As most of you know by the Newsletter that was mailed, NARP is having its annual New England Membership Meeting in Springfield on the 19th.  In addition to Jim Mathews and Timothy Brenan as speakers, Mayor Sarno of Springfield will stopping by during the meal to offer greetings. The Mayor was a major player in getting the Springfield Railroad Station restored and has been pushing for additional rail service from Boston, New Haven and St. Albans/Montreal. In addition, NARP is proud to announce that tours of the station will be included as part of the meeting. One tour for early birds will be at 9:30 AM (for which you should contact Tom Girsch for more information) and the other will be immediately after the formal part of our meeting at the Sheraton Springfield Hotel.

You are probably interested in going, but unsure of how to get there. To take rail requires an overnight in at least one direction (and for those of you who want to make an extended vacation, Tom has arranged for a special rate at the hotel). For those of us in Rhode Island, there are only two other viable choices, the bus (See Peter Pan for schedules) and to drive. 

Therefore RIARP is organizing car pools from Rhode Island to Springfield. I have room for 3 others in my car. So let me know if you are coming and if you are willing to drive. From Providence to Springfield via Rte 146 and the Mass Pike is about 90 minutes. If you rather take the scenic route (Route 20) to avoid the tolls, it is about 1/2 hour longer. Based on the response I will try to pair (quad if you wish) everyone up. We might be able to arrange a car pool beginning in Newport.  The hotel parking rate for day meetings at the hotel is $7.00. There may be other parking alternatives available.

New England 2017 Regional NARP Meeting - Springfield, MA | National Association of Railroad Passengers | Washington, DC

Report on Rail Users Network Boston Conference

Reporting to the rail group, I thinkwas the only Rhode Islander at the excellent Rail Users Network (RUN) Boston conference last Friday.  Speakers/panelists included FTA Planner Noah Berger (with whom I indicated concerns over the proposed $400 million busway to nowhere RIDOT promotes), MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola (who discussed both short and long-term MBTA planning), local Keolis head Gerard Francis (commuter rail), Astrid Glynn from MassDOT (talked with the last 2 about MBTA-RIPTA fare coordination), Amtrak's Rina Cutler who does their major train station planning, a panel on the north-south rail link (including Mike Dukakis who had some harsh words for Reagan, praise for Weld who is now supportive) that had a detailed argument for its support, another panel of community activists seeking some kind of rapid transit on the Fairmount line and the Somerville Green Line extension.

Among other questions, I asked about commuter rail electrification, which is mandated for any south coast commuter rail to Fall River/New Bedford, needed for the north-south rail link, sought by Fairmont activists, and on the long-term MBTA wish list.  I think we should say something about it in commenting on our 10 year TIP hearing.

Barry Schiller