Fight is On for Better Trains in the Valley

Activists are working to improve passenger train service in the Valley. “Our two main goals are more frequent train service between Greenfield and Springfield, and faster and more frequent trains between Springfield and Boston,” Ben Heckscher, Jr. of TrainsInTheValley.org told the Valley Post in a November 7 telephone interview.

Traveling by train rather than by car is better for the environment, and safer.

Tim Brennan is the director of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, a government agency with 47 employees. “Two trains in the morning between Greenfield and Springfield and two in the evening, in addition to the one we have now, is do-able by 2019,” Brennan told the Valley Post in a telephone interview on November 6. “If that's going to happen, people need to contact the Massachusetts secretary of transportation now and say they want it.”

Brennan said more frequent, faster train service between Springfield and Boston is also feasible if enough people contact their elected officials and say they want it. There are seven daily Amtrak round-trips between Springfield and New York City.

Mollie Burke is a member of the Vermont legislature. She lives in Brattleboro. “When it starts, we need to extend the Springfield – Greenfield commuter train to Brattleboro,” Burke told the Valley Post in a telephone interview on November 3. “We can pay for it by raising the gas tax.”

Erica Roper works at the Windham Regional Commission. "We are involved in conversations about connecting Brattleboro to the soon-to-come Greenfield to Springfield commuter rail," she told the Valley Post.

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