Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick joined Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary and CEO Richard Davey and other MassDOT officials July 30, for a 37-mile tour of the Housatonic Railroad line.
The Housatonic, which runs from north-south from Pittsfield to Sheffield at the Massachusetts-Connecticut state line, is currently used for freight service between Pittsfield and points south into Connecticut. Restoration of passenger service would require an investment of approximately $113 million for track rehabilitation, installation of a signal system, improvements to grade crossings and the construction or reconstruction of six stations along the corridor within Massachusetts.
The tour, which made several stops for passengers to observe the line’s conditions in key areas, highlighted the underutilization of the line and necessary investments that could be made for the line to become suitable for passenger service.
In January 2013, MassDOT received Federal Highway discretionary funds to support a station location and design analysis study for passenger service.