Massachusetts Governor and Staff Look at Housatonic Railroad for Passenger Travel


ImageView of the railroad going through the village of Housatonic.

The stations are circled. The left one is the passenger station, the right is the freight station.

Massachusetts officials are considering a proposal to return passenger-rail service to the Housatonic Railroad.Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and Chief Executive Officer Richard Davey and other MassDOT officials joined Governor Patrick  for a 37-mile tour to observe the line’s condition in key areas.

The Housatonic Railroad, which runs from Pittsfield to Sheffield at the Massachusetts-Connecticut state border, currently is used for freight service between Pittsfield and points south into Connecticut. A proposal to return passenger-rail service to the 90-mile corridor between Pittsfield and Danbury, Conn., has been discussed for the past several years. In Danbury, riders could connect with Metro North Railroad and reach New York City.

Restoring passenger-rail service would cost about $113 million for track rehabilitation, signal system installation, grade crossing improvements, and construction or reconstruction of six stations along the corridor within Massachusetts, administration officials said.

Although Massachusetts could afford the investment on its end, Connecticut also would have to commit to sharing in the cost in order for passenger service to reach New York City, Patrick said after the tour, according to local news media reports.

In January, MassDOT received federal highway discretionary funds to support a station location and design analysis study for passenger service.

 

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