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LETTERS

Still one major disconnect in our regional rail: between north and south

Commuters wait for their train to arrive during rush hour at North Station in Boston in this October 2019 file photo.
Commuters wait for their train to arrive during rush hour at North Station in Boston in this October 2019 file photo.Nic Antaya for The Boston Globe

Thank you for featuring the map of rail lines entering Boston with the April 11 Ideas article “A better Boston hiding in plain sight.” It beautifully illustrated a glaring problem with regional rail transportation that the article doesn’t address. You can’t get there from here because the south and north lines don’t connect.

It doesn’t matter how fast trains run, or how much electricity you’ve got powering them, when you still can’t get from, say, Needham to Salem because of the gap between North Station and South Station. We keep putting off connecting them because it is expensive. Game-changing investments usually are expensive. With the promise of federal funds to help us out, now is the time to connect our rail system so that it works for commuters in the north to get to jobs and activities in the south, and vice versa.

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Naysayers will point to the Big Dig as an example of the folly of vast expense. But the Big Dig was the best thing to happen to the city in terms of restoring beauty and calm and spurring unprecedented private investment in the 50 years I’ve been here. It was worth every penny, and so will be the North-South rail link.

Karen Cord Taylor

Boston