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Meeting in Whately today on  Egypt Road railroad tracks 

WHATELY — Egypt Road residents will find out what will happen to the railroad crossing that cuts through their neighborhood today when the state Department of Transportation holds an open meeting to discuss whether to close the crossing.

“We want an open discussion on whether it makes more sense to keep Egypt Road open or close it. We want to make sure everyone is aware of what’s going on,” said Town Administrator Lynn Sibley.

MassDOT will host the meeting with Pan Am Railways and the town at 7:15 p.m. at the Town Hall. Though Pan Am Railways owns the tracks, Amtrak trains use them.

Egypt Road is a dirt road with about 10 homes and one business, Amherst Trucking.

With a $70 million grant from the federal Department of Transportation, the six New England states have collaborated to restore Amtrak’s intercity passenger train service to its original route by relocating the Montrealer from the New England Central Railroad back to Pan Am’s tracks through Whately, Deerfield and Greenfield. The project would expand the intercity passenger rail service in the Interstate 91 corridor, between White River Junction, Vt., and New Haven, Conn., with possible stops in Northampton and Greenfield.

The crossing was noted for possible closure by the Mass. DOT in 2010. At the time, MassDOT and Pan Am conducted the grade crossing diagnostic review for the entire Connecticut River.

“MassDOT has had a few conversations with the town since 2010 about the possibility of closing this crossing. The project team will be putting a presentation together for the meeting (today),” said DOT spokeswoman Sara Lavoie.

The DOT did not release the details of its presentation or respond to questions of the project’s impact on Franklin County before press time.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:
kmckiernan@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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