Getting east-west rail service on track. When Governor Charlie Baker visits Springfield on Friday, US Representative Richard Neal will join him to celebrate the last piece of the long-awaited Union Station renovation: a new elevator to the train platform.
But Neal doesn’t want to stop there. The Springfield Democrat plans to give Baker an earful about another pet project that hasn’t even left the station yet: frequent train service to Boston.
The existing Springfield-Boston service is minimal: one Amtrak train a day, taking well over two hours. Political and business leaders in Western Massachusetts want something akin to commuter service: several rush-hour trains a day, chugging across the state in 90 minutes or less.
Boston businesspeople are eager, too. Why? Many think frequent train service beyond Worcester to Springfield (with a stop in Palmer along the way) would open up lower-cost housing opportunities for people who work in Boston and a new labor market for employers.