Plans for Boston South Station included in $160 million of high speed grants for New England

RELATED TOPICS: HIGH SPEED RAIL
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BOSTON — Plans to expand Boston South Station will move ahead, thanks to a $32.5 million federal high speed grant awarded to Massachusetts, state officials announced Monday. The proposal is one of several rail projects in New England that will receive more than $160 million of funding in the second wave of federal high speed grants.

The grant for Boston South Station will fund design work and environmental permitting that will expand the station area into an adjacent post office building, reconfigure three critical track interlockings, and build seven new station tracks to enlarge South Station’s capacity from 13 to 20 tracks.

“This is a big deal for South Boston and a big step forward towards making Massachusetts the nation’s leader in high speed rail,” said Sen. John Kerry.

The extra space is needed for planned increases in Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter rail service as well as increases in Amtrak service. Boston South Station is the northern anchor of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, serving high speed Acela Express trains to Washington, D.C., Northeast Regional trains to Richmond, Newport News, and Lynchburg, Va., and the long-distance Lake Shore Limited to Chicago. The project has received strong support from Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service.

Among other grants in the region, the Connecticut Department of Transportation was awarded $120 million to continue double-tracking Amtrak’s New Haven-Hartford-Springfield, Mass., line. The additional capacity could enable new commuter service on the line, as well as restore Amtrak intercity service on the “Inland Route” between Boston and New York via Springfield.

New Hampshire received a planning grant of $2.2 million to study adding passenger trains on a 73-mile line between Boston and Concord, N.H., while Maine and the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority were awarded a $600,000 planning grant to study improvements to Amtrak’s Downeaster service.

In addition, states in the Northeast Corridor from Maine to Virginia will share a $10 million planning grant to study how high speed rail can help improve the region’s transportation network, curb auto and aviation congestion, and promote economic development.

Massachusetts was awarded $70 million in the first round of high speed rail funding, announced in January 2010, to reroute Amtrak’s New York-St. Albans Vermonter onto a direct Pan Am Railways line running north of Springfield, Mass., with new stops in the towns of Northampton and Greenfield. The train’s current routing via CSX and New England Central requires making a reverse move at Palmer, Mass. A total of $160 million in Round 1 high speed funding was awarded to Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut to improve rail service on the Vermonter’s route between New Haven, Springfield, and St. Albans. In addition, Maine was awarded $35 million to extend the Downeaster from Portland to Brunswick, Maine. The projects support an agreement signed in 2009 by all the governors of New England to double passenger rail ridership in the Northeast by 2030.

“Governor Deval Patrick deserves credit for his strong advocacy on behalf of this grant application. He personally called U.S. DOT Secretary LaHood to discuss the benefits of South Station’s expansion,” said MassDOT Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Mullan. “This round of funding is a great validation.”
MassDOT-South-Station-2
This artist’s rendering shows the 7 new tracks and expanded waiting area planned for Boston South Station.
MassDOT
BOSTON — Plans to expand Boston South Station will move ahead, thanks to a $32.5 million federal high speed grant awarded to Massachusetts, state officials announced Monday. The proposal is one of several rail projects in New England that will receive more than $160 million of funding in the second wave of federal high speed grants.

The grant for Boston South Station will fund design work and environmental permitting that will expand the station area into an adjacent post office building, reconfigure three critical track interlockings, and build seven new station tracks to enlarge South Station’s capacity from 13 to 20 tracks.

“This is a big deal for South Boston and a big step forward towards making Massachusetts the nation’s leader in high speed rail,” said Sen. John Kerry.

The extra space is needed for planned increases in Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter rail service as well as increases in Amtrak service. Boston South Station is the northern anchor of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, serving high speed Acela Express trains to Washington, D.C., Northeast Regional trains to Richmond, Newport News, and Lynchburg, Va., and the long-distance Lake Shore Limited to Chicago. The project has received strong support from Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service.

Among other grants in the region, the Connecticut Department of Transportation was awarded $120 million to continue double-tracking Amtrak’s New Haven-Hartford-Springfield, Mass., line. The additional capacity could enable new commuter service on the line, as well as restore Amtrak intercity service on the “Inland Route” between Boston and New York via Springfield.

New Hampshire received a planning grant of $2.2 million to study adding passenger trains on a 73-mile line between Boston and Concord, N.H., while Maine and the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority were awarded a $600,000 planning grant to study improvements to Amtrak’s Downeaster service.

In addition, states in the Northeast Corridor from Maine to Virginia will share a $10 million planning grant to study how high speed rail can help improve the region’s transportation network, curb auto and aviation congestion, and promote economic development.

Massachusetts was awarded $70 million in the first round of high speed rail funding, announced in January 2010, to reroute Amtrak’s New York-St. Albans Vermonter onto a direct Pan Am Railways line running north of Springfield, Mass., with new stops in the towns of Northampton and Greenfield. The train’s current routing via CSX and New England Central requires making a reverse move at Palmer, Mass. A total of $160 million in Round 1 high speed funding was awarded to Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut to improve rail service on the Vermonter’s route between New Haven, Springfield, and St. Albans. In addition, Maine was awarded $35 million to extend the Downeaster from Portland to Brunswick, Maine. The projects support an agreement signed in 2009 by all the governors of New England to double passenger rail ridership in the Northeast by 2030.

“Governor Deval Patrick deserves credit for his strong advocacy on behalf of this grant application. He personally called U.S. DOT Secretary LaHood to discuss the benefits of South Station’s expansion,” said MassDOT Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Mullan. “This round of funding is a great validation.”
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