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It takes time to plan, engineer and construct improvements to an active Amtrak and freight rail line. This is particularly the case where the improvements must be phased over several years to match the availability of Federal funding. The goal for the NHHS Rail Program is to launch new passenger rail service in January 2018. This will require an aggressive schedule for completing engineering, securing necessary environmental permits, upgrading the rail line, constructing stations and planning for the new passenger rail service. As Amtrak owns the rail line, it will be responsible for much of the construction work, including use of its Track Laying System to install the new ties, rail and ballast.
The current schedule includes the following approximate milestones, which are likely to change as the work matures: