From a Trains in the Valley report about the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) meeting on February 6th of the East-West Rail Study Advisory Committee: “To the surprise of many in the room the numbers presented (ridership projections and estimated costs) were wildly different than what the previous study (from 2016) had projected. / As example — for a service with 6 round trips a day between Springfield and Boston (Alternative 2 of the current study and the recommended option from the previous study) — the previous study projected 477,000 annual riders but the current study now only shows 48,000 annual riders. (a tenfold difference.) / The capital costs for the same service were projected to be $309 million in 2016 but the costs have now somehow ballooned to 2.12 billion — 7 times the cost that was estimated in the 2016 study.”

Two more meetings are coming up soon:

  1. Public Meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 12 from 6-8 p.m. at the UMass Center in Springfield, Classroom 014, Tower Square, 1500 Main Street.
  2. Advisory Committee meeting on Monday, Feb. 24 from 1-3 p.m. at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel, Ballroom North, 3rd floor.

Both meetings are open to the public. More information at MassDOT or Trains in the Valley. Ben Heckscher at Trains in the Valley generally posts information before anyone else!

Want a ride to the Wednesday evening meeting?
There’s space for four in car leaving from Great Barrington at 4.30pm – write for details.