Amtrak NEC Inland, Springfield Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield Route

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BandA
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Re: Springfield Line Upgrade in CT

Post by BandA » Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:24 pm

Re: this NYP-Me service. If you put a loop track at "West Station" / Beacon Park, you could run the trains east through Back Bay --> (bypass congested South Station) --> via Dorchester Branch --> Providence / NEC. With a stop at Kendall, "West", and Back Bay, a "GLX crossing" station, perhaps time could be saved by bypassing North Station. This is a long route, so getting the fastest route seems most important. The fastest route may evolve over time as tracks are upgraded to a more inland routing. At rush hour this kind of routing should be very competitive. Off peak, buses running I93-I95 would be faster. Would via Springfield or via Providence be faster?

Backshophoss
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Re: Springfield Line Upgrade in CT

Post by Backshophoss » Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:48 pm

In the long run,service NYP-POR will be via Springfield/Grand Jct routing,AFTER finding a way to make
CSX to play nice with "Inland Service" to BOS to begin with.
The I-84 viaduct replacement is the hangup to double tracking thru Hartford's station,has there been
ANY kind of movement on that? As long as that is not pinned down,can understand Amtrak+ConnDOT not
wanting to do any work on the RR viaduct/station area except for needed repairs.

I-84(EB)makes an "S" curve turning north rising up on the viaduct till just north of the station,
turning east over the Amtrak's Mainline and industry tracks,then dropping into the trench in
Downtown Hartford to go under I-91 like a bad rollercoaster.
Both curves are sharp(40mph)turns and full of local exits,very prone to congestion most of the time.
The neighborhood is rundown at best where this "S" curve is located.
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

Jehochman
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Re: Springfield Line Upgrade in CT

Post by Jehochman » Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:29 am

The I-84 viaduct replacement is the hangup to double tracking thru Hartford's station,has there been
ANY kind of movement on that? As long as that is not pinned down,can understand Amtrak+ConnDOT not
wanting to do any work on the RR viaduct/station area except for needed repairs.
There are studies underway but it will be billions of dollar. The basic plan is to straighten the curves, moving the highway a bit west toward that neighborhood you mention. What's undecided is whether there will be a new viaduct, grade level highway or a tunnel. Under one plan the rail line would move west a couple hundred feet. The station building currently houses offices. The actual station in the basement annex should be replaced or moved to the original atrium that's virtually unused.

See: http://i84hartford.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

CTDOT has a related project called Hartford Rail Alternatives to replace the viaduct. Dates are TBD. The I-84 Project is scheduled for environment stuff and community input until 2017, then design work through 2019 and finally to start construction in 2020 and finish in 2025.

F-line to Dudley via Park
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Re: Springfield Line Upgrade in CT

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:15 pm

BandA wrote:Re: this NYP-Me service. If you put a loop track at "West Station" / Beacon Park, you could run the trains east through Back Bay --> (bypass congested South Station) --> via Dorchester Branch --> Providence / NEC. With a stop at Kendall, "West", and Back Bay, a "GLX crossing" station, perhaps time could be saved by bypassing North Station. This is a long route, so getting the fastest route seems most important. The fastest route may evolve over time as tracks are upgraded to a more inland routing. At rush hour this kind of routing should be very competitive. Off peak, buses running I93-I95 would be faster. Would via Springfield or via Providence be faster?
How many times do I have to say it: MassDOT will not contribute one cent if it doesn't stop at their terminal. It's North Station or nothing at all. No intermediate stops, no ops-awkward bypasses on non-revenue wye legs that foul commuter rail operations. No routings forcing Amtrak to do something unorthodox, re-crew somewhere unorthodox, or qualify on track it doesn't already operate. There is no bypass the way NNEPRA and the whole economics/mechanics of state-sponsored Amtrak routes are set up for skipping the MassDOT link in the chain or convincing them to invest money in something that deprives them of their single-largest station revenue source.

I don't even understand what's so offensive about a reverse move at North Station, anyway. Amtrak does reverses every hour of the day somewhere in the country, and because of the extreme commuter rail congestion around Boston Engine Terminal it's actually easier and less invasive to hug the Fitchburg Line tracks all the way into the station. The bypass routes--especially the ones right outside the terminals--are operationally more awkward than just pulling straight in for a reverse.

