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Courtney solicits support for freight rail upgrade

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NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney is pressing federal officials to back a freight rail project extending north from the port of New London through New England and to the Vermont-Canadian border.

Courtney has scheduled a 10 a.m. meeting Monday at New London Union Station to hear from local officials, business leaders and advocates for the New England Central Rail line.

Freight rail line operator Genesee & Wyoming Inc., backed by Connecticut, is seeking an $8.3 million federal grant to upgrade Connecticut's portion of the line to meet new freight standards, including increased weight capacity. The money would be used to replace 19 miles of rail.

Genesee & Wyoming would spend an additional $2 million.

Courtney says other New England states have already upgraded tracks to handle heavier loads.

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