3 Options Laid Out for Mass. East-West Service

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has listed three options for creating a rail passenger service between Boston and Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

The options have price tags of between $2.4 billion and $4.6 billion.

MassDOT’s report concluded that all three alternatives face obstacles in qualifying for federal funding.

In an executive summary, the report said the project would likely require “a combination of many different funding sources and strategies, but that, under current federal methodology, the project would “likely not qualify for federal funding.”

Aside from cost, the variables among the three options are how much track work would be needed, the travel time of the service and projected ridership. The latter would be affected by the projected travel time.

The least expensive option of $2.4 billion would have a travel times of 1 hour, 57 minutes between Boston and Springfield, and 3 hours, nine minutes between Boston and Pittsfield.

Projected ridership would be 922 to 1,188 passengers on weekdays by 2040.

The $3.9 billion, would take 1:47 between Springfield and Boston and 2:59 between Pittsfield and Boston, with projected ridership of 1,157 to 1,379 passengers.

The $4.6 billion option would result in travel times of 1:37 between Springfield and Boston and 2:49 between Pittsfield and Boston, and would be used by 1,296 to 1,557 passengers per weekday.

Boston and Pittsfield are currently linked by the Boston section of Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited.

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