NEW BEDFORD—A 75-minute train trip from Fall River to South Station took a step toward becoming reality after Gov. Deval Patrick announced a key federal environmental review was completed, with the recommended route being the state’s favored Stoughton rail line.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Final Environmental Impact Statement and report was adopted by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey said at a media event Monday in New Bedford. The press conference was held at the site of a proposed rail station to be known as Whale’s Tooth.
The Army Corps’ environmental review and permit is a crucial step on the road to developing commuter rail access, along with the transportation bond bill passed this summer that earmarked the South Coast Rail project, estimated at $1.8 billion.
“This was the biggest hurdle,” Patrick said against the backdrop of six double-decker Purple Line passenger cars lining the freight rails off Herman Mellville Boulevard. The area is not far from where the last commuter trains ran in 1958.