U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood joined Connecticut's Governor and Congressional leaders along with MBTA GM Richard Davey in riding the morning train today from New Haven to Hartford, touting federal investment in New England's Vision for High Speed Rail service.
U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, Springfield, joined the group at the state capitol in Hartford to discuss the regional multi-state rail plans working with Amtrak to enhance commuter service between New Haven, Hartford and Springfield and north to Vermont.
The U.S. DOT in January awarded Massachusetts $70 million for final design and construction of the “Knowledge Corridor” along the Connecticut River rail line in western Massachusetts, a competitive federal stimulus grant award as part of the High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail program.
Connecticut and Vermont received separate grants totaling $90 million to upgrade the New Haven to Springfield and Vermont portion of the line. The result will be improvements all along the corridor serving the Amtrak Vermonter line, with service rerouted to provide a more direct route, faster service and restored access to the cities of Northampton and Greenfield.
MassDOT’s Rail & Transit Division will oversee the Connecticut River line project construction, which is expected to take approximately two years and begin during the 2010 construction season. Learn more about MassDOT's Hi-Speed Intercity Rail projects.