South Coast Rail
|South Coast Rail|
Section of track in Fall River proposed for commuter rail service
|Type||Commuter rail line|
|System||MBTA Commuter Rail|
|Termini||Boston South Station
Battleship Cove (Fall River branch)
Whale's Tooth (New Bedford branch)
|Operator(s)||Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad|
|Character||Elevated and surface-level|
|Track length||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
South Coast Rail is a project to build a new branch of the MBTA Commuter Rail system, upon discontinued rail lines. The line has been proposed to restore service to Boston through the towns of Taunton, Berkley, Fall River, Freetown, and New Bedford, on the south coast of Massachusetts. When finished, it will become part of the Providence/Stoughton Line. It would restore some of the lines of the Old Colony Railroad.
The lines proposed for commuter rail service date from 1840 and were later part of the Old Colony Railroad network. From 1893 to 1959 the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad operated passenger rail service throughout southeastern Massachusetts as part of its lease of the Old Colony system. The South Coast Rail route was first proposed in the 1980s to spur development of the New Bedford and Fall River areas. It was scheduled to open in 2016 under earlier proposals, though Commonwealth Treasurer Tim Cahill in May 2009 called the chances of this happening "bleak," given the economic climate in Massachusetts at the time.
In June 2010, the state of Massachusetts finished purchasing track from freight company CSX. Governor Deval Patrick then announced that the project would break ground soon with work beginning first on bridge repairs.
On 17 February 2010, it was announced that the MBTA had received $20 million in TIGER grants from the federal government to rebuild bridges in New Bedford for the future rail line, the first construction on the line.
On 22 March 2011, an environmental report on the South Coast Rail project by the US Army Corps of Engineers was released. It recommended the service be routed through Stoughton, Massachusetts, before continuing south via an abandoned New Haven Railroad right-of-way, then splitting south of Taunton with branches to Fall River and New Bedford. The other option studied was rail service to Attleboro, Massachusetts and bus service on to the southern termini. Federal funding for the project was contingent on the completion of the study.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: South Coast Rail|
- Report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners, Feb 15, 1911, page 424
- Report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners, Feb 15, 1911, page 417
- "FROM THE EDITOR: A dose of reality from Cahill". Standard-Times, May 17, 2009
- Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (17 June 2010). MAJOR MILESTONE FOR SOUTH COAST RAIL REACHED AS PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION ACQUIRES CSXT RAIL LINES. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
- "Fed Stimulus Boosts New Bedford, Revere, Fitchburg Line". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Commonwealth Conversations. 17 February 2011. Archived from the original on 22 February 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- "Study: New Massachusetts commuter route should run via Stoughton". Trains Magazine. 22 March 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011.