Do people actually want this service to happen in years you can count on your fingers and maybe several toes, or is it really that preferable to pooh-pooh it for navel-gazing at some conceptual perfection that doesn't match up to operational realities and funding priorities? This isn't a difficult call.

georgewerr
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Re: Springfield Line Upgrade in CT

Post by georgewerr » Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:16 pm

shadyjay wrote:
Jehochman wrote:This is a logo already. See http://www.nhhsrail.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. The project was funded with federal grants and Connecticut State bonds so naturally it has to have a Connecticut name.

I understand that Massachusetts is considering commuter rail from Springfield to Greenfield to ease traffic while they rebuild the I-91 viaduct. (This sounds like the temporary commuter service called Shoreline East that's still running long after its justification, an I-95 construction project, ended.) If it happens, they can call it the Springfield Line.
Naming the service "The Hartford Line" isn't that bad of a name. I'm not sure what else they could've renamed it, outside of the Springfield Line. Years ago, I thought the "Capital Line" would have been a good name, as one of the reasons why the rail line was originally built in the 1830s was because CT alternated capital cities between New Haven and Hartford for a time. At least the new logo looks like it could possibly be a "Genesis" locomotive hauling coaches (a nice touch would've been an N over H logo on the locomotive's nose), but its a lot better than the "stock" photo on the nhhsrail.com web site of some "futuristic" train that most likely is from Europe, China, or elsewhere.

As far as Massachusetts goes, I would hope that they wouldn't choose the "Springfield Line" for any Springfield-North service. I think something on the lines of "PVX - Pioneer Valley Express Commuter Rail" would be good. Calling it the Springfield Line I think would be too much confusion with the line south to New Haven, which Amtrak calls the Springfield Line. It will still be interesting to see what transpires with Amtrak's shuttle service in the post-2016 time frame and whether Amtrak gets the contract for the service, and where we go from there.

Still, I hope this new service will be successful. The Springfield Line for years has been "screaming" for commuter service. If Amtrak didn't rip up the second track along much of the line in the early 90s, the service may have gotten off the ground sooner.
This could be confusing with a railroad with a similar name operating in the same area. check out the link to this railroad.
http://www.pinsly.com/companies/pvrr/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

F-line to Dudley via Park
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Re: Springfield Line Upgrade in CT

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:37 pm

Jehochman wrote:
The I-84 viaduct replacement is the hangup to double tracking thru Hartford's station,has there been
ANY kind of movement on that? As long as that is not pinned down,can understand Amtrak+ConnDOT not
wanting to do any work on the RR viaduct/station area except for needed repairs.
There are studies underway but it will be billions of dollar. The basic plan is to straighten the curves, moving the highway a bit west toward that neighborhood you mention. What's undecided is whether there will be a new viaduct, grade level highway or a tunnel. Under one plan the rail line would move west a couple hundred feet. The station building currently houses offices. The actual station in the basement annex should be replaced or moved to the original atrium that's virtually unused.

See: http://i84hartford.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

CTDOT has a related project called Hartford Rail Alternatives to replace the viaduct. Dates are TBD. The I-84 Project is scheduled for environment stuff and community input until 2017, then design work through 2019 and finally to start construction in 2020 and finish in 2025.
Nothing's fleshed out, but the general consensus at looking at some of the prelim design alternatives was that it was going to be easier to relocate the tracks out of Union Station: http://www.transystems.com/Home/News-Pr ... nagem.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.

