The Train Campaign aims to bring passenger rail back to the United States, starting with popular rural destination west of Boston and north of New York known as the Berkshire Hills, and also including Columbia County, New York, and the northwestern corner of Connecticut. Passenger rail service will provide an economic boost to our communities, reduce the traffic on our roads, and attract new visitors and businesses to our area.
Restored passenger service from Boston and New York City to Pittsfield, MA, will promote sustainable economic development and make the northwest corner of Connecticut and the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts a vibrant model for the kind of rural-urban connections needed in the 21st century.
Businesses offering professional jobs will be far more likely to relocate when there is easy access to New York, and existing businesses, schools, and organizations will thrive.
Projected benefits from restored passenger service on the Housatonic Line:
- Increased total economic output in the region. The increase during the first decade of the project would total in excess of $625 million dollars additional goods and services produced and sold in the region.
- This increase in economic activity in the region would bring an average of 610 new jobs to the region (with a maximum of 733 jobs during the initial construction and upgrade of the railroad)
- The increase in economic activity in the region would provide Connecticut and Massachusetts state governments, and local governments in the region with nearly $29.5 million in additional tax revenues during the first decade of the project
- During the first decade the affected region would provide the federal government with an additional $55 million in tax revenues
- The value of residential properties located relatively close to (within a few miles of) the passenger stations for the railroad would increase modestly, generating at least $310 million in additional wealth for property owners, and possibly as much as $619 million. Because these impacts will be spread along the entire region, these changes are not expected to generate significant changes in broad land use patterns (although there may be some changes very near the stations)
- The availability of passenger rail service and anticipated levels of demand will reduce automobile traffic on local and regional roadways, saving nearly $1.4 million during the first decade of the project.
- The availability of passenger rail service and anticipated levels of demand will reduce fatal automobile accidents, saving the lives of an expected 8 persons during the first decade of the project and reducing associated costs of fatal accidents by $7.2 million during the first decade of the project.
- Passenger rail service has much lower impact on the climate than private automobile travel. The availability of passenger rail service, along with the expected levels of utilization of the service, would reduce global warming and result in a reduction of global mean temperature of 2.2 x 10-7 degrees Celsius.
Economic Benefits of Housatonic Railroad Passenger Service. Center for Creative Community Development, 2011.