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Study supports Montreal to Boston high speed rail

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Gazette reported that a proposed Boston-to-Montreal high-speed rail line would be used by as many as 300,000 passengers a year, which is enough customers to justify further researching the project, according to a feasibility study.

The study's first phase also found that existing tracks can be improved enough to allow average speeds of 152 km/h, which will make the project less expensive, said Ronald O'Blenis, the project manager on the study for Parsons Brinckerhoff, a New York-based engineering and consulting firm.

The high-speed train could make the 523-kilometre trip in about four hours, O'Blenis said.

The cost of the project and how it would be financed are unknown. Rail advocate Jim RePass, president and chief executive of the National Corridors Initiative, estimates it would cost about $2 billion U.S. to build and could be operational by 2008.

RePass said the U.S. federal government probably would pay for the project, with states contributing about 10 to 20 per cent.

O'Blenis said the study's next phase is to include cost estimates, and should be completed by the end of next year.

Initial results from the $400,000 feasibility study, which was commissioned by Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire, will be disclosed this week at public hearings in the three states.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

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