East-West Passenger Rail Study

This page provides an overview of the East-West Passenger Rail Study that is being managed by the MassDOT Office of Transportation Planning.

Pittsfield–Springfield–Boston Rail Corridor

The purpose of the study has been stated as follows:

“The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) seeks to examine the feasibility of passenger rail service — up to and including high speed rail — from Boston to Springfield and Pittsfield, with the speed, frequency, and reliability necessary to be a competitive option for travel along this corridor.

This study will closely examine any associated implementation challenges, in particular those related to the movement of freight along the corridor, and identify all necessary improvements to support more frequent and higher speed intercity passenger rail service between Boston and Western Massachusetts.” ¹


The study, which is expected to take between 12 and 18 months, should be complete by the Spring of 2020.

The official website for the study can be found on this link
East-West Passenger Rail Study | MassDOT


¹ “East-West Rail Study Scope”, Bid No. BD-18-1030-0P100-0P021-28369


Current News

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Western Massachusetts Rail Initiatives
Press Release | Office of Governor Charlie Baker | June 12, 2018

MassDOT takes next step toward $1 million east-west rail study”
By Jim Kinney | The Republican | October 17, 2018

As state begins $1M east-west passenger rail study, Palmer seeks a piece of the action”
By Jim Russell | The Republican | November 21, 2018

“Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno named to East-West rail panel; 1st meeting set”
By Jim Kinney | The Republican | November 28, 2018


Project milestones

June 12, 2018 | MassDOT advertises Bid Number BD-18-1030-0P100-0P021-28369 “East-West Rail Study” on COMMBUYS, the State’s online procurement platform.

July 16, 2018 | Bids were opened for the study project.

November 19, 2018 | Transportation Secretary Pollack announces that the East-West Rail Study project has been awarded to WSP USA. Subcontractors on the project include AECOM, Regina Villa Associates, and Keville Enterprises.

December 18, 2018 | East-West Passenger Rail Study Advisory Committee No. 1, held from 1-3 pm at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission in Springfield.


See Also

Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative Study (2013-2016)

WWLP-22News Special Report: Springfield-Boston Rail Service
January 29, 2017


Further Reading

East-West Passenger Rail Study (Official website)

University Survey Finds Strong Support for Springfield-Boston High-Speed Rail Service
Western New England University Polling Institute | November 13, 2017



Page last updated: December 26, 2018
Page last reviewed: November 25, 2018