MassDOT discusses rail service options during public meeting in Springfield

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation held a meeting in Springfield Tuesday to talk about potential options for East-West rail service. 

The state wants to get feedback on six possible ways to connect rail riders between Pittsfield and Boston. State transportation leaders met in the Sheraton Hotel in Springfield Tuesday, where they revealed six possibilities for a potential East-West rail service.  

The public meeting is part of an 18-month MassDOT study to identify the costs, benefits, and impact for East-West corridor rail alternatives. One of the proposals MassDOT is looking at is trains that would take riders from Springfield to Boston, and they say it would only take an hour and 20 minutes each way. 

“It would be transformational,” said Senator Eric Lesser. “Ten to 12 trains a day back and forth, 80 minutes each way. Think about what that would do for western Mass., Springfield and the surrounding communities and the jobs it would bring in.” 

22News spoke with riders at Union Station in Springfield about the East-West rail proposal. They said having daily trains to Boston would encourage them to travel more to the eastern part of the state. 

“We love Boston, it’s my favorite city,” said Bridget Pelis of Northampton. “I know a lot of people are getting treatment at hospitals in Boston, I think it’s a great thing and I think a lot of people would utilize it.” 

Peter Miller added, “If you can increase transportation and make it easier and less expensive and make it a lot quicker. Then it’s in everyone’s best interest and everyone is going to be much happier.” 

MassDOT plans to have the East-West rail study completed by the spring of 2020. Click here for more information on the East-West rail service. 

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