Work is well underway on the "Knowledge Corridor" upgrade between East Northfield, Greenfield, Northampton and Springfield Massachusetts that will end the Palmer backup move and result in a faster Vermonter to New York.
Ties have been installed, new welded rail is being laid and installed. Norfolk Southern crews are doing the work, overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Crossings will be redone and the signal system redone in order for trains to go 79 mph.
The new route of 47.8 miles should be ready before the end of next year. The upgrade will cost $73 million dollars.
The train will stop in Greenfield at the new Transportation Center, in Northampton at the existing train station once used by Amtrak's overnight Montrealer and in Holyoke once the city builds a platform.
Photo: Beautiful new rail in East Northfield with old rail cast aside and an "outlawed" Pan-Am train EDWJ in the background. ("outlawed" means the train crew has been on duty for more than the federal 12 hour limit. At the time of photo it and it's loads for customer Eastern Bridge had been sitting here all day without a crew according to neighbors.).