NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — The South Coast Rail project has been in the works for decades, but on Monday Massachusetts Department of Transportation officials said the first phase should be completed by 2022.
The new commuter line seeks to connect Taunton, New Bedford and Fall River to Boston’s South Station.
Due to the project’s high price tag, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker broke the project into two phases.
Jean Fox, MassDOT’s point person on South Coast Rail, said many of the contracts have been awarded for Phase 1 and meetings continue with communities involved in the project.
“We want to work with each of the communities as this thing moves and it’s moving at lightning speed with something of this scope and magnitude,” Fox said during a MassINC event in New Bedford.
Six train stations will be built in Phase 1, including in Fall River and New Bedford. It would bring trains to East Taunton, then hook up with the existing Middleborough/Lakeville line on through to Boston.
“It’s not the most robust service in the world but it is certainly a very good start, serving the peak periods very robustly,” Fox added.
Currently, Phase 1 is set to be complete in 2022, costing roughly $935 million. Phase 2, on the other hand, is projected to cost $3.2 billion with a completion date of 2030.
Phase 2 will create an electric line that is a more direct route through Stoughton into Boston.