MassDOT discusses plans to expand rail service in the Pioneer Valley

The state plans to release the final plan next fall

In this Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016 photo, an Amtrak Acela train travels through Old Lyme, Conn. A plan to speed up Amtrak's high-speed rail corridor from Boston to Washington, D.C., is welcomed by business commuters but finding its strongest opposition in some shoreline towns in Connecticut. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation outlined their rail service expansion plan in Springfield, Wednesday night. Its part of a 5 year, $14-billion MassDOT project to improve roads, bridges, and public transit.

Western Massachusetts is scheduled for some upgrades, including the Amtrak Station in Springfield. “Access to bus facilities, rail facilities, the platform for Amtrak services, and different kinds of things like that will be included,” said Curtis Bradley from the MassDOT.

The new platform will be completed In late 2017, and in January, passengers will have direct connections between buses and trains at the renovated Union Station.

Related: Possible train service from Springfield to Boston being discussed

A Berkshire rail company told 22News they’ve been researching ways to expand freight service to add passengers. Colin Pease|vp from Housatonic Railroad Co. said, “Obviously to attract visitors from New York, that’s the major market. Although it also appealed to commuter, visitors, and people from the Berkshires who want to get to New York. But the major market was bringing people from to the Berkshires, simplistically with money to spend.”

Part of the project would also improve the Northampton and Greenfield Platforms.

The state plans to release the final plan next fall.