What New England Can Learn From Old England

Issue 07-16-17   |   Reviewer:   Thomas Coe
Disciplines:


Abstract

Northern cities in England are starting to see a resurgence of economic activity, in part spurred by the modernizing of British rail lines. In addition to getting riders to and from London, the cities themselves are becoming destinations.

A similar plan for New England, which has seen similar economic decline, could be possible. In addition to Amtrak’s existing line from New York to Boston, a new line could connect Long Island to New England via a tunnel beneath Long Island Sound. The new rail line could connect the once-prosperous but declining state capitals of Hartford and Providence to each other, as well as to New York, Boston, and other cities in the region.

The new, faster connections between the smaller New England cities could provide economic development that has primarily been centralized in the two larger metropolitan hubs. The connectivity could permit companies to locate some or all business operations in these less expensive areas. Better transportation options could also bring down the existing cost and commute to larger cities by reducing traffic on interstates and other highways. Although the investment in such a wide-ranging project would seem daunting, the economic benefits have already been shown to be worthwhile.





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