Infrastructure | Current Projects

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

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.

Contents

Northampton | CWR Installation and maintenance

Springfield | Amtrak Interlocking Renewal Project

Springfield | Riverfront Park Access Project

Springfield | Track Reconfiguration Design Project

Conn River Main Line PTC project

Conn River Main Line Bridge Work | MP 3.6 & MP 7.97

NECR Freight Corridor Upgrade

Connecticut projects of note

Enfield, CT | New Hartford Line station

Windsor Locks, CT | New Hartford Line station


Northampton | CWR installation and maintenance (2022)

An image of the train track in Northampton Massachusetts.
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 | Amtrak interlocking renewal project (2019– )

An image of track work in Springfield Massachusetts,
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 Amtrak’s 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


Springfield | Riverfront park access project (2023– )

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.

A rendering of of the proposed new path to Riverfront Park in Springfield Massachusetts.
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


Springfield | Track Reconfiguration Design Project

A map of the railroad tracks in and around Springfield Union Station in Springfield Massachusetts.
Springfield station area | OpenRailwayMap | June 2022

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) intends to prepare preliminary engineering design and environmental clearance work for significant track, signal, and infrastructure improvements around Springfield Union Station.

These improvements include additional platforms, additional crossover tracks, storage tracks, a new layover facility, and other work that will support the Amtrak Springfield Line, the CSX Boston Albany Line, and small segments of the former Armory Branch (to the east of the station) and Connecticut River Main Line.

This project would improve operational efficiency, reduce travel times, improve passenger accessibility for intercity passenger rail services, and reduce freight and passenger rail conflicts on the rail corridors in the Springfield area.

The final design, among other things, most likely will include track work that would eliminate the need for Amtrak’s Valley Flyer trains to back in and out of the station, and for Amtrak east-west trains 448 & 449 (the Lake Shore Limited) to stop on a low level platform in Springfield rather than on the new high-level platform.

This project lays the ground work for a significant increase in train and passengers traffic at Springfield Union Station in the coming years.


Conn River Main Line Bridge Work | MP 3.6 & MP 7.97 (2022)

This project calls for the repair and rehabilitation of two existing steel railroad bridges on the Connecticut River Main Line, in the cities of Chicopee and Holyoke.

An image of the Depot Street railroad overpass in Chicopee Massachusetts.
Conn River Main Line bridge at MP 3.6 | looking west
Depot Street in Chicopee, Mass. | June 20, 2020

The bridge at milepost (MP) 3.6, which carriers the railroad line over Depot Street in Chicopee, is a 25-foot long single span open deck bridge.

An image of the railroad bridge over a canal in Holyoke Massachusetts.
Conn River Main Line bridge at MP 7.97 | looking east
Gatehouse Road in Holyoke, Mass. | June 20, 2022

The bridge at MP 7.97 — which carries the railroad line over the Second Level Canal and Lyman street in Holyoke — is a 336-foot long 3-span open deck bridge.

The bridge was built in 1928 by the Boston Bridge Works. The inventory record, which can be found on the link below, indicates that the bridge replaced an iron lattice truss bridge that was built on the site in 1887.

The bidding documents state that the project must be substantially completed during a planned 3-day track outage that is scheduled to start on Friday September 9, 2022 @ 1:00 am and end on Monday September 12, 2022 @ 3:00 am.

Further reading

B & M Railroad Bridge over Lyman Street
Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System


Connecticut River Main Line PTC project (2021– )

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

June 21, 2021 | The MassDOT Board of Directors approved a $65 million multi-year project to add Positive Train Control (PTC) to the Connecticut River Main Line as part of the SFY 2022 Capital Investment Plan. The plan detailed $15 million in spending for the project in SFY 2022.

February 16, 2022 | During 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. It was said that, “final design will be completed this year and construction will be completed over the following two years.”

May 18, 2022 | During a presentation to the MassDOT Board of Directors the Rail & Transit Administrator reported that MassDOT is working with Amtrak to pursue federal funds for the Knowledge Corridor PTC project.

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


NECR Freight Corridor Upgrade (2021– )

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.

A map showing planned track work in Massachusetts.
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.


Connecticut projects of note

Enfield, CT | New Hartford Line station (2023– )

Status: In Design

Architectural renderings of the planned Enfield station in Enfield, Connecticut.
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.

The project is scheduled to be put out to bid in May 2023 with constructions started later that year.

A preliminary site plan for the new station in Enfield Connecticut.
Enfield Station preliminary site plan | April 2021

Progress images

An image of the site where the new train station in Enfield Connecticut will be built.
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

Enfield has a Station (PDF)
Town of Enfield | March 2021

Transit Oriented Development Project
Town of Enfield


Windsor Locks, CT | New Hartford Line station (2022– )

A rendering of proposed new train station in Windsor Locks Connecticut.
Rendering of proposed new station for Windsor Locks CT | August 2019

On September 14, 2022, Governor Ned Lamont joined state and local officials to officially break ground for the project, which includes a new train station and roadway safety and track improvements in the Town of Windsor Locks.

The new station, which will be located just to the north of the historic Windsor Locks station building, is expected to open in 2024.

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

The planned surface parking lots at the station is designed to 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.

Project milestones

September 19, 2019 | The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) hosted a public information meeting meeting to present the project to the community
Presentation deck (PDF) | Project Fact Sheet (PDF)

March 30, 2022 | Bids for this project (CTDOT Project 0320-0016) were opened. The apparent low bidder is Manafort Brothers Inc. with a bid of $19,663,134.

July 2022 | The contact for the project was awarded to the Walsh Group.

September 14, 2022 | Governor Ned Lamont and other elected officials officially broke ground for the project.

Progress images

An image of the location where the new train station will be built in Windsor Locks Connecticut.
Planned new Windsor Locks station site | looking east | November 23, 2021
An image of the site of the planned new train station in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.
Planned new Windsor Locks station site | looking north | July 7, 2022
Planned new Windsor Locks station site | looking north | September 13, 2022

The image above shows that the site is has been setup for an official “ground breaking” ceremony.

The sign in the distance (on the left near the road) is covered with a white sheet and if you zoom in you can see a linear pile of “ceremonial sand” that has been setup for the politicians to put their shovels in to.

Further reading

Project Fact Sheet (PDF)

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


See also

East-West rail in Massachusetts

Infrastructure | Completed Projects

MassDOT Capital Investment Plan

Page last updated: September 16, 2022
Page last reviewed: November 22, 2021