Studies and Reports

This page contains a number of studies, reports, and other documents relating to proposed rail projects in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and throughout New England. These documents provide detailed information on the progress of these projects, and are especially useful for getting data on their projected usage and impact (environmental and economic).

Housatonic (Berkshire) Line

  • Economic Benefits of Housatonic Railroad Passenger Service (2010) by Stephen Sheppard of the Center for Creative Community Development in Williamstown, MA. This report analyzes the economic impact that restoring passenger service to the Berkshire Line would have on the communities it serves, and is useful for anyone wishing to know more about the economic effects of passenger service on this line.
  • Projected Ridership Study MSR 2010 by Julie Pokela of Market Street Research in Northampton, MA. This study gives estimates for projected ridership along the Berkshire Line based on a survey of Berkshire and Litchfield Counties.
  • Housatonic Rail Station Locations Study 2014 by the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission in Pittsfield, MA. This study examines a wide range of options for stations along the Berkshire Line in Massachusetts, ultimately recommending downtown stations in Pittsfield, Lee, and Great Barrington, with the possibility of an additional station in Sheffield.

East-West Rail

  • Inland Route Service Development Plan (2016) by Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative (NNEIRI) in Springfield, MA. This study examines a plan put forward by the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission for potential intercity rail service on two routes (Boston and Montreal, Canada and Boston to New Haven, CT) via Springfield, MA. While NNEIRI’s proposed route does not serve Pittsfield or Berkshire County, it vastly improves service along the Inland Route between Boston and Springfield and many of the proposed upgrades are necessary in order to eventually expand service between Boston and Pittsfield.
  • East-West Rail Study Scope (2019) by MassDOT. This report is the outline of a study, currently in progress, on the feasibility of increased passenger rail service between Boston and Pittsfield. Once completed, the study will include a Market Analysis report, information on current track conditions and necessary upgrades on the line, and several potential plans for instituting service.

Berkshire Flyer

  • Berkshire Flyer Market Research Report (2018) by students at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) in North Adams, MA. This report summarizes a survey conducted by undergraduate students at MCLA that gauges interest in passenger rail service between New York City and the Berkshires.
  • The Berkshire Flyer 2.0 (2019) by the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission in Pittsfield, MA. This report summarizes a plan to institute summer weekend passenger service between New York City and Pittsfield via Albany, NY, to begin operation in 2020.

Other Projects

  • Rebooting New England (2016) by students at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design in Philadelphia, PA. This report proposes an ambitious set of new rail routes intended to revitalize, or “reboot”, mid-sized industrial cities throughout New England by improving their connections with each other and with the larger cities of Boston and New York.