Officials Inspect Massachusetts Route That May See Additional Boston-Albany Amtrak Trains

Amtrak and Massachusetts officials recently inspected the passenger carrier’s route between Boston and Springfield, Massachusetts as part of a study of possible expansion of intercity rail service.

Stephen Gardner, Amtrak’s CEO, said the passenger carrier is considering increasing service in the corridor, which now has just one pair of trains, the Chicago-Boston Lake Shore Limited.

Gardner and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Massachusetts Transportation Secretary James Tesler, and U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-Springfield) inspected the route from aboard an Amtrak business car.

In interviews with local news media, Gardner said the trip’s purpose was to see what work needs to be done to upgrade the route.

Gardner said Amtrak is considering continuing some trains that now terminate in Springfield eastward to Boston.

Massachusetts officials want to see Amtrak add two new trains between Boston and Albany-Rensselaer, New York.

CSX owns most of that route but as part of its acquisition of Pan Am Railways pledged to cooperate with Amtrak and the state in making line improvements.

Those would include building additional track and station platforms among other work.

The Massachusetts state legislature has approved a $275 million bond authorization to be used to fund route infrastructure work.

Lawmakers also created a commission to create a passenger rail authority by March 2023.

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