The state is launching the first step in determining the feasibility of east/west passenger rail between Pittsfield and Boston.

IBerkshires.com reports that surrounded by state and federal officials at Union Station Gov. Charlie Baker announced yesterday that the state Department of Transportation is soliciting requests for proposals for a consultant team to study the feasibility of east-west passenger rail service, the launch of a pilot for passenger rail service between Greenfield and Springfield, and one-seat service through Springfield to Hartford and New Haven, Conn.

On The Mass.gov official website, the governor said quote:

“Through strong partnerships with federal, state and local officials, we are investing in our existing rail infrastructure, increasing capacity where it is needed, and strengthening the Commonwealth's transportation system, We look forward to reviewing the results of this comprehensive study, and continuing to support projects in all regions of the Commonwealth that provide improved travel options to residents and commuters.”

 

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito added.

“Our administration is proud of the collaborative work we have done to improve the Commonwealth's transportation infrastructure in cities and towns throughout Massachusetts, These investments will provide more reliable service across the region, helping travelers better reach the places they need to go.”

 

Officials say the request for proposals will enable MassDOT to carry out an extensive study over approximately 18 months, and analyze many aspects and options for potential east-west passenger rail service.