There’s a lot happening currently so we thought we should pause for a moment to review a few of the major news stories and highlight whats on tap for the coming week.
Recent Regional Rail News
“Plans revealed for $32 million transformation of Springfield’s Paramount Theater and Massasoit Block into boutique hotel”
By Peter Goonan | The Republican | June 15, 2017
$32 million redevelopment of the historic Massasoit Block and Paramount Theater on Main Street, just two blocks from Springfield Union Station.
This is very big news for Springfield, and the redevelopment of the area near Union Station.
“Canada-U.S. preclearance bill finally moves ahead, but privacy concerns mount over Trump’s ‘extreme vetting’ ”
By Marie-Danielle Smith | National Post | June 15, 2017
The Canadian bill, which among other things, would allow for the establishment of a preclearance facility at Montreal Central Station.
With some luck the bill will be approved by Parliament this summer so that the long discussed plan to extend the Vermonter to Montreal can move forward.
Further Reading | Vermonter Extension to Montreal
“Track laid at CRRC subway car factory in Springfield”
By Jim Kinney | The Republican | June 16, 2017
Continued progress at the CRRC rail factory in Springfield.
“At 204,000 square feet, the $95 million factory at the old Westinghouse site in East Springfield is the largest industrial investment in greater Springfield in generations. The factory building is about 300 by 700 feet, with room inside for three and a half football fields.”
“CRRC, also known as China Railway Rolling Stock Corp., plans a grand opening celebration at the plant in October or early November, with production on new MBTA subway cars to begin early in 2018.”
Monday, June 19th
Senator Eric Lesser travels from Boston to Springfield, with stops in Framingham, Worcester, Palmer and Springfield, on a ‘whistle-stop’ tour to promote expanded East-West passenger rail service.
Here’s a summary of Monday’s westbound-only schedule.
9:00 am in Boston – Press conference with Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry and Sen. Joe Boncore
11:00 am in Framingham – Press conference at Framingham MBTA commuter rail station with Sen. Karen Spilka and local elected officials to discuss the regional and state-wide importance of modern rail infrastructure and concerns about the Framingham at-grade rail crossing.
12:30 pm in Worcester – Meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harriette Chandler and the Editorial Board of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette to discuss how expansion of MBTA rail service to Worcester has transformed the city.
3:30 pm in Palmer – “Rally for Rail | Palmer” event and meeting with Sen. Anne Gobi and local business leaders at Palmer’s Steaming Tender Restaurant to discuss Transit Oriented Development opportunities for the town and region.
5:30 pm in Springfield – “Rally for Rail | Springfield” event at Springfield Union Station hosted by Sen. Lesser and other local elected officials. (You can park for free inside the new Union Station parking garage.)
The rallies in Palmer and Springfield are open to the public and we would encourage people to attend.
Tuesday, June 20th | 6 pm – 7:45 pm
A special evening program at Sixteen Acres Branch Library, 1187 Parker St, Springfield, on the long-awaited grand reopening of the Springfield Union Station.
Sunday – June 25th | 12 Noon to 2 pm
Official Public Open House for Springfield Union Station
• Guided tours by the designers of the new murals in the station
• “Saving Union Station” Book Signing
• Model Train Exhibit by Amherst Rail Society
• Amtrak Safety Display
• Antique Cars and Bus Displays, including historic Peter Pan buses from the past
• Little Hands on the Move – Explore the city streets and landmarks of the Springfield Cultural District using wooden cars and motorcycles on a giant carpeted map.
• Early Transportation Please Touch Table – Put on your white curator gloves and touch car parts from a century ago.
• Marble Run – Use plastic, wood, recycled, and even illuminated materials to create twists and turns to see how far you can get your marbles to roll.
• Make & Take: Union Station Themed Buttons – Color a train, bus or Union Station Grand Opening logo then have it made into a wearable button.
• Appearance by the Cat in the Hat – Meet and greet with the Cat from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
• Appearance by Springfield Thunderbirds “Boomer”
• WMAS FM
• Cupcakes and other sweets for sale
• Springfield Water Department Hydration Station
And yes, Trains in the Valley will be at this event with its own table. Please stop by and say hello!
Sunday – June 25th | 4:30 pm
The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) shifts its regional bus hub to Springfield Union Station.
Details can be found on this link to the PVTA website.
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