IBerkshires.com reports the state is launching the first step in determining the feasibility of east/west passenger rail between Pittsfield and Boston.

Gov. Charlie Baker, surrounded by state and federal officials at Union Station, announced on Tuesday that the state Department of Transportation is soliciting requests for proposals for a consultant team to study the feasibility of east-west passenger rail service, the launch of a pilot for passenger rail service between Greenfield and Springfield, and one-seat service through Springfield to Hartford and New Haven, Conn.

Officials said the request for proposals will enable MassDOT to carry out an extensive study over approximately 18 months, and analyze many aspects and options for potential east-west passenger rail service. infrastructure needs and rider ship of potential passenger rail service throughout this corridor.