Congressman aims to block funding for Northeast rail plan

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, a Connecticut Democrat, is concerned about the communities that would be affected.

WASHINGTON (AP) – A Connecticut congressman says a proposed new Amtrak line that would speed up rail travel between Boston and New York City would butcher the shoreline towns it cuts through and he’ll work to block any funding to build it.

Federal railroad regulators are considering proposed changes for Amtrak’s Boston-to-Washington Northeast Corridor route. One recommendation would create a straighter route for high-speed trains through coastal eastern Connecticut and southwest Rhode Island.

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, a Connecticut Democrat, said Monday that he expressed vehement opposition to the plan to the House Appropriations Committee, whose members would have to sign off on funding for the project. Courtney says it’s a “preemptive strike.”  He says Connecticut’s congressional delegation will make sure no funding moves forward.  Some Rhode Island lawmakers also oppose the plan.