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South Coast rail project moves forward, but obstacles remain

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The state announced last week that the US Army Corps of Engineers had issued a final environmental impact statement that embraces the Stoughton Straight Rail Alternative, which would bring passenger trains to Fall River, New Bedford, and Taunton for the first time since 1958.

The $1.8 billion proposal would extend the rail line that currently terminates in Stoughton, following inactive rail beds and a proposed trestle over the Hockomock Swamp in Easton and Raynham. The route would split south of Taunton, with a main branch heading to New Bedford and a secondary branch to Fall River.

While the project’s supporters hailed the Corps’ report, funding to build the line hasn’t been provided, and opposition remains adamant in some communities.

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