From: Ruth Pearce
Sent: Saturday, June 14, 2014 12:47 PM
Subject: Bring back the trains

My name is Ruth Pearce and I live with my husband in Stockbridge Massachusetts. We have lived in the town since 2005, at first returning home only on weekends, but now enjoying being home in the Berkshires year round and full-time. One of our biggest challenges is to be able to make a living and yet still live in the home we love. To that end, my husband travels to NYC every week, either driving his own car to the city, or driving to Hudson, NY and taking the amtrak train. We have often thought how wonderful it would be to be able to take the train from one of our local towns – Stockbridge, Pittsfield/Lenox or Great Barrington. It would make life so much better.
At some point in the future I may also have to return to NYC for work (currently I am working in Springfield). Again, the train service from Pittsfield to NYC would be a god-send.

This does not just apply to us. Many people visit and fall in love with the Berkshires and would consider moving here if there was more access to work and the big city. With a direct train service more visitors could access the area without bringing their gas guzzling cars to impinge on the environment and block our streets. With a good reliable train service, new business opportunities would open up from taxi services, and expanded bus routes to restaurants and cultural sites. The train service could bring about a much needed boost to the area and reverse the current trend of people moving out of our local towns.

I write to you to urge you to support the campaign to bring the trains back to the Berkshires. Please support the Pittsfield – NYC rail link. This is not just good for the Berkshires and Massachusetts, but would improve travel options and economics for Connecticut too.

Ruth Pearce

On Jun 15, 2014, at 11:41 AM, “Davey, Richard (DOT)” <[email protected]> wrote:

Ruth:

Thanks so much for the note.  Governor Patrick is in full agreement, and has included $100M in our five year transportation capital plan to help restore the train service.  We are working closely with the owners of the railroad, Housatonic Railroad, to come to an agreement on how we can best do that.  The track is so old, we will need to make major investments to ensure the railroad is safe for passenger speeds.

In addition, we are also having conversations with the state of Connecticut who will be a key partner.  While their current focus is rail service between New Haven and Springfield, we believe support is building across our border for the Berkshire service too.

I am hopeful we can make real progress over the final months of our term, and your support and advocacy should continue – the next Administration needs to know that this is good for the Berkshires and our economy as a whole.

Best to you, hope you are enjoying your Sunday.

Rich

On Jun 15, 2014, at 12:09 PM, “Ruth Pearce” wrote:

Rich

Thank you for your response. Please tell me what I can do to help keep this in the forefront of legislators’ minds. I had read about the New Haven – Springfield line with some interest because I work in Springfield MA/Enfield CT these days. It is really the only major employment hub in MA that is accessible to me. Previously I was working in Albany, but a had strange sense of disloyalty to my home state as a result. I would love to see more initiatives in the west of the state to bring commerce here.
Most people in this area do what is called the “Berkshire shuffle”, taking on multiple roles and businesses in order to survive here. I work in Springfield, my husband works from home and in NYC and we rent out parts of our home to make a little extra money in tourist season. We – both at the state and local level – need to find ways to expand the pot and make living here feasible year round. The rail is part of that. I know Governor Patrick is a lover of the area, and spends time in RIchmond. It would be wonderful if part of his legacy could be to develop incentives for eco friendly business to move to the area. I was talking to a representative of Yankee Home Improvement the other day who said that the company is looking to create another office. He said it might be in western MA but more likely it will be Worcester. Yet another business elects not to come to our area. Incentives and infrastructure are key.

Anyway, that is enough from me for a Sunday. I am going back to setting up the third part of our home as a rental.

Enjoy the day and thank you again for responding to me.

Ruth

From: “Davey, Richard (DOT)” <[email protected]>
Date: June 15, 2014 at 13:56:23 EDT
To: Ruth Pearce
Subject: Re: Bring back the trains

We are pushing very hard, it’s a great idea.  If you have a chance to let your local legislators know how you feel, that would be very helpful too.