SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – With a new governor in office, questions have emerged surrounding the status of the East-West rail project. It’s a proposed train service that would provide connections between Boston and Western Massachusetts.

Congressman Richard Neal and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno were at Union Station Tuesday and when asked about East-West rail, they both expressed optimism that this new administration would make it a priority.

“The iron is hot, now’s the time to strike,” said Mayor Sarno.

Supporters of East-West rail have long-pushed for reliable rail service between eastern and western Massachusetts, pointing to the divisions that currently exist between these parts of the state.

Louis Morales of Springfield told 22News, “Everybody in Boston needs to realize we are the armpit of the commonwealth. We want to be able to have the option of traveling to the Berkshires for the day or go to Boston for the day.”

“It opens up a myriad, a multitude of opportunities, economic development, jobs, housing opportunities,” said Sarno.

It’s taken time to gain steam federally with former Governor Baker passing legislation in late 2022 to partially fund the project. Now, Governor Healy has expressed support for East-West rail and does intend to appoint a director to the project as well.

22News asked Congressman Richard Neal, who’s been a prominent advocate for the railway, if he’s confident in the Healy-Driscoll administration’s commitment to this project.

“There are some grants that are awaiting federal approval, we’re monitoring those very carefully but I anticipate fully that the same enthusiasm that former Governor Baker demonstrated, that Governor Healy will now embrace,” said Neal.

Sarno added, “And though I’d like to snap my fingers and have this done yesterday, we’re moving in the right direction and I look forward to being able to say… all aboard!”

Since being sworn in, Healey has said that western Massachusetts would not be forgotten but during her first formal press conference, did not specifically discuss East-West rail.