BOSTON (WWLP) – Saying that the infrastructure needs of western Massachusetts are being ignored yet again, State Senator Eric Lesser (D-Longmeadow) has written a letter to President Donald Trump, asking him to support funding for a high-speed rail link between Springfield and Boston.
Trump has highlighted the planned (but delayed) “Green Line Extension”- which would expand the MBTA’s Green Line into Somerville and Medford- as a priority project for his administration. Lesser says that while he views this as a worthy project, he thinks that the Springfield-to-Boston rail link would have a much greater effect statewide; shortening commutes and expanding job opportunities, as well as encouraging cross-state tourism.
Lesser says that the project itself would provide much-needed jobs for our region, which he compared to the manufacturing-reliant key “swing states” that put Trump over the top in November. “You became president after promising to bring jobs- specifically manufacturing jobs- to the communities that have been left behind. Western Massachusetts is a region that has a lot in common with the regions of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin that delivered your victory,” Lesser wrote.
“Upgrading our existing tracks to accommodate high-speed rail, and building the trains to travel them, would create thousands of high-paying manufacturing jobs across Massachusetts- the very jobs you promised on the campaign trail you would bring back to the United States.”
Lesser has been a major supporter of the Springfield-to-Boston rail proposal. Last year, the Legislature passed a bill he sponsored calling for a study of the rail link, but it was vetoed by Governor Charlie Baker.