Central Corridor New London-Brattleboro Passenger Service

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Cosmo
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Re: Central Corridor New London-Brattleboro Passenger Servic

Post by Cosmo » Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:40 pm

Well, I will tell you this:
If the new IMC get's those SEAT buses out of the middle of Norwich, I'm all for it! I can't see it's being anything but a major improvement over te current/old situation on Rt 12, with the buses congregating at the old Norwich train station.
NOW... if a rail connection can be established from NL to the casino, with service to NYC/NYP via AMTRAK as well as LIRR/Ferry service, we'll REALLY be getting someplace!
Personally, I'm all for ANY idea that can get as many of the huge-[bottomed] casino charter buses off of Rt 12 as possible.
Hopefully the service will be available also for casino employees to reach MoSun from Norwich and other points along the line.
IMHO, any "corridor plan" should include shorter-run service (a la SLE) service to SE CT points in order to take advantage of and make the most of the potential to alleviate traffic in the area.
I'm glad my current city is getting behind this. Let's hope other CT towns/cities can as well.
Perhaps we'll see NL/NOR/WOR service eventually as well.
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Re: Central Corridor New London-Brattleboro Passenger Servic

Post by ebtmikado » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:21 am

The intermodal terminal is across the river from both rail lines. P&W is about a quarter mile away, while the NECR, though closer, is in a very difficult place to locate even a platform.
When the Norwich Union Station existed, it was built OVER the water, about where West Side Blvd. now crosses the river.

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Re: Central Corridor New London-Brattleboro Passenger Servic

Post by Jeff Smith » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:12 pm

Palmer Redevelopment Authority applies for $3 million grant to support return of passenger rail service
PALMER – The Palmer Redevelopment Authority filed for a $3 million MassWorks Infrastructure grant to support the return of passenger rail service in town, but the town manager said the application should have been endorsed by him and the Town Council first.

...

The application is asking for $3 million to cover 100 percent of the cost to plan, design and construct passenger rail platforms, parking and infrastructure required to support the return of passenger rail service. Passenger service ended here more than 40 years ago.

In an interview, Blake Lamothe, who has been an ardent proponent of restoring passenger rail service, said the Palmer Redevelopment Authority did not need an endorsement from the council or the manager to apply for the grant. He said this will support the “Central Corridor” concept, which links Montreal, Canada to New London, Conn. with a stop in Palmer.

In his press release about the grant, Lamothe notes the prospect of a casino in Palmer, and says a passenger rail hub will meet the transportation needs of the community, region and the commonwealth. Mohegan Sun is competing for the lone Western Massachusetts casino license, and wants to build a resort casino across from the Massachusetts Turnpike exit on Thorndike Street (Route 32).

“Palmer has a proud rail heritage and the return of passenger rail service to the community will provide great economic benefit,” Lamothe stated.
First time I've seen Palmer invovled; usually, it's the CT end looking.
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Re: Central Corridor New London-Brattleboro Passenger Servic

Post by The EGE » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:30 pm

Palmer's been active since the beginning. They've wanted rail service since they lost it, and yet they've been continually snubbed by the Vermonter, LSL, and the old Inland Regionals. I believe the folk(s) that own the restaurant in the old depot are involved.

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Re: Central Corridor New London-Brattleboro Passenger Servic

Post by frrc » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:01 pm

The EGE wrote:Palmer's been active since the beginning. They've wanted rail service since they lost it, and yet they've been continually snubbed by the Vermonter, LSL, and the old Inland Regionals. I believe the folk(s) that own the restaurant in the old depot are involved.

Lamothe owns the RR Station and is also the head of the redevelopment authority. Owns a lot of real estate in Palmer also..
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Re: Central Corridor New London-Brattleboro Passenger Servic

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:27 pm

Palmer has the most to gain by being a squeaky wheel for an intermediate stop on the revived Inland Regionals. Springfield-Worcester is an unnaturally long nonstop by the stop spacing of the rest of the route both east of Worcester and south/west of Springfield. Palmer plugs that gap nicely and has the Pike exit 1/2 mile away to make it a perfectly logical place to plunk a stop. But it's so small that nobody's going to advocate for it at the top unless they make enough noise to do it themselves.

Not a necessity by any stretch, but a nice-to-have and well worth their self-interest to advocate for it. Even if only a cheap, minimalist setup. Moreso when you figure future considerations for Boston-Montreal service or Central Corridor service could stop there too...but make no mistake, Inland Regionals are the big prize they would want.

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Re: Central Corridor New London-Brattleboro Passenger Servic

Post by Noel Weaver » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:42 pm

Strange that they have had one or more passenger trains passing through Palmer for a long time but up until now they do not seem to have made any effort to provide any facilities for a stop. I really question the importance of trains stopping here especially unless they do something concrete. As for outside money, I think it would be better spent for facilities elsewhere. I think for Palmer it would be more of a status symbol than useful transportation.
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Re: Central Corridor New London-Brattleboro Passenger Servic

Post by The EGE » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:31 pm

For one-a-day service, no. But in the future with 4-5 Inland Regionals in each direction daily? Then it starts to become a very useful transportation link for Central Massachusetts even without the north-south link.

