The proposed CommonRail system would connect the largest cities (with the exception of Bridgeport, CT) and capital cities of each state with each other, Boston, Albany, and Montreal. 


The CommonRail high-speed network is a vision for the future of New England.  As the first part of the United States to industrialize, New England has a rich and strong rail history and its dense cities and towns were designed to be linked to each other by rail; in 1935 it was possible to travel between Boston and Portland at 100mph.  Taking its cue from the past, CommonRail seeks to reunite Massachusetts and New England to lead them into the future.  As Boston grows, so should the state and region, and CommonRail is the path to success.  Simply the jobs it would take to build the system would push New England into an age of increased economic prosperity, and the infrastructural connections made between major hubs and cities along the way would have permanent revitalizing impacts.  

The most exciting and enticing part of the plan is its feasibility.  Much of the track already exists and would just require upgrading, many of the cities already have unused or repurposed rail stations along the tracks that are ripe for redevelopment, and to a large degree, many of the lines are already under consideration or in use, albeit at significantly slower speeds than the 120mph that it would take to make the system worthwhile.  

The locations of the cities on the map are georealistic, and each white tick mark along a line signifies 5 minutes of travel at 120mph. For a breakdown of the lines and their logic, take a look below the map. 

Boston - Augusta: 1h 35min.  This line is currently in use by Amtrak as the Downeaster with limited and slow service stretching slightly north of Portland.  The new North Coast Line would connect the primary cities of the Merrimack Valley, New Hampshire's major port and tourist city (Portsmouth), the largest city in Maine and New England's largest port (Portland), and the capital of Maine (Augusta) with Boston.

Boston - Newport/New Bedford: 40/30min.  Partially under construction as the South Coast Rail Commuter Rail service, the South Coast Line would connect the major cities of Massachusetts' southern shore with the famed resort town of Newport, RI.  

Boston - Providence: 25min.  Operating nonstop along the existing Providence Line of the Commuter Rail, and with an extension to Newport via Bristol, the Rhode Island line would connect the first and third largest cities of New England and enhance their existing economic and cultural relationship.

Boston - Montreal: 2h 55min.  The largest connection by population, the fruition of the Capital Corridor Line connecting the capitals and largest cities of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont (Boston, Manchester/Concord, Burlington/Montpelier respectively) with Montreal would create tremendous opportunity for international trade, tourism, and development.  

New Bedford - Manchester: 1hr 15min.  This line would help promote the economic health and development of the southern shore with central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire by fostering the existing relationship with Providence.  The Crescent Line would connect the largest city in Rhode Island with the second largest in Massachusetts, and the largest in New Hampshire and all of northern New England. 

Boston - New Haven: 1h 10min.  Connecting Boston and Worcester with the capital and cultural center of Connecticut, and New Haven, Yale University, and Metro North service to New York City beyond it, the Nutmeg Line would help reconnect Connecticut with the rest of New England. 

Hartford - Hanover:  1hr 10min.  The Knowledge Corridor Line is a long-discussed proposal that under current recommendations would terminate in Brattleboro, VT.  However, by increasing its length to Hanover, NH, Dartmouth University will be incorporated and access to the White River Junction/Lebanon/Hanover micropolitan area will be enhanced.  Massachusetts' third largest city and western cultural capital (Springfield) will further its revitalization, be united with the Five College Consortium just to its north, and access between these leading education centers and Dartmouth will be an ease. 

Boston - Albany (via Springfield): 1h 35min.  Connecting the capitals of Massachusetts and New York will be the Berkshire Line, which will provide faster service from Boston to Springfield than it currently takes to drive from Boston to Worcester and a stop at the cultural hub of the Berkshire Mountains, Pittsfield.  

Boston - Albany (via North Adams): 1h 25min.  The County Line will provide an alternate connection between Boston and Albany through the industrial cities of Massachusetts' northern border in the process accelerating their revitalization and the transition of their economies.

Haverhill - North Adams: 1h 30min.  The Central Valley Line will pass through the major cities of the Merrimack River Valley along the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border, and continue to the college towns of Amherst and Northampton in the Pioneer Valley bringing together two parts of the state with tremendous potential to solve the housing and growth needs of metro Boston.

Portsmouth - North Adams: 1h 10min.  The Foothill Line will bring easy access to the resort destinations of Brattleboro and Portsmouth, and the city of Manchester where the major airport of northern New England is. It will also provide a basis for future northern expansion of the CommonRail network as the region generates growth.