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MassDOT Evaluating Six Plans For East-West Rail

This is a picture of an Amtrak train

   The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is examining six options for east-west passenger rail.

    Five of the plans revealed Tuesday by MassDOT would make various upgrades and improvements to an existing rail corridor now used primarily by freight trains.

    One proposal is to construct a new high speed rail line that would run roughly parallel to I-90. It would allow for 16 train trips per day with a Springfield-Boston travel time of 80 minutes.

   MassDOT did not announce a cost estimate for any of the proposals.

   Democratic State Senator Eric Lesser of Longmeadow said the options are “exciting”

    "The real takeaway here is: this is a feasible project," said Lesser. "This can happen if we marshall the political will, if we keep at it."

   A final east-west rail feasibility study is due next year.

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.