The blow-up map isn't loading for me for some reason today, but here's the gist of it:
-- Past Park St. where the tracks/busway and current highway converge is start of project limits. Highway sunk into a cut here so the Aetna Viaduct can come down.
-- Capitol Ave. reconstructed here to daylight it from all the ramps and rail overpasses it goes under.
-- Between Laurel St. and Sigourney St. 84 and the tracks converge into a single unified cut.
-- Instead of passing under, the tracks get realigned to stay in the cut bolted to 84 West along the current sunken highway between Broad St. and Asylum St. Somewhere around here the busway is reconstructed to turn out onto the street grid.
-- Between Asylum and Church St./Myrtle St. the tracks go into a new station cavern, opposite the block from current Union Station. I would guess future-proofed for at least 4 platform tracks + a freight passing track.
-- The station becomes an air rights super-block: http://goo.gl/maps/ILnAo" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. So the triangle between Spring St. and Spruce St. at the entrance to the current station gets decked over, some new parking lot or garage goes up, the new train station bunker and the existing station building get connected with walkways across the parcel, and it becomes an even bigger station complex with the old train station just serving the buses and tix offices.
-- Tracks spit out of the bunker after Church St. with enough running room for the wye track to be reinstated to the Griffins Branch and tracks meet back on the current alignment at Hoadley Pl.
-- Old tracks in Bushnell Park demolished for more parkland, and I'm guessing the old RR viaduct over Asylum and Church becomes some sort of grade-separated path out of Bushnell Park.


Add 15 years and whatever billions that'll take to finish, but that's pretty much their preferable option. Trains would no longer stop at the old station and would be in a somewhat dank little bunker, but the old station would still be the all-modes transportation center...and a much bigger one at that since it would span the whole block and deck over the highway. So in the real world it's quite a bit of a net-gain for intercity travelers and an enhancement in status for the old station despite the trains being relocated off the roof.

mtuandrew
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Re: Springfield Line Upgrade in CT

Post by mtuandrew » Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:55 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:How many times do I have to say it: MassDOT will not contribute one cent if it doesn't stop at their terminal. It's North Station or nothing at all.

I don't even understand what's so offensive about a reverse move at North Station, anyway.
Why has no one proposed skipping North Station, taking the Grand Junction (assuming it is rebuilt to passenger standards) to Beacon Park, and backing to South Station as a waypoint for NYP-POR service? Five miles is a long backup to protect, but certainly doable. And, anyone that has an urgent appointment in Boston can take a train from Woburn to BON.

TomNelligan
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Re: Springfield Line Upgrade in CT

Post by TomNelligan » Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:30 pm

(duplicate)
Last edited by TomNelligan on Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

TomNelligan
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Re: Springfield Line Upgrade in CT

Post by TomNelligan » Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:32 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Why has no one proposed skipping North Station, taking the Grand Junction (assuming it is rebuilt to passenger standards) to Beacon Park, and backing to South Station as a waypoint for NYP-POR service?
Probably because that would be a pretty long backup move (about 3 miles) through congested terminal trackage at restricted speed that wouldn't thrill the MBTA. Changing ends at Beacon Park would allow the Allston-South Station move at track speed but would require time for the engineer to move himself and do a brake test. Either would add time to the schedule for through passengers as well as those headed for Boston. By comparison, pulling into North Station and changing ends there while handling passengers wouldn't be a big deal. Amtrak does it multiple times a day in Philadelphia with the Keystones. For that matter, the MBTA does it with every commuter set that pulls in and pulls out shortly thereafter.

Train538
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Re: Springfield Line Upgrade in CT

Post by Train538 » Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:18 pm

Why will the Hartford viaduct and the Conn River Bridge still remain single tracked? (I'm having a difficult time following what everyone else is saying :P )
"We have clearance, Clarence. Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor? Tower's radio clearance, over! That's Clarence Oveur. Over. Over. Roger. Huh? Roger, over! What? Huh? Who?" (from the movie Airplane!)

Jehochman
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Re: Springfield Line Upgrade in CT

Post by Jehochman » Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:26 pm

Worcester + Springfield + Hartford > Providence + New London.

If you are the State of Maine and you have a chance to get a thru train to NYC, which route do you pick? The faster one and the one that serves more people wanting intermediate destinations. That means the inland route via BON. If people want to go to Providence or some other shoreline destination, they can still do what they do now, take a cab from BON to BOS.

As a plus, service to Sprjngfield and Hartford from Boston and Maine would would get MA and CT excited to support the project. If you try to take the shoreline route, there's virtually no gain for MA or CT. In fact you will get blowback from CT because the shoreline route has capacity issues. The marine trades lobby doesn't want more trains in Eastern CT, they want the damn bridges open so boaters can come and go.

