Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Knowledge Corridor construction advances

Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray recently joined Congressman John Olver, Congressman Richard Neal and Mayor Alex Morse of Holyoke for a first look at the potential site of the upcoming Holyoke Passenger Rail platform, signifying that construction is now underway to restore passenger rail service along the Connecticut River rail line, known as the Knowledge Corridor.

Funded through a $73 million federal grant by President Barack Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail program, the Knowledge Corridor project will restore Amtrak's intercity passenger train service to its original route by relocating the Vermonter from the New England Central Railroad back to its former route on the Pan Am Southern Railroad.

Construction is currently underway to replace 20,000 crossties from Greenfield to the Vermont border. The Knowledge Corridor project is on track to bring rail service to Northampton and Greenfield in 2014. Holyoke is beginning the design process for Holyoke Train Station and rail work is expected to begin this fall.

"Restoration of passenger rail service to the city of Holyoke and other parts of the Pioneer Valley is a critical step in ensuring economic opportunities for the citizens of this region," said Rep. Michael Knapik. "I am pleased this federal, state and local partnership has recognized the importance of rail transit for tourism, commerce and job creation."

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