Greater City Providence

ProJo: Pawtucket, Central Falls seeking rail station


Rhode Island is making its strongest push yet for a Pawtucket commuter rail station long-sought by the city and neighboring Central Falls.

The Department of Transportation late last month applied for a $14.5-million federal grant for the project, which would be built between Dexter and Conant Streets and cost an estimated $40 million.

According to the application to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s “TIGER” grant program, the state would contribute $3.6 million to the project and the two cities would combine to chip in another $3 million. The remaining $18.9 million would come from Rhode Island’s annual appropriation of federal transportation dollars.

The station could be completed as soon as late summer 2019, more likely early 2020.

[alert type=”success”] Download Pawtucket/Central Falls Train Station Application [/alert]

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  • It was good to see the Mayors of both Central Falls and Pawtucket taking the tie to go the legislature and testify for a bill to help finance actually building the station. Legislators noted the low ridership at Wickford but seemed to realize that this was a different situation with potential to help these struggling cities.
    I note that not only would this help connect Pawtucket-CF to the Boston area market, it would also connect those ecities with express transit service to Providence, (and TF Green) something that RIPTA doesn’t do as they have no service along I-95 between Providence and Pawtucket.
    It is no sure thing the station will be built. It is not fully funded in the 10 year RIDOT plan, they are depending on special grants.

  • Let’s hope the headways for the station aren’t as abysmally high as the station in Warwick. This may sound cynical but I feel like the biggest reason for the Pawtucket/cf train station being built is to spur Economic development. The main focus for all transit projects should be to dramatically reduce automobile usage. We see all these new transit projects in RI but no focus to dramatically improve the transit we already have.

  • Real shame the historic station isn’t being used or at least its location. Its a tragedy that station sits completely empty and rotting away with that garbage CVS drive thru eyesore in front of it. That CVS is already, what, 7 years old? That disposable building probably only has another 15 years of life at most. That should be about time for any Pawtucket station to open. Its fair to say a station will open no sooner than 2030. Nothing relating to building rail and transit moves fast in RI.

  • True, but this is hardly the place/time to stand on principle. Though it pains me to say so, it is FAR more important that this station should actually get built than that we should insist on the reuse of the historic station.

  • Well once $40 million is spent on a station 4 blocks away, its never moving nor will a second station ever then open at the historic station location… so its game over for the historic station. Its now or never.

  • Any word on a possible RIDOT train in the future? I feel like ridership along the CF-Wickford corridor could be much larger if service weren’t solely for Boston commuters.

  • Why is nobody saying anything about the fact that West Kingston Station (URI) is not linked to Wickford Junction/MBTA line? By connecting Westerly to Kingston to Wickford, its possible to capture local URI commuters, and URI students that are on-campus that want to go to Providence. Of course, you’d have to increase the amount of trains, but make it easier for people!

  • Yeah, I know what this proposal means for the historic station. So be it. Bottom line is, RI is a tiny state and needs its urban center to be vibrant.

    Pick your battles, right?

  • This does not necessarily have to spell doom for the old station, but it will not be used as a train station again, for a lot of reasons others have outlined. While ultimately, Amtrak would prefer to see that station gone, if there were a use worth fighting for, a fight could be had to save it.

  • Totally agree. Although I would add more stops at: Woonsocket (to be shared with the new Worcester-Providence line), Albion (exit off 295; to be shared by Cumberland and Lincoln), East Greenwich, and include Kingston Station/URI and Westerly Train Station in the RIPTA rail network. Then the RI rail network is a 9 station network that serves the bulk of Rhode Island’s population outside the East Bay and Newport. They’d only need to build Albion, EG, and the currently planned Pawtucket/CF stations — that’s only 3 of 9 stops to achieve something great.

  • If the train station does spur development, I’d love to see the former train station reused in some way. It could be a great location for commuter apartments and certainly has hipster appeal.

  • You expect any rendering of a proposed train station to look absurdly happy and inviting. This one is remarkably honest, featuring rusty 1970s vintage coaches.

  • The cab car is 1989 vintage. I’m not entirely sure about the coaches, but I think the location of the vents on the roof also puts those at 1989. (1970s vintage coaches would actually be “newer,” having been completely rebuilt in 1996)

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