It’s Time For America To Get Serious About Fixing The Trains

This article by Amy Crawford explains that “Instead of spending billions to bail out airlines, advocates argue for a more carbon-friendly pandemic investment: railroad travel.”

Rail is the mode that “best supports 21st-century development in bustling urban centers, walkable downtowns even in much smaller cities and towns and the agglomeration economies of cities and megaregions that are driving the vast majority of current economic growth,” according to a white paper laying out Moulton’s plan. In other words, trains are not only better for the environment than other modes of transportation, but they can also promote the kind of density that makes communities greener and allows economies to grow.

While previous stimulus efforts, including after the 2008 recession, focused on highways, [Massachusetts congressman Seth] Moulton said that “investment is achieving diminishing returns.” Highways promote sprawl, leading to longer commutes and more emissions while making regional economies less efficient, he argued. “Forcing everyone into more cars or over-crowded planes has failed for our international peers and is failing here at home,” the congressman said. Read the whole article.

Recordings of this week’s events

  • The Train Campaign at Bascom Lodge
  • Northwest Connecticut: Towards a Connected Future by Rail
Hosted in cooperation with Bascom Lodge on Mount Greylock, this one-hour program  introduces the work of the Train Campaign to bring back passenger service between Pittsfield, MA and New York City. You’ll see photos of the upgrade to passenger standard now underway in Massachusetts and hear about the success to date of the Massachusetts bill that would fund a new study of economic and environmental impact. It provides information about the proposed restoration of rail service to Boston, too, both on the main east-west line and via Greenfield to North Adams.
This program focused on passenger service between Pittsfield, MA and New York City and related efforts underway in New Milford, North Canaan, and Danbury. At the end we answer questions about the Maybrook Line between Danbury and Southeast, and questions about noise, type of trains, and impact on downtown New Milford.

There are important developments underway in Washington DC, too: Senator Edward Markey has released legislation and specifically mentioned the Housatonic Line. Rep. Richard Neal, Berkshire County’s congressman, has proposed a federal instructure bill that would include support for western Massachusetts rail.