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Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative

Project Overview

The South Coast Rail project will restore commuter rail service between Boston and southeastern Massachusetts. Taunton, Fall River and New Bedford are the only major cities within 50 miles of Boston that do not currently have commuter rail access to Boston. South Coast Rail will reconnect this region to jobs and generate economic development.

Project Update - September 2017

In March 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced a new approach to providing South Coast Rail (SCR) service. While committed to the full build, known as the Stoughton Electric Route, MassDOT determined it could provide earlier service to the region by extending an existing rail service through Middleborough, as Phase 1.

Refining station stops is one of the first tasks of the Phase 1 analysis. MassDOT is considering technical data such as operations, construction and traffic impacts and is listening to public comments. At public meetings and in written comments this past spring, there was a strong preference for a single-seat ride, the shortest possible travel time from Fall River and New Bedford, and service as early as possible. With these goals in mind, MassDOT analyzed three one-seat ride options for an SCR station in Middleborough.

A new station in Middleborough has emerged as the most desirable option. A station at Pilgrim Junction, at the eastern end of the Middleborough Secondary and adjacent to the existing layover facility, optimizes operations, provides the shortest travel time from Fall River and New Bedford, provides a one-seat ride for the majority of passengers, supports a connection for future Cape shuttle service, and allows the existing station to serve Cape Flyer service. MassDOT examined two other Middleborough-area station options for Phase 1: the existing Middleborough/Lakeville Station and a shuttle to Bridgewater Station from the existing Middleborough/Lakeville Station. Both have significant drawbacks, such as longer travel time, operational impacts, traffic, and wetland impacts and require a higher level of infrastructure improvements.

MassDOT wishes to emphasize that this alternative will be fully evaluated in the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (DSEIR), which MassDOT will submit for full public review early in 2018. The Certificate of the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs on the Notice of Project Change (NPC) outlines information that MassDOT must include in the DSEIR. The project team also continues work on design of the Stoughton Electric Route.

Learn More

This website offers extensive project information:

What's New?

DSEIR Underway for Phase 1

MassDOT is preparing a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (DSEIR) for filing in early 2018. See the Project Update for details and view the phased corridor map.

Learn more about the development of the DSEIR and other project updates in the Summer 2017 Fact Sheet, available in English , Portuguese , and Spanish

Project Resources

Contact Us

For more information, send us an email at SouthCoastRail@dot.state.ma.us.

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