The MassDOT Board of Directors has authorized MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey to execute an agreement to purchase the Berkshire Line from the Housatonic Railroad Company, a major step toward delivering passenger rail service between New York City and the Berkshires.
The agreement includes $12.13 million to acquire the line and an estimated $35 million for initial track improvements, funded by the 2014 Transportation Bond Bill approved by the legislature. The Berkshire Line extends approximately 37 miles from the Connecticut border in Sheffield through Great Barrington, Stockbridge, Lee, and Lenox to Pittsfield, where it joins the CSXT Railroad main line.
“Studies have shown that a Berkshire County rail connection to New York City would be a winner, with more than one million rides annually,” said Secretary Davey. “This purchase and the initial upgrades in the line represent historic steps toward improved access to the Berkshires for tourists and residents alike.”
The initial track improvements will permit the operation of passenger trains but serve freight trains until the Connecticut portion of the project is completed. A final round of track improvements will be required along with improvements on the Connecticut portion of the line prior to the start of passenger rail service. The Transportation Bond Bill included $113 million for the purchase and Massachusetts portion of the track improvements.
A date for the beginning of passenger service is dependent upon completion of the upgrades in both states.
Travel Safely Memorial Day Weekend! posted on May 20
MassDOT encourages travelers to plan ahead and travel safely during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The heaviest traffic is expected Thursday, Friday, and Monday afternoons and early evenings. Drivers are encouraged to make travel plans accordingly and if possible avoid peak traffic volumes between 1pm …Continue Reading Travel Safely Memorial Day Weekend!
Weekend Commuter Boat Trips Return May 23! posted on May 19
MassDOT Secretary & CEO Stephanie Pollack has announced that weekend commuter boat service will be provided for a second year between Hingham, Hull, Georges Island, Grape Island and Boston. Weekend service begins Memorial Day weekend and will continue through the Labor Day weekend. “Commuter boat …Continue Reading Weekend Commuter Boat Trips Return May 23!
CapeFLYER Free Sunday, Monday for Veterans, Active Service Members posted on May 18
CapeFLYER is pleased to announce that for the second year, veterans and active service members may ride the train to Cape Cod for free on the Sunday and Monday of Memorial Day weekend. The CapeFLYER has coordinated with Cape Cod Cares for the Troops, which …Continue Reading CapeFLYER Free Sunday, Monday for Veterans, Active Service Members