Comment period extended on D.C. passenger-rail improvement plan

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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), recently that it has lengthened its formal comment period for the NEC FUTURE Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Tier 1 Draft EIS).

The Tier 1 Draft EIS, available online at, assesses how an investment program for improving the service on passenger railways within Washington, D.C.’s Northeast Corridor (NEC) could impact the area. The improvements also would be made throughout the Boston area.

The draft outlines three various action options that the NEC can take. There is also a “no action” option. All of the outlines look at how the actions could affect the economy, transportation infrastructure, natural resources and the built environment.

The public-comment period originally started on Nov. 13 last year. The FRA made the first deadline for Jan. 30. Since that time, officials have extended the deadline to allow people to add further comments. The new deadline is Feb. 15.

In December 2015 and January 2016, leaders at the FRA hosted 11 public hearings within the Northeast area. Their goal was to encourage people to comment on the draft.

There was a variety of materials presented at the FRA’s hearing this winter. These materials are available online, also at

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U.S. Department of Transportation

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