- Associated Press - Sunday, January 22, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A rail advocacy group that was instrumental in the restoration of passenger rail service between Portland and Boston has hired its first executive director.

TrainRiders Northeast has hired George O’Keefe Jr. of Winthrop to work alongside longtime chairman and co-founder Wayne Davis to expand passenger rail service.

O’Keefe said a balanced transportation system is needed “to provide for sustainable economic opportunities that will last for generations.”

Davis said the organization has been waiting “a long time for the right person to come along to help us expand our original goals set out in 1989.”

Trainriders Northeast spearheaded the passage of Maine’s Passenger Rail Service Act, leading to the creation of Amtrak’s Downeaster passenger rail service.

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