Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today joined Congressman John Olver, Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo, MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey, and state and local officials in Greenfield to officially announce the revitalization of the “Knowledge Corridor” along the Connecticut River rail line in western Massachusetts. The project is funded by $73 million in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants and will create more than 360 construction jobs in the region.
MassDOT in June 2011 signed the agreements with the Federal Railroad Administration to proceed with the “Knowledge Corridor” project to revitalize the existing Connecticut River rail line, which runs from Connecticut through Massachusetts to Vermont. The project will restore Amtrak’s Vermonter train service to the line, providing a more direct route, faster service and restored access to the cities of Greenfield and Northampton. Revitalization of the Knowledge Corridor route will restore the original route of the Vermonter traveling between St. Albans, Vermont and Washington, DC. The project is expected to begin in 2012 and be completed in approximately two years.
“The Governor and Lieutenant Governor from the beginning have formed meaningful partnerships with the New England states, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and Amtrak to implement a coordinated plan for better regional rail service,” said Secretary Davey. “The Knowledge Corridor is a perfect example of the success of these partnerships.”
The improvements to the Knowledge Corridor will occur on the Connecticut River mainline of the Pan Am Southern railroad, a joint venture between Pan Am Railways and Norfolk Southern to improve freight service for customers along the line and within western Massachusetts.
The Patrick-Murray Administration and New England's Governors are working together on a coordinated regional Vision for the New England High Speed and Intercity Rail Network lays out key projects to strengthen passenger and freight rail service along new and existing rail corridors. The goal is to double passenger rail ridership in the Northeast by 2030.