- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A bipartisan group of lawmakers is seeking support for a bond proposal to fund the expansion of passenger rail service into central Maine.

The proposal is among dozens of bond measures the Appropriations Committee will begin examining this week.

It would put $5 million toward creating a passenger rail service between Portland and the Lewiston-Auburn area. Another $8 million would fund infrastructure improvements at a railway crossing in Yarmouth and $15 million would be dedicated to the repair and reconstruction of state-owned lines across Maine.

Rep. Peggy Rotundo, a Democrat from Lewiston, said Tuesday that bringing passenger rail to the area will support the region’s growing tourism industry and revitalize downtown areas.

Lewiston Mayor Bob Macdonald and the Sierra Club Maine Chapter are among other supporters of the measure.

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