Reports & Studies

Here’s a listing of reports and studies that relate — both directly and indirectly — to rail service in the Pioneer Valley.


Active Studies

Massachusetts State Rail Plan Update (2015 — )
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is currently developing a state rail plan update that will examine changes to the network and services since the original state rail plan was released in 2010, as well as trends that have arisen since that time. The plan will document the state rail system and planned improvements, and outline the Commonwealth’s 20-year vision and a four-year plan for the statewide rail system.


NEC FUTURE (2012 — )

NEC FUTURE is a comprehensive planning effort to define, evaluate and prioritize future investments in the Northeast Corridor. The planning effort is being managed by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).  NEC FUTURE will create a framework for the future investments needed to improve passenger rail capacity and service through 2040.


Proposed Studies

Feasibility study relative to high-speed rail access between the cities of Springfield and Boston
This proposed study would examine and evaluate the costs and economic opportunities related to establishing high-speed rail service between the cities of Springfield and Boston

Current Status
Senator Eric Lesser (D-Longmeadow) is the primary sponsor of Bill S.1936, “An act to study the feasibility of high-speed rail access between Springfield and Boston.

This is the second attempt by the legislature to have this bill enacted. In the previous session, Senator Lesser’s bill was approved as an amendment to the budget, but it ultimately died when Governor Baker referred the amendment back to the legislature with a request for a much broader study. The governor’s asked that the study instead focus on the potential expansion and enhancement of several modes of transportation between the “Knowledge Corridor” and Springfield and Boston, including automobile, bus, passenger rail, freight rail, and other common carrier services.


Past Reports & Studies

Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative (2013 — 2016)
This study examines the opportunities and impacts of more frequent and higher speed intercity passenger rail service on two major rail corridors known as the Inland Route (New Haven-Springfield-Boston) and the Boston to Montreal Route.


Franklin County Regional Transportation Plan (2016)
Section 7 – Passenger Rail
Section 8 – Freight (truck and rail)


Making it Happen: Opportunities and Strategies for Transit-Oriented Development in the Knowledge Corridor (2013)
This report is a market analysis for transit-oriented development in the region’s bus rapid transit and rail corridors.


Transforming the Rail Network for Economic and Community Development Report (2012)
A progress report on efforts to transform the state rail network.


Holyoke Station Feasibility Study and Site Analysis (2011)
This study was prepared to evaluate the options for a new passenger rail station in the City of Holyoke, Massachusetts.

The study also examined the feasibility of providing a passenger rail stop in Holyoke as part of the restoration of passenger rail service on the route that passes through the City.


Massachusetts State Rail Plan (2010)
The State Rail Plan provides an overall plan for the development of rail transportation in the Commonwealth.

The findings and recommendations of the Rail Plan are based on a comprehensive evaluation of the Commonwealth’s freight and passenger rail transportation system: its operations, and effect on economic development and quality of life.


Knowledge Corridor Feasibility Study (2009)
This study was prepared to assess the feasibility of possible future passenger rail improvements to reduce travel time, maximize accessibility, and provide viable transportation alternatives within the Knowledge Corridor.

The study also evaluated the impact to freight rail shipping costs and opportunities to move goods by rail rather than truck.


Environmental Assessment, Knowledge Corridor – Restore Vermonter Springfield to East Northfield, Massachusetts (2009)
This Environmental Assessment was prepared is part of the project to restore passenger rail service along the Knowledge Corridor between Springfield and East Northfield in Massachusetts.


Preserving Freight and Passenger Rail Corridors and Service (2007)
A report that documents current national practices with respect to rail corridor preservation.



Page last updated: February 24, 2017
Page last reviewed: August 29, 2016