AMTRAK NEC: Springfield Shuttle/Regional/Valley Flyer

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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Mcoov
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AMTRAK NEC: Springfield Shuttle/Regional/Valley Flyer

Post by Mcoov » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:06 pm

Are there any plans to restore regional and/or shuttle service from Boston to New Haven-and-beyond via Springfield?

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Noel Weaver
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Re: NEC Inland Route

Post by Noel Weaver » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:15 pm

We have discussed this many times previously. I don't think this is in the works. New Haven - Springfield and maybe
further north when the tracks have been upgraded.
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gprimr1
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Re: NEC Inland Route

Post by gprimr1 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:55 pm

I thought it was in one of the master plans.

The main obstacle is the large amount of single tracking between Springfield and Worcester and the questionable amount of online customers.
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TomNelligan
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Re: NEC Inland Route

Post by TomNelligan » Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:58 am

This is constantly being proposed and re-proposed, but nothing ever happens. As Mr. Primrose notes, the Boston & Albany line is mostly single track between Worcester and Springfield, and busy with freight, and CSX won't allow any significant increase in passenger service west of Worcester until the former double track is restored. Additionally, the only real market that restored Inland Route service would add is Worcester to New York and points south, and I have to wonder whether added business would justify the cost. Springfield and Hartford already have corridor service, and Boston-Springfield and Boston-Hartford have frequent bus service that's faster than a train would be.

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Re: NEC Inland Route

Post by Jeff Smith » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:45 am

Worcester to NY could be restored via New London. CDOT had done a study on restoring that P&W line, but conveniently excluded Worcester. It was supposed to be redone, but that's a long way off if it ever was to happen.
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DutchRailnut
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Re: NEC Inland Route

Post by DutchRailnut » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:48 am

Don't expect CSX to bend over backwards or to be even accomodating to put Passenger trains on their single track B&A line between Springfield and Boston.
Not unless State of Massachusets is willing to fund the second track construction and maintenance.
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Noel Weaver
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Re: NEC Inland Route

Post by Noel Weaver » Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:15 pm

In my opion it would be far better to upgrade the trackage between Worcester and Groton and run service on that route.
You would have a cooperative railroad and maybe some traffic sources between Worcester and Groton as well.
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Cadet57
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Re: NEC Inland Route

Post by Cadet57 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:16 pm

It'll happen when Springfield Union Station is finally remodeled. So in other words, highly unlikely.

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Rockingham Racer
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Re: NEC Inland Route

Post by Rockingham Racer » Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:07 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:Don't expect CSX to bend over backwards or to be even accomodating to put Passenger trains on their single track B&A line between Springfield and Boston.
Not unless State of Massachusets is willing to fund the second track construction and maintenance.
I think that's exactly what the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has in mind--albeit not in the near future. Takes money, of course :wink:

From the New England Governor's vision for HSR in New England:

Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont will develop
corridor plans for the Boston to New Haven
and Boston to Montreal segments of the Northern
New England High Speed Rail Corridor via the Inland
Route through Worcester and Springfield. The
Inland Route is also important as New England’s
largest freight rail corridor. With balanced resources
and careful planning, the New England
states are committed to grow both freight and intercity
passenger rail on this critical route.

Jersey_Mike
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Re: NEC Inland Route

Post by Jersey_Mike » Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:13 pm

With NS's direct competition with CSX via the GRS route I don't think that CSX is going to be facing many capacity constraints on the old B&A. In fact they might become desperate enough for any sort of revenue that they welcome the passenger trains with open arms. Moreover with the VTer moving to the CT Valley route that would in theory free up a slot on the main.

CSX Conductor
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Re: NEC Inland Route

Post by CSX Conductor » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:36 am

The problem is not single track, but simply the fact that CSXT doesn't want anymore pax trains than they already have out there. Honestly, CSXT doesn't even want anything to do with any of the existing lines east of Selkirk.

Jersey_Mike
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Re: NEC Inland Route

Post by Jersey_Mike » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:55 am

It's not like CSX is a railroad company or anything ::rolls eyes::

Station Aficionado
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Re: NEC Inland Route

Post by Station Aficionado » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:32 pm

TomNelligan wrote:This is constantly being proposed and re-proposed, but nothing ever happens. As Mr. Primrose notes, the Boston & Albany line is mostly single track between Worcester and Springfield, and busy with freight, and CSX won't allow any significant increase in passenger service west of Worcester until the former double track is restored. Additionally, the only real market that restored Inland Route service would add is Worcester to New York and points south, and I have to wonder whether added business would justify the cost. Springfield and Hartford already have corridor service, and Boston-Springfield and Boston-Hartford have frequent bus service that's faster than a train would be.
Query, for Mr. Nelligan and the rest of you New Englanders, if additional (or revived) Inland Route (Boston-Springfield-New Haven) service really isn't justified, what about additional Boston-Albany service (to connect with the Maple Leaf and Empire Service trains)? Or would that, too, fall victim to topography, single-tracking, and buses scooting along the Mass Turnpike?

TomNelligan
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Re: NEC Inland Route

Post by TomNelligan » Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:28 pm

Station Aficionado wrote: Query, for Mr. Nelligan and the rest of you New Englanders, if additional (or revived) Inland Route (Boston-Springfield-New Haven) service really isn't justified, what about additional Boston-Albany service (to connect with the Maple Leaf and Empire Service trains)? Or would that, too, fall victim to topography, single-tracking, and buses scooting along the Mass Turnpike?
I'm afraid the latter, in my opinion. The B&A through the Berkshires is a twisting and indirect route between Springfield and Albany as it follows river valleys and climbs to the summit at Washington -- if you check a map, you'll see what I mean. The big hill is still double track, but most of the rest is single, and CSX is unlikely to be any more passenger-friendly there than it is anywhere else. And the Massachusetts Turnpike is a relatively straight shot geographically, going up and over the hills rather than around them, and generally a 65-70 mph highway (except at some peak travel times). I would also note that the Albany-Boston travel market itself (as oppose dto the potential westward connecting market) is small since Albany is culturally and economically connected to New York City rather than Boston. Even in the 1960s, it supported only two trains a day (the NYC's New England States plus a local that ran opposite it).

A morning connection other trains at Albany would be nice, but I suspect that a dedicated Thruway bus would be the practical option at the moment.

CNJ

Re: NEC Inland Route

Post by CNJ » Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:25 pm

In 1962, New York Central offered five trains a day between Boston and Albany. Four of them were RDC's. The remaining train was the "New England States."

Surprisingly, the run time of those NYC is comparable to that of the the current Boston branch of the Lake Shore.

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