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The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has started a preliminary design and environmental study to assess what would be necessary to build the infrastructure necessary to accommodate Amtrak intercity service at the Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport in Warwick. The study is a joint venture among RIDOT, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Amtrak, The Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) and the City of Warwick.
It is funded by a $2.8 million Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Grant and $700,000 in state match for a total of $3.5 million. If the project moves forward, it is estimated to cost about $240 million.
This study refines the results of a 2017 study, the T.F. Green Airport Intercity Rail Feasibility Study, looked at the feasibility of various operational plans for Amtrak service at the airport. This was followed by a 2020 design concept report that focused on capital infrastructure needs and evaluated the feasibility of specific alternatives. The most cost effective and least disruptive option is the subject of this, most recent, study which will include preliminary engineering (30% design) and an environmental review for the Amtrak stop alternative.
The study will look at potential costs, benefits and impacts of constructing new electrified track, associated electrified interlockings/switches, a new second fully-accessible station platform, and upgrades to the existing platform to accommodate potential Amtrak intercity service in both directions. The completion date is 2023.
The original commuter rail station was designed to allow for possible future Amtrak service. It is served by Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) trains only. The station currently has one platform on the west side of the railroad and just south of the Interlink and parking garage. Amtrak trains would need a second platform on the east side of the railroad which could also accommodate local commuter service.
If the project moves forward, the station would be one of only a few Amtrak stations within walking distance of a major airport. Rhode Island T.F. Green Airport is one of three international airports adjacent to Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and the only one without intercity rail service. Such service would enhance access to the airport for both regional travelers and local commuters. A conceptual train schedule will be developed as part of this project.