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.
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.
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.”