passenger rail

Lucas Willard / WAMC

In a move initiated under former Governor Deval Patrick, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has finalized the purchase of the rail line between Pittsfield and the Connecticut border. The goal is to establish commuter service between Pittsfield and New York City.

Tipiac-Alain Caraco/Wikimedia Commons

Vermont Transportation Agency officials say a federal grant application that would have been used to upgrade the rails in an 11-mile stretch between Rutland and Burlington was rejected by federal transportation officials.

Photo of an Amtrak train.
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Tonight, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Judith Enck will host a public meeting to discuss Amtrak train emissions at the Rensselaer Rail Yard. The gathering is in response to residents' concerns about diesel smoke at the yard's Amtrak maintenance facility.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has purchased 37 miles of railroad line from Pittsfield to the Connecticut border. The state is calling it a major step toward establishing passenger rail service from western Massachusetts to New York City.

Tipiac-Alain Caraco/Wikimedia Commons

Economic Development officials in Warren County are requesting funding to conduct a feasibility study to expand regional short-line rail service.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Investigators are looking into the cause of a New York City train derailment that killed four people and injured at least 60.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Federal transportation officials have scheduled a two-day hearing as part of their investigation into two Metro-North Railroad accidents in Connecticut this year.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced on Tuesday that government agencies, unions and others will speak at the hearings set for October 22 and 23.

Two commuter trains crashed on May 17, sending 60 people to the hospital. Five were critically injured.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

On Monday, Governor Patrick, Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey, and others boarded a train on the Housatonic Railroad and rode from the Connecticut border to Pittsfield.

The symbolic trip came after the governor had sought more than $1 billion in new revenues for transportation in his initial fiscal year 2014 budget proposal, a plan that contained dedicated funding for several priority projects, including $113 million for the rail expansion in Berkshire County.

The Berkshire Train Campaign

A group advocating for passenger rail service from the Berkshires to New York City is launching a new volunteer effort to bring its message to a wider audience.

Karen Christensen, a Great Barrington resident and founder and CEO of the Berkshire Publishing Group, said she first became interested in advocating to bring passenger rail service from New York to the Berkshires after returning from a trip to China in August of 2011. After communicating with her neighbors, colleagues, and other business owners, by late 2012, she had founded the Berkshire Train Campaign.

(Flickr) Governor Andrew Cuomo

Two freight trains traveling in opposite directions sideswiped each other around 8 a.m. Thursday in the town of Mohawk, near Fonda.   Governor New York Andrew Cuomo, on his way back to the capital from Utica, stopped by the crash scene and spoke to reporters about the wreck.

Dave Lucas / WAMC

New York’s senior United States Senator is trying to use his clout to convince Amtrak to accommodate bicyclists on trains to Albany, Saratoga Springs and the North Country.  

Anyone who takes Amtrak from Boston to Portland knows about the railroad's "Bring Your Bicycle On Board" program. U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer says it makes good economic sense to roll the initiative out on Amtrak's Adirondack and Ethan Allen Trains as well.   

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The MTA train collision near Fairfield that injured 72 last Friday is still under investigation.

Connecticut Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat from the 5th District, said that investigators are still attempting to determine if the derailment was caused by track in disrepair or another factor. Esty, who said that a Congressional hearing will be held on railway safety later today, also said that funding to maintain one of the busiest railway corridors in the Northeast has been “an issue.”

Esty spoke on WAMC’s Congressional Corner…