A WORKING GROUP empaneled by the Massachusetts state legislature met earlier this week to once again explore the possibility of restoring passenger rail service between New York City and the Berkshires.
The plan the new group is studying would have trains use the Amtrak line that runs along the Hudson River, going to Chatham, N.Y., or Albany, and then veering eastward through West Stockbridge and Pittsfield. This is quite different from a plan a few years ago that would have seen trains running through Connecticut with stops in Great Barrington, Stockbridge, Lenox, and Pittsfield.
Speaking as one who has lived and worked all over the Berkshires – from Williamstown to Pittsfield to Hinsdale to Great Barrington and elsewhere, the new plan sounds like a non-starter from the get-go. The idea of having a train to the Berkshires that doesn’t stop in Great Barrington — the most New York City-oriented town in the Berkshires — is nonsensical. It makes one wonder if the people who came up with this plan really know the Berkshires well enough to be trusted with this project.