MassDOT looking once again to expand rail service

These trains would cover 470 miles

(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts is working to expand the reach of your railways. A new rail plan could connect Springfield with other New England states. City leaders say it could bring new jobs and new opportunities.

“We have a job issue a housing issue and all we have to do is put some trains on the track and we can solve that problem,” said Springfield City Council member Kenneth Shea.

The plan consists of 470 miles of railway carrying passengers from all over New England, even to Canada. It also aims to create a passenger railway connecting Springfield to Boston. Although, it’s expensive.

“One of the problems is there’s not any money from the federal government for rail,” said Scott Bascom, a spokesman with the Vermont Transportation Agency.

That message was echoed by project manager, Ammie Rogers. “Passenger rail service is very costly so laying out this understanding of what we need is just the first step in getting that,” Rogers told 22News.

Thursday, project managers spoke with community members to determine demand, and to estimate the necessary infrastructure. That will help determine the total cost.

“It’s gotta be somewhat economical and at least somewhat competitive in terms of time . You don’t want it to take longer to be on the train that it does on the car,” said James Guckin, of Middletown, Conn.

An actual cost estimate will be released at the end of the year.

This new plan is known as the Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative. Click Here to learn more.

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