State DoT to discuss western Mass rail plan

  • A northbound Amtrak Train arrives in Greenfield about 4:30 every day. Recorder/Paul FranzRecorder Staff/Paul Franz A northbound Amtrak train arrives in Greenfield about 4:30 p.m. every day. Paul Franz

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

With encouragement from Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, D-Amherst, the state Department of Transportation has scheduled a second western Massachusetts public hearing on its new draft rail plan.

The hearing is set for Friday from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission’s Springfield headquarters at 60 Congress St.

The state’s long-term rail plan, released last week, calls for Springfield-to-Greenfield passenger rail service project to receive top priority with consideration of expansion in the future. A proposed high-speed rail link between Springfield, Worcester and Boston was given a lower ranking in the draft plan as “warranting further study.”

Rosenberg, who called Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack on Monday to ask her to consider holding at least one hearing in western Massachusetts, issued a written statement Tuesday saying, “I thank the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Baker administration for their responsiveness. It is critically important to provide the people of western Massachusetts with an opportunity to be heard on the state-wide rail plan, and to provide input that will be helpful in both developing and implementing that plan.”