Most of the Patriot Corridor, also called the PAS Freight Main Line (FML), is owned by Pan Am Southern Railroad (PAS). The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) owns the 15 miles of the corridor between Fitchburg Station and Ayer on the MBTA Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) sees this project as an investment in long-distance rail freight service in New England and New York. The agency funded a 360º laser clearance survey of the entire 155-mile corridor. The survey confirmed that 17 bridges and 2 tunnels required modifications and identified four more bridges not originally included in the project scope.
Using the results of the laser clearance survey, an aerial survey, site inspections, and geotechnical probes, we have made suggestions for improving each obstacle. The next step is to complete the environmental review required by the FRA’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). MassDOT is working with the FRA to prepare the required documentation (a Categorical Exclusion) for NEPA.
Recommendations by location
|Town/City||PAS Railroad Identification||Recommendation|
|Pownal, VT||Hoosick River Bridge||Truss Modifications|
|Williamstown, MA||Route 7 (Simonds Road)||Track Undercut|
|North Adams, MA||Appalachian Trail (Pedestrian Bridge)||Bridge Modifications|
|North Adams, MA||Little Tunnel||Track Undercut|
|North Adams, MA||Furnace Street (Pedestrian Bridge)||Track Undercut|
|North Adams, MA||State Street (Route 8)||Track Undercut|
|North Adams, MA||Hoosic River Truss||Modify Bridge Deck/Floor Beams|
|Florida, MA||Hoosac Tunnel||Track Cut/Crown Raise|
|Greenfield, MA||Conn River RR / PAR ML||Track Undercut|
|Montague, MA||Northfield Road||Track Undercut|
|Montague, MA||NECR (CV) Railroad||Track Undercut|
|Montague, MA||Bridge Street Truss (AKA Hill Street)||Track Undercut|
|Orange, MA||South Main Street||Bridge Deck Replacement|
|Orange, MA||Brookside Road (AKA Athol Street)||Bridge Replacement|
|Athol, MA||Main Street (Route 2A)||Track Cut/Bridge Mod|
|Athol, MA||Chestnut Hill Avenue||Track Shifts/Bridge Reconstruction|
|Templeton, MA||Main Street (AKA Depot Road)||Track Undercut|
|Gardner, MA||Jackson Street (AKA Pleasant Street)||Track Undercut|
|Fitchburg, MA||Rollstone Street||Track Undercut|
|Fitchburg, MA||Putnam Street||Track Cut/Bridge Mod|
|Fitchburg, MA||Water Street||Track Cut/Bridge Mod|
|Leominster, MA||Harvard Street||Track Undercut|
|Ayer, MA||Main Street (Route 2A)||Track Undercut|
Although the project stretches from Mechanicville, New York to Ayer, Massachusetts, actual track and bridge construction activities are limited to 23 distinct locations (21 bridges and 2 tunnels.) Work at track level will be confined to the railroad right-of-way, and roadway bridge reconstruction will not change the existing bridge footprint.
The work is not anticipated to result in significant impacts to abutters or the general public. Roadway bridge construction will require traffic detours. MassDOT will inform the host communities, stakeholders and interested citizens about the project.
Boston, MA 02116