GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Deval Patrick arrived in Greenfield by train Wednesday morning, in order to make a major announcement. Speaking at Energy Park, the governor said that the state has entered into an agreement to purchase the Knowledge Corridor Rail Line. The 49-mile stretch of railway from Springfield to East Northfield will bring high-speed rail service to western Massachusetts.
Arriving on a classic Pan Am passenger train, the governor said that the purchase is being made to ensure high-speed rail becomes a reality for the Pioneer Valley. He also said that they intend to increase freight traffic through the region, to reduce the number of trucks on the roads.
The Governor said passenger trains will start running between Springfield and Franklin county by the end of the year.
“We’re very excited,” Patrick said.
Work on the Knowledge Corridor project began in 2012, and is still going on. The project, which involves the replacement of some 95,000 railroad ties, upgrading six bridges, and putting in new crossing crossing signals and gates at 23 locations, is expected to continue until 2016. The Governor said the recent track improvements could reduce the time spent taking the nearly 50 mile ride by up to a half hour.