East-West rail study continues to advance but many questions remain

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The study on a possible East-West rail service is advancing but there are still many questions and concerns. 

MassDOT released six ways to make the East to West rail service possible, but on Friday, I found out that any option will cost billions of dollars to start. A high-speed East-West train may soon connect the two sides of Massachusetts. 

“It would probably make our housing out here a lot better so as for me living in Belchertown yeah I think I’d be all for it why not,” Michael Manning of Belchertown. 

The state researched possible corridors, station stops, frequency of weekday round trips, anticipated readership, and costs of the rail service and now MassDOT is out with six alternatives of how to make the rail service possible. 

For example, the shortest travel time of any alternative between Springfield and Boston is between Worcester and Boston, 44 minutes and Pittsfield to Boston. 

 Several western Massachusetts lawmakers have been pushing for the rail service, including Longmeadow State Senator Eric Lesser who says despite the billion-dollar cost of the rail service, it’s worth it. 

“Of course we need a thorough examination of the costs but we also need a picture of the benefits the new jobs that are going to be created the new businesses that are going to come to the new people that will stay and not have to leave because they can’t find good work,” said Senator Lesser. 

The budget for all alternatives considers, track improvements, new or improved stations, storage yards, and communications. However, despite all of this an East-West rail service in Massachusetts is still years away. 

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