As Springfield’s Union Station renovation progresses, Pioneer Valley cities, towns in Massachusetts call for more train service

January 21, 2016

By Jim Kinney, The Republican

SPRINGFIELD – The Pioneer Valley has, or in the case of Springfield will soon have, new passenger rail stations and  railroad tracks.Website Insert Cars and Financing copy

But what the region is missing is frequent passenger trains, a deficit economic development officials from Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton, Greenfield and Amherst met Wednesday at the Springfield Union Station construction site to rectify.

In the process, they learned they’ll need a solid business plan to even begin the two-to-three stage process of starting frequent north-south commuter trains. They also learned that east-west commuter service between Boston and Springfield through Worcester would take even longer and be even more expensive.

That won’t stop mayors from those cities from making their pitch Feb. 3 when they meet with state lawmakers and administration officials, including Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack.

Due to be open to the public in December, the $88.5-million rehabilitation of Springfield Union Station into an intermodal bus-rail-transit hub is the highest profile rail project in the region.

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