The new route for passenger rail through the Pioneer Valley is exceeding expectations. That’s according to numbers from Amtrak. But it’s hard to tell if its had much of an effect on local businesses.
The change was spurred by federal stimulus money to update Amtrak’s Vermonter line. The trip is now slightly shorter, but the trains aren’t coming through the area any more often.
A long-awaited upgrade to the north-south Amtrak line through the Pioneer Valley starts running next week, but work on the tracks is not complete.
An update to the north-south Amtrak line along the Connecticut River is expected to be running by the end of 2014. The project has been delayed, and might be running over budget.
Massachusetts and federal lawmakers were in Holyoke Monday to highlight plans to build a train platform, the latest in a series of projects aimed at revitalizing Holyoke’s downtown.
It’s been more than two years since the Massachusetts Department of Transportation secured $73 million in federal stimulus funds to speed up North-South Amtrak service in Western Massachusetts.
With $17 million now secured for for the renovation of Springfield’s Union Station, more frequent passenger rail service through Western Massachusetts is on the horizon.