Springs. Stops would continue in Palmer, Amherst and Millers Falls in Massachusetts before the line ends in Brattleboro.

The agreement calls for the towns to work toward a feasibility study and finding funding on the approximately $100 million project. Officials from Norwich plan to collect the signatures from officials in other towns in the coming weeks. In all, nine towns and five regional planning agencies have expressed interest in signing the agreement.

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