Knowledge Corridor Passenger Rail Set to Expand Service in 2019

Passenger rail in the Knowledge Corridor of Massachusetts is set to expand in 2019 with two new roundtrips planned for Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield based on a recent MassDOT announcement.  The expanded rail service would start as a two and a half year pilot project with an extension of Amtrak shuttle trains that serve New Haven to Springfield.  The expanded service is specifically designed to add new southbound morning trains and northbound evening trains to allow Pioneer Valley travelers more options to travel to Connecticut and New York City (there are numerous Metro North and Amtrak connecting trains in New Haven). Hodge Economic Consulting has been working over the past two years with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission and Franklin Regional Council of Governments on a variety of economic analysis, ridership, operations, and strategic planning tasks in support of this expanded service coordinated with MassDOT. Most recently, Hodge developed the draft performance measures and data collection that will be used to evaluate the pilot performance and developed an initial marketing and outreach plan.