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Re: Central Corridor New London-Brattleboro Passenger Servic

Post by Noel Weaver » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:38 am

The EGE wrote:For one-a-day service, no. But in the future with 4-5 Inland Regionals in each direction daily? Then it starts to become a very useful transportation link for Central Massachusetts even without the north-south link.
I think "Inland Regionals" is a dream. This is a single track freight railroad and it would be far better to put on a couple of trains out of Worcester on the P & W to either Providence or New London either as connections or as through trains to New York. I like passenger trains but between Boston and Springfield I think buses can provide adequate service and probably faster as well than a train.
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Re: Central Corridor New London-Brattleboro Passenger Servic

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:07 am

Noel Weaver wrote:
The EGE wrote:For one-a-day service, no. But in the future with 4-5 Inland Regionals in each direction daily? Then it starts to become a very useful transportation link for Central Massachusetts even without the north-south link.
I think "Inland Regionals" is a dream. This is a single track freight railroad and it would be far better to put on a couple of trains out of Worcester on the P & W to either Providence or New London either as connections or as through trains to New York. I like passenger trains but between Boston and Springfield I think buses can provide adequate service and probably faster as well than a train.
Noel Weaver
It's not a pipe dream, though. It's in the NEC Infrastructure Master Plan (not the 2040 super-fantasy map, but the 2012-2025 laundry list of infrastructure upgrades) to reinstate them and scale up to 10 Inlands per day. With re-doubling the B&A as a requirement before putting the first train on the schedule. Take up the feasibility with Amtrak; they seem to think it's a good enough idea to be intent on initiating this decade.

I very much doubt Palmer's on their radar because 10 per day is the end goal, after South Station expansion is done. It'll only be a couple at the beginning. But at full-blast and with some of the closer-spaced Connecticut stops (for example, Windsor) likely pared off and becoming CR-only...they'll probably be looking informally at some less-awkward stop spacing in MA. Personally, I don't think Palmer hits critical mass unless both the Inlands and Boston-Montreal via Amherst starter service are going out there on the B&A, but get enough services intermixed that there's a passenger train going through there every couple hours and a minimalist bare-platform setup starts becoming prudent. The highway access is pretty excellent at that site with the Pike exit and convergence of US 20, MA/CT 32, and MA 181 with traffic levels low enough that it's convenient to a pretty far-flung swath of Worcester County, MA and Tolland County, CT.

As I said, not very high on the Amtrak-level planners' priority list. But one where the locals can put themselves in play for future considerations if they get organized and start squeaking that wheel. Low-hanging fruit like that is reachable for a community dogged enough about pursuing it.

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Re: Central Corridor New London-Brattleboro Passenger Servic

Post by newpylong » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:37 am

This is a Pipe Dream along with Inland Regionals. We're spending a ton of tax dollars upgrading the Conn River to increase service speed, better serve the train's endpoints, and to hit areas with larger populations than the current route. How does spending even more money to give a "city" of 12,000 people rail access make sense? The same goes for that whole corridor. If they want to ride the choo choo they can drive to Springfield or somewhere else. Not every town get's a stop...

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Re: Central Corridor New London-Brattleboro Passenger Servic

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:50 pm

newpylong wrote:This is a Pipe Dream along with Inland Regionals. We're spending a ton of tax dollars upgrading the Conn River to increase service speed, better serve the train's endpoints, and to hit areas with larger populations than the current route. How does spending even more money to give a "city" of 12,000 people rail access make sense? The same goes for that whole corridor. If they want to ride the choo choo they can drive to Springfield or somewhere else. Not every town get's a stop...
I'll say it again. Inlands are not a pipe dream. Amtrak has an official implementation plan for:

-- Double-tracking Worcester-Springfield.
-- Class 4 speeds.
-- 1 Inland Regional round trip by 2020.
-- 6 Inland Regional round trips by 2025.
-- 10 Inland Regional round trips by 2030.

Take it up with Amtrak if they're being pie-in-sky foamers. But that completely misses the point. An implementation plan is an implementation plan. They're doin' it as soon as the Springfield Line upgrades are complete and some very modest money shows up to double and speed-tweak the B&A.


Palmer, yes, that is on nobody's radar today. Because not nearly enough passenger trains are going to be passing through for another 15 years. We're not talking about what Amtrak thinks is a good idea. This is the Palmer Redevelopment Authority seeking study money, like the article Jeff posted plainly says. Exactly what do they have to lose getting organized with a little self-advocacy now? You never know what 15 years of sustained self-advocacy can do. It's prudent for their self-interest. Nothing more, nothing less. And if Amtrak isn't interested, they don't have to pay it any mind.

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Re: Central Corridor New London-Brattleboro Passenger Servic

Post by Jeff Smith » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:16 pm

I think I prefer the Worcester - New London route for an inland train, but there are issues with the bridge there and the number of openings. So the only way to increase service on the NEC would be a route that heads inland before that bridge. It was all SLE could do to get a few extra commuter trains across it. And if Amtrak decides they want those slots as Regionals or Acelas instead of SLE, SLE gets to crawl back to OSB.

But we're not talking about inlands here, we're talking about Palmer service from New London. Now if you can do that, serve Mohegan, or recreate the Montrealer, it might make sense.
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Re: Central Corridor New London-Brattleboro Passenger Servic

Post by Ridgefielder » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:41 am

Jeff Smith wrote:I think I prefer the Worcester - New London route for an inland train, but there are issues with the bridge there and the number of openings.
Not sure I agree with you on that. Doesn't seem like it would make sense to skip Hartford and Springfield, with a combined metropolitan population of 1.9mm, on a NY-Boston Inland Route train. If NLC-WOR comes back, I think it's going to be either in conjunction with Maine through service, or as a quasi-commuter shuttle run connecting to the Corridor at NLC (replicating the RDC service that came off on A-day.)

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Re: Central Corridor New London-Brattleboro Passenger Servic

Post by Jeff Smith » Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:00 pm

Dang, keep forgetting Hartford/Springfield! You're right, of course.

If it weren't for the #buswayboondoggle they could run it to Waterbury and down the Naugatuck, too. That way would keep it off the mainline until Stratford at least.
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