Crossrail for Boston?

A PROPOSAL to build a railway tunnel under Boston, Massachusetts, connecting its two currently isolated commuter rail systems is being considered by planners, with a public consultation underway.

The idea, known as the North South Rail Link (NSRL), is not new – previous plans developed in the 1990s form the basis of the current plan.

MBTA commuter rail services are currently operated by diesel locos in push-pull mode. MBTA GP40MC No. 1130 is seen on the rear of a service arriving at Boston North station on June 9, 2017. The two large lifting bridges in the station throat are raised several times each day for passing shipping. KEITH FENDER

Underground stations would replace terminus stations at Boston South and Boston North, and although Amtrak services also use both termini, they are likely to continue to serve Boston South, with the few Amtrak services using Boston North, re-routed to alternative stations.

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Around 6km of new tunnels would be electrified, meaning the entirely diesel loco fleet used for Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) commuter rail services would need to be replaced by bi-mode or electric locos, should large-scale electrification of the rest of the network take place.

Read more in the October issue of The RM – on sale now!

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