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.
On April 22, 2019, MassDOT and the MBTA announced that the South Coast Rail Program reached two major milestones for Phase 1: the finance plan is complete and key state and federal permits have been obtained. For more information, see the press release.
The 3 Joint Board Meeting Presentations of April 22, 2019 (linked below) present additional information on Phase 1.
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South Coast Rail will be built in phases. Phase 1 service will:
- provide a one-seat ride from Taunton, Fall River and New Bedford to Boston
- use the Middleborough Secondary (currently a freight line) to connect South Coast passengers with service on the existing Middleborough/Lakeville commuter rail line
- reconstruct 17.3 miles of the New Bedford Main Line and 11.7 miles of the Fall River Secondary
- upgrade the existing Middleborough Secondary track from Pilgrim Junction to Cotley Junction (a distance of 7.1 miles)
- operate three morning peak trains and three evening peak trains to both New Bedford and Fall River
- operate up to six morning and six evening peak trains to Taunton and Middleborough because all of the trains will pass through these communities
- deliver service to the South Coast late in 2023, years before service is possible under the Full Build Project
At the same time, MassDOT will proceed with designing, permitting and funding the Stoughton Straight Electric Alternative (Full Build Project), which was already reviewed under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA). The Full Build Project will travel on the Stoughton Main Line and Northeast Corridor (north of Canton Junction). See the corridor maps linked below for more details.
South Coast Rail will continue to have a robust public outreach program to ensure a transparent process and successful project outcome.