GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The last passenger train route along Route 2 in the northern half of Massachusetts, ran in 1954. It took two hours and 15 minutes to get from Greenfield to Boston and a little over three hours from North Adams.
“There were as many as 12 weekday trains running to and from Boston along Route 2,” State Senator Jo Comerford said during a virtual meeting about the train route on Tuesday.
Now, MassDOT, elected leaders and stakeholders are looking at the possibility of bringing the Northern Tier Line back. Nearly 80 people met virtually to discuss restarting the Route 2 train service that once spanned across the northern part of state.
There will be a feasibility study of the Route 2 rail service to see if it could start again. The study will examine and evaluate the costs and the economic and environmental opportunities related to re-establishing rail service between North Adams, Greenfield, and Boston.
“We’re at a time when people are making choices about the potential to live in a region like this or stay in a region like this based on infrastructure development,” State Senator Adam Hinds explained during the meeting.
The rail service would mean people living in western Massachusetts communities could travel more easily to the greater Boston metro region. The train route would cover Berkshire, Franklin, Worcester, Middlesex, and Suffolk counties.
“We know that these connections can positively impact our communities. With the possibility of jobs, the expansion of tourism and a real revitalization of many of our local economies,” Representative Blais continued.
The service would operate over two segments of an existing rail corridor. The first segment, between North Adams and Fitchburg, is owned by Pan Am Southern LLC. The second segment, between Fitchburg and Boston North Station, is owned by the MBTA.
The MassDOT study is expected to begin during this summer.