Location: Holyoke, MA
Michael Baker International helped celebrate the grand opening of the new Depot Square Railroad Station in Holyoke, Massachusetts. At a ribbon cutting ceremony held on August 27, 2015, the City of Holyoke’s Mayor, the Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor, the MassDOT Secretary of Transportation, and numerous other dignitaries were present to witness the return of passenger rail service to Holyoke. At approximately 1:45 that afternoon, Amtrak’s ‘Vermonter’ train stopped and opened its doors at the new station, marking the first passenger train to stop in Holyoke since 1966.
“It was a pleasure sharing the City’s enthusiasm in not only bringing passenger rail service back to Holyoke, but in developing a station design which will enliven the neighborhood and serve as an anchor to future transit-oriented development (TOD),” stated David Tudryn, Michael Baker’s project director. “The project involved place-making urban design strategies, innovative lighting design solutions, carefully planned accessibility features, and fast-track construction techniques, engaging a diverse Baker team of designers and inspectors to accomplish our shared vision for a modern passenger rail facility.”
Working for the City of Holyoke, Michael Baker International’s Rail and Transit practice provided architectural, engineering, and construction inspection for the new station. Ground-breaking for the station was in December 2014, with overall construction taking approximately 8 months to complete. The approximate cost of the project was $4.3 million.
The construction of the Depot Square Railroad Station in Holyoke is part of a broader, multi-million dollar State of Massachusetts project to improve the railroad tracks between Springfield, MA, and Vermont. In 1989, due to deteriorating track conditions, the Vermonter route was forced to shift eastward, which eliminated service to communities north of Springfield. With recent track upgrades as part of the ‘Knowledge Corridor – Restore Vermonter Project,’ the Vermonter has been returned to its original route along the Connecticut River and once again serves its former communities in Massachusetts. The benefits of the route restoration are a reduction in travel time, an increase of on-time train performance, and an increase of ridership.
Michael Baker International is proud to be part of this historic moment for the City of Holyoke.