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MassDOT Releases Final Report for East-West Passenger Rail Study

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) released the final report for its East-West Passenger Rail Study, which examines the potential benefits, costs, and investments necessary to connect people in Western Mass. communities with Central and Eastern Mass. through passenger rail, providing fast, frequent, attractive service in a cost-effective and achievable manner.

The final report for the study recommends further consideration of the three final alternatives, as well as next steps to gather information that could further inform conversation about new transportation options for the corridor. For more information, visit www.mass.gov/east-west-passenger-rail-study.

“After more than two years of effort, our state has completed a feasibility analysis of east-west rail service between Pittsfield and Springfield to Boston, state Sen. Eric Lesser said. “This report is an important step in moving this project from conception to reality. I want to thank the countless advocates, community organizations, business organizations, elected officials, and everyday citizens from every corner of our Commonwealth who wouldn’t take no for an answer and demanded statewide rail investment. The study comes at the right moment, given President-elect Biden’s long history of infrastructure advocacy, and his passion for train transportation in particular, along with his nominee to be Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg.”

However, “as MassDOT acknowledges, the study remains incomplete,” Lesser said. “Most importantly, the ridership estimates are far too low and do not reflect comparable rail links around the country or the economic growth the rail line will spur. The study also does not take into account the significant environmental benefits from the reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions as tens of thousands of cars are taken off the road.”

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