I was quite honored to be asked to do an interview about myself and CommonRail by Nate Boroyan at BostInno and here it is!
"Here's the CommonRail. The rapid transit design proposes connecting some of New England's largest cities by train, at speeds approaching 100 mph.
While the design remains theoretical thus far, CommonRail architect Cyrus Dahmubed believes there is potential for this idea, or something similar, to become a realistic rapid transit option.
"I'd love to see some of it actually happen," Dahmubed told BostInno in a phone interview.
Dahmubed's CommonRail would offer:
- Boston - Augusta: 1h 35min.
- Boston - Newport/New Bedford: 40/30 min.
- Boston - Providence: 25min.
- Boston - Montreal: 2h 55min.
- Boston - Hartford: 50min.
- Boston - Albany (via Springfield): 1h 35min.
- Boston - Albany (via North Adams): 1h 25min.
If this seems unrealistic – think again.
"Much of the track and right-of-way that it would need is already [in place] and would just need some upgrading and straightening," Dahmubed said, referencing comments he's received about the feasibility of his map.
A transit enthusiast, Dahmubed, born and raised in Newton, studied Visual and Environmental studies at Harvard University, before heading to Columbia University for a postgraduate program.
Despite being able to do so, Dahmubed doesn't have a license, he said. So, he's all too familiar with Amtrak trips and MBTA commutes from Riverside, he explained.
The CommonRail concept came to him about two years ago, when, Dahmubed said, he found himself making frequent trips back-and-forth, from Boston to Springfield, "visiting friends at Mount Holyoke."
"[The train trips] weren't great," added Dahmubed.
After spending a few months in Paris, traveling throughout Europe by train, he realized that New England would be the best region in United States for European-style rapid transit.
The CommonRail, he said, "would be a step forward for regional transport in New England." Now, people are starting to take notice of his concept.
Before Dahmubed's CommonRail design surfaced on the internet, however, MassDOT secretary Richard Davey was presented with a personal print.
"I met [Davey] the other night," Dahmubed said, during a Capital Plan community meeting.
That wasn't the first time Dahmubed and Davey had corresponded, he explained. In fact, Davey had previously written him a note, after receiving fully printed copies of other maps designed by Dahmubed.
"In November," Dahmubed said, he sent Davey copies of a T map he had designed. That creation, Dahmubed said, he designed after noticing "some flaws" with the map produced by Mikheil Kvrivishvili, which was the winning submission in the MBTA map design contest."