Infrastructure | Current Projects

This page highlights significant rail infrastructure projects in the Pioneer Valley region.

Please note that this is not an all-inclusive list of projects. There are many other smaller projects underway at any given time by. As example — vegetation control, culvert replacement, bridge maintenance, signal system maintenance, railroad crossing maintenance, etc.

Northampton | CWR Installation and Maintenance

Status: Procurement in progress

Near Bridge 17.46 (North St overpass) – looking North | Northampton, Ma. | March 23, 2022

This project involved the installation of up to two track miles of continuously welded rail (CWR) on the controlled passing siding in Northampton, Mass. on the MassDOT-owned Connecticut River
Main Line.

This siding, which is the track on the right in the image above, runs from a point just south of the bike underpass to the crossing at Highway Auto Salvage.

The project also includes thermite field welding at various locations along the Connecticut River Main Line.

This work is scheduled to take place during the summer of 2022.



Springfield | SPRING & SWEENY Interlocking Renewal

Status: Ongoing project

Amtrak workers assembling a new turnout for the SPRING interlocking project
Springfield, MA | looking west | August 15, 2019

This project involves the upgrade and reconfiguration of the SPRING and SWEENY interlockings just west of Springfield Union Station.

Further reading

Spring (Springfield, MA) Interlocking Renewal Project (PDF)
NEC Capital Investment Plan: FY22-26 | October 2021


PTC for the Connecticut River Main Line

MassDOT is moving forward with a project that will bring a safety system known as Positive Train Control (PTC) to the MassDOT-owned Connecticut River Main Line between Springfield and the Vermont state line.

The Connecticut River Main Line, which is often referred to as the Conn River Line or the Knowledge Corridor, is used by Amtrak’s Valley Flyer and Vermonter trains, and the freight operator Pan Am Railways.

Notably, the Conn River Line is the only rail corridor used by Amtrak in Massachusetts that does not have PTC installed and in use today. The other rail corridors that Amtrak operates on in the state — the Northeast Corridor, the CSX freight line west of Worcester, the MBTA Commuter Rail network1, and the Amtrak line south of Springfield — all have PTC installed and in use today.

Updates

February 16, 2021 | At the MassDOT Board of Directors meeting it was announced that plans to procure long lead materials have started for the PTC project on the Knowledge Corridor. Final design will be completed this year and construction will be completed over the following two years.

1 The entire MBTA Commuter Rail network also has PTC installed and in use today.


NECR Freight Corridor Upgrade

In February 2021 the MassDOT Board of Directors agreed to move with a project that will upgrade the 55-mile New England Central Railroad (NECR) corridor in Massachusetts that runs between Monson, Palmer and Northfield.

The project, is funded roughly 1/3rd by NECR, 1/3rd by MassDOT, and 1/3 by the Federal Railroad Administration.

Presentation to MassDOT Board of Directors | February 22, 2021

The project includes the replacement of 22.7 miles of jointed rail with continuously welded rail, the installation of 30,000 wood ties, the replacement of 30 turnouts, the installation of 25,000 tones of new stone ballast, the alignment and surfacing of 54.7 miles of track, and bridge deck repairs on 16 structures.

The project, which should be complete in early 2024, will increase the maximum allowable gross weight for freight cars moved on the NECR line from from 263,000 lbs to current national standard which is 286,000 lbs.


Springfield | Riverfront Park Access Project

The City of Springfield has proposed that a new entrance way to River Front Park be constructed.

The proposed improvements, shown below, would replace the existing surface level parking lot on the east side of the tracks with an Americans with Disabilities Act compliant pedestrian path to the existing underpass at.

Rendering of proposed improvements | Springfield, Mass.

Timeline

January 15, 2021 | The state Transportation Bond Bill that was signed by Governor Baker included $1.5 million in funding to improve access to Riverfront Park in downtown Springfield.

March 8, 2022 | Amtrak offers a $3 million contribution towards the cost of Riverfront Park access project. As part of the agreement Amtrak would be permitted to permanently close the State Street crossing.

2023 | Planned start of construction on the project.

Further information

“Railroad underpass work to improve safety, access to Springfield’s Riverfront Park”
By Jim Kinney | Springfield Republican | February 19, 2021


Connecticut projects of note

Enfield, CT | Planned new Hartford Line station

Status: In Design

Architectural renderings of the planned Enfield Station | CTDOT | April 2021

This project will add a new Hartford Line station stop in Enfield, CT.

The project includes a includes a single high-level platform, transit connections, parking, and improvements to the railroad bridge over Main Street.

Enfield station is important for our region because once it opens it will become the station of choice for people living in Agawam, East Longmeadow and Longmeadow due to its close proximity.

Enfield Station preliminary site plan | April 2021

Progress images

Site of the future Enfield, CT station | looking North | 2014
By Wikimedia Commons user Pi.1415926535

Further reading

Enfield Station (PDF)
NEC Capital Investment Plan: FY22-26 | October 2021


Windsor Locks, CT | Planned new Hartford Line station

Status
CTDOT Project 0320-0016
Bids of for this project were opened on March 30, 2020. The apparent low bidder was Manafort Brothers Inc. with a bid of $19,663,134.

Rendering of proposed new station for Windsor Locks CT | August 2019

The new station, which would replace the current Amtrak-owned station at the south end of town, will be located just to the north of the historic station building.

The station will include one 500-foot long partially covered high-level train platform.

The platform will include guardrails, bench seating, trash and recycling receptacles, blue light phones, passenger information display signs and variable instant messaging signs.

The planned surface parking lots at the station will accommodate 159 vehicles.

The station will also include a loading/unloading area for connecting bus service to Bradley International Airport.

The new station is important for western Mass for two reasons —

  • Windsor Locks is currently the station of choice for people living in Agawam and Longmeadow due to its close proximity, and
  • This new station will be the transfer point for the bus connection between the Hartford Line and Bradley Airport.

Progress images

Site of planned new Windsor Locks station | looking north | January 26, 2020
Site of planned new Windsor Locks station | looking east | November 23, 2021

Further reading

Windsor Lock Station and Interlocking Improvements (PDF)
NEC Capital Investment Plan: FY22-26 | October 2021

Windsor Locks Station Factsheet (PDF)
CTDOT | September 2019

Windsor Locks Station Public Meeting Presentation (PDF)
CTDOT | September 2019


See also

Infrastructure | Completed Projects

MassDOT Capital Investment Plan

Page last updated: April 4, 2022
Page last reviewed: November 22, 2021