North Adams to Greenfield and Boston Passenger Train Review

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is investigating the possibility of restarting passenger rail service from North Adams to Greenfield and Boston.

A study will examine the benefits, costs and investments required to create and maintain passenger rail service with the speed, frequency and reliability necessary to be a competitive option for travel along this corridor.

This study was required by a law, passed in 2019, tabled by Senator Jo Comerford and supported by Representatives Blais and Domb as well as Senator Adam Hinds. More than 700 residents of western Massachusetts testified on behalf of the enabling legislation when it was heard by the Joint Transportation Committee.

The study kick-off meeting takes place on Thursday, December 16 at 1:30 p.m. and is open to the public. Register here: https://www.mass.gov/northern-tier-passenger-rail-study.

In 1875, passenger rail service began that connected Franklin County to Boston along the Route 2 rail corridor. Passenger service from Boston to North Adams ended in 1958, followed by the end of service to Greenfield in 1960. The rail line to Greenfield and North Adams is currently only used for freight service.

“Northern Tier or Route 2 rail is not just a transportation solution,” Comerford explained. “It’s a matter of regional equity. It is a necessity in the face of climate change. This is an economic development win for Western Massachusetts. And it can help solve Boston’s traffic congestion and housing shortage problem, all at the same time.

Jose P. Rogers