The Boston City Council today endorsed the idea of high-speed rail between Boston and Springfield, saying it could become something that transforms the state.
City Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury), who sponsored the non-binding resolution, said high-speed travel between the two cities could help Boston with its high housing costs and worker shortages and Springfield, which he said has the reverse problems - declining population and employment and a growing housing stock.
"We all know that Boston is the Hub of the Universe," he said. "I'm hopeful and confident that with your help, Boston will be the hub of high speed regional rail as well." He added that getting more people on high-speed rail would reduce the state's carbon emissions.
The resolution, which comes as the state studies the idea, as it does every decade or so, got the full throated support of Councilor Frank Baker (Dorchester), who said that coming from an old railroad family, he would be thrilled to finally be able to travel to the western part of the state by train.
Amtrak currently provides once-daily service in each direction with its Lake Shore Limited train - which currently takes 3 1/2 hours to travel between Boston and Springfield.
Unlike with a resolution by at-large Councilor Althea Garrison on a proposed charter high school, the council agreed to suspend its normal rules and vote on the resolution immediately, rather than send it to a committee for study.