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MassDOT Secures Funds for Enhanced Boston-Albany Passenger Rail
10:52AM / Tuesday, December 12, 2023
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BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has announced that up to $500,000 has been awarded to the Rail and Transit Division through the Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) Corridor Identification and Development Program (Corridor ID) to support planning for additional train service connecting Boston and Albany, New York through Springfield. 
This corridor would provide up to eight daily round-trip passenger trains on an existing alignment owned by CSX Transportation. Currently, the only passenger service on this corridor is Amtrak's once-daily long-distance Lake Shore Limited. Development of this corridor is part of the Healey-Driscoll Administration's vision to expand and enhance West-East passenger rail service in Massachusetts.    
"We are proud to secure this funding to support our administration's efforts to expand passenger rail service across Massachusetts and make West-East Rail a reality. We said from the start that we were going to compete for every federal funding opportunity to bring home dollars to support the infrastructure needs of our communities – and we are delivering on that promise," said Governor Maura Healey. "We're grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration for making this funding available and for the strong partnership of our federal delegation and state Legislature." 
The Corridor ID Program is a comprehensive intercity passenger rail planning and development program that will help guide intercity passenger rail development throughout the country and creates a pipeline of intercity passenger rail projects ready for implementation and funding through FRA's Federal-State Partnership-National Network Program.   
In addition, the FRA Program has awarded up to $500,000 to three corridors sponsored by Maine, Vermont, and Connecticut, which will also improve rail service in Massachusetts. These include the Downeaster Corridor, Vermonter Corridor, and Hartford Line Corridor.     
The funding awarded to MassDOT's Rail and Transit Division for the Boston-Albany corridor builds on $108 million that Massachusetts secured from the FRA in September of this year, for corridor infrastructure projects planned under the "Connecting the Commonwealth: Early Actions for the Inland Route Project" which will result in new, twice daily roundtrip Amtrak service between Boston and New Haven, CT via Springfield.   
"We applaud the Biden Administration and the FRA for their unwavering commitment to delivering world-class passenger rail that will better connect our communities and bring long-term economic benefits for Massachusetts," said Transportation Secretary and CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt. "Enhanced service between Boston and Albany via Springfield provides more transportation options between these two key markets and will support economic development in communities along the route."   
In 2022, MassDOT announced that the Biden Administration had awarded almost $1.8 million to the state through the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program for preliminary engineering and environmental review for investments to improve rail infrastructure, enhance safety and operational flexibility, and increase train capacity in Western Massachusetts near Springfield Union Station.?MassDOT is providing a 50 percent match for funds awarded through CRISI.?These investments will support the Amtrak Springfield Line, the CSX Boston Albany Line, and small segments of the former Armory Branch and Knowledge Corridor.    
MassDOT continues to seek additional financial resources to grow its passenger rail program. Requests for passenger rail funding are part of the Healey-Driscoll Administration's whole of government strategy to compete for federal money that includes more than $2 billion dollars in still pending federal funding applications to advance
infrastructure projects that further equity, competitiveness, workforce development and climate resiliency in communities across Massachusetts.   
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