NEPR: Tallying Up The Costs And Benefits Of More Western New England Train Service

26 Jul 2016

By: Nancy Eve Cohen

July 20, 2016

If you want to take a train from Springfield to Boston, there’s only one a day and it’s notoriously slow. But a new federally funded study looks at the cost and benefits of expanding train service to Boston — and Montreal.

The Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative calls for higher speed passenger train service in Massachusetts and nearby states. It would include eight new trains a day, round trip from Boston to Springfield and then on to New Haven.


Revenues from train fares wouldn’t cover the cost, but Tim Brennan of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission says the benefits don’t come from ticket sales.

“They come from economic development where the trains land, they come job creation, they come from enhanced tourism, they come from climate change benefits,” Brennan says. “When you roll all those benefits up, that’s what makes the investment worthwhile.”

Click here to read the full NEPR report.