The Train Campaign, A project of the Barrington Institute, Inc.
Plans to restore passenger rail service from Grand Central Terminal to Pittsfield, Massachusetts, have been underway for nearly five years. The Berkshire Line project has unique potential as a model for investment in US rail infrastructure and operations. It will connect New York City, which has by far the largest percentage of public transport users in the United States, with one of the many rural regions where there is new demand for rail service.
Similar initiatives have sprung up in Michigan, Virginia, Oklahoma, Florida, and elsewhere, but this particular project, which spans New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, is far more advanced, only in need of additional investment to become a reality within a couple of years. There is a train line already in place, currently running a freight service on 100-year-old tracks, and Massachusetts has committed more than half the funds required to restore the passenger service. The region it will reach, the Berkshires, is an iconic vacation area known for summer culture, winter sports, and also as home to some of the leading private schools in the United States.The project has been designed as a public-private partnership, intended to operate without public subsidy once the new 21st-century infrastructure is in place.