A new era of train travel has arrived in western Massachusetts. High-speed passenger service has come to the region because of new tracks, crossing signals and other upgrades paid for by the multi-billion dollar economic recovery bill passed by the Congress in 2009.
Work is nearly finished on a federally-funded upgrade to the rail line that parallels I-91 between New Haven, Connecticut and the Massachusetts border with Vermont. The line, dubbed the “Knowledge Corridor,” will soon see faster, but still limited, Amtrak service. But transportation officials and politicians see great potential for expanded commuter rail.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced a milestone agreement today in the effort to bring high- speed passenger rail service to western Massachusetts.
Governor Patrick arrived in Greenfield onboard a train from North Adams to announce a tentative agreement to have the state purchase the rail line between East Northfield on the Vermont border and Springfield. The 49-mile stretch is nearing the completion of a major restoration that will return passenger rail service to communities along the Connecticut River.
A $73 million project to restore passenger rail service along the Connecticut River line in Massachusetts, dubbed the Knowledge Corridor, is on track to be finished by the end of this year. The rail infrastructure improvements bring the promise of speedier Amtrak service and the potential for commuter rail service. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Dana Roscoe, a transportation expert with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.
The top economic development officials from Massachusetts and Connecticut met on Tuesday to talk about collaborative efforts. The focus is on the Hartford-Springfield region, which has been dubbed-“The Knowledge Corridor”. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Massachusetts Economic Development and Housing Secretary Gregory Bialecki.