MassDOT 2018 rail plan includes possible study on rail service between Springfield and Boston

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Another step toward rail service between Springfield and Boston. State Senator Eric Lesser said Massachusetts will take a hard look at East / West rail service.

“This is a major, major breakthrough,” said Senator Lesser at a news conference outside of Union Station in Springfield on Monday.

One week after being named Vice-Chair of the Massachusetts Transportation Committee, State Senator Eric Lesser stood outside Union Station to announce high-speed rail between Springfield and Boston moved a step closer to reality. He said State Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack guarantees a study will be done. Senator Lesser called Monday’s announcement a breakthrough for rail transportation here in the Pioneer Valley. He said for the past three years, they’ve been trying to get MassDOT to agree to a feasibility study.

Right now, the only public transportation between Springfield and Boston, are Peter Pan bus service and the two and a half hour Lakeshore Limited train that only runs once a day.

“It would be quicker to take the train to Boston so that would be much easier,” said Alison Dowgas of Boston.

Lesser said connecting the two cities would also connect two economies.

“It would give Eastern Massachusetts to a fantastic quality of life, great housing stock, great schools and great open space here in western Mass. It would be an exchange that would help both ends of the state,” said State Sen. Eric Lesser, a Democrat representing the 1st Hampden / Hampshire District.

“I am all for progress. I am all for improvement in the lives of citizens because economic improvement brings cultural improvement and more happiness to everybody,” said Justin Liuba of Springfield.

Upgrading the existing rail line is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Senator Lesser said he expects the high-speed rail would also make stops in Pittsfield, Palmer, Worcester and Framingham.