MassDOT’s Advisory Committee issues feedback on east-west rail system

Hampden County

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The state is still trying to determine the most feasible and cost-effective way to build out high-speed trains that’ll connect riders from both sides of the state.

MassDOT’s Advisory Committee led Monday’s meeting at the Sheraton Hotel in Springfield. They discussed transportation and economic benefits that would result from an east-west rail.

Those include the revenue and jobs it would create as well as the impact it would have on the housing stock in western Massachusetts. There is push here locally and across the state to get the east-west rail built as soon as possible.

Ben Hood, a member of the Citizens for Palmer Rail Stop, and Western Mass Rail Coalition told 22News that’s what residents would like to see in a rail system.

“I think they are legitimately wanting to see what the options are and study them and they do have a lot of people pushing for particularly expensive high-speed options,” said Hood. “But if they are not going to do those our feeling is that its time for the administration to think about what can we do. And because there are so many people that want it. Do it.”

It’s expected to take only a few years to have the rail operating with 90 miles per hour trains.
It would take more than 10 years to have them traveling up to 150 miles per hour.

The committee is also projecting an annual ridership of more than 500,000 for commuters.

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