Jehochman
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Re: Springfield Line Upgrade in CT

Post by Jehochman » Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:28 pm

Train538 wrote:Why will the Hartford viaduct and the Conn River Bridge still remain single tracked? (I'm having a difficult time following what everyone else is saying :P )
They are separate projects ($$$$$). The Hartford viaduct depends in decisions about I-84's realignment. No point in rebuilding the viaduct now and tearing it down in five years. The bridge needs more money than what's available now.

Train538
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Re: Springfield Line Upgrade in CT

Post by Train538 » Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:34 pm

Jehochman wrote:
Train538 wrote:Why will the Hartford viaduct and the Conn River Bridge still remain single tracked? (I'm having a difficult time following what everyone else is saying :P )
They are separate projects ($$$$$). The Hartford viaduct depends in decisions about I-84's realignment. No point in rebuilding the viaduct now and tearing it down in five years. The bridge needs more money than what's available now.
Ah, okay. Thanks for the information. Hopefully they do get double-tracked as it would be silly to not increase flexibility.
"We have clearance, Clarence. Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor? Tower's radio clearance, over! That's Clarence Oveur. Over. Over. Roger. Huh? Roger, over! What? Huh? Who?" (from the movie Airplane!)

NH2060
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Re: Springfield Line Upgrade in CT

Post by NH2060 » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:19 pm

shadyjay wrote:Naming the service "The Hartford Line" isn't that bad of a name. I'm not sure what else they could've renamed it, outside of the Springfield Line. Years ago, I thought the "Capital Line" would have been a good name, as one of the reasons why the rail line was originally built in the 1830s was because CT alternated capital cities between New Haven and Hartford for a time. At least the new logo looks like it could possibly be a "Genesis" locomotive hauling coaches (a nice touch would've been an N over H logo on the locomotive's nose), but its a lot better than the "stock" photo on the nhhsrail.com web site of some "futuristic" train that most likely is from Europe, China, or elsewhere.
It actually looks not too different from the 2010 National Train Day logo. Though I would prefer the outline of say the British Virgin Trains "Pendolino", Class 180, or the new Class 800/801 Super Express. The P40/42 isn't all that "fast" looking, etc. But yes the logo looks quite nice indeed.
As far as Massachusetts goes, I would hope that they wouldn't choose the "Springfield Line" for any Springfield-North service. I think something on the lines of "PVX - Pioneer Valley Express Commuter Rail" would be good.
You might want to submit that idea to them. Just "Pioneer Valley Express" or "Pioneer Valley Line" would work nicely ;-) If it were to extend up to VT I could see "Conn Valley" or "Conn River" being used to make it more territory appropo, but even then I think something along the lines of "Pioneer Valley" would still be a good fit.
Still, I hope this new service will be successful. The Springfield Line for years has been "screaming" for commuter service. If Amtrak didn't rip up the second track along much of the line in the early 90s, the service may have gotten off the ground sooner.
At the very least perhaps a "temporary" Shore Line East type service could have been implemented 10 years ago when it was first given any form of attention in the news; I remember a mention of it at that time on the local news in CT. Heck, they could've used any of the old SLE wooden platforms and used them as infill stops until the new stations were constructed. I believe that's what the Windsor Locks station currently uses.

F-line to Dudley via Park
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Re: Springfield Line Upgrade in CT

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:20 pm

Train538 wrote:
Jehochman wrote:
Train538 wrote:Why will the Hartford viaduct and the Conn River Bridge still remain single tracked? (I'm having a difficult time following what everyone else is saying :P )
They are separate projects ($$$$$). The Hartford viaduct depends in decisions about I-84's realignment. No point in rebuilding the viaduct now and tearing it down in five years. The bridge needs more money than what's available now.
Ah, okay. Thanks for the information. Hopefully they do get double-tracked as it would be silly to not increase flexibility.
Given how long this I-84 project may take and how absolutely critical commuter rail is going to become for avoiding the interstates for all the years that project is tearing the everloving crap out of downtown Hartford, they may have to DT it well before the train station moves into the bunker across the street. And spend basic repair money to keep it the rail viaduct from falling down. But that's relative chump change in the big picture. They're not making a big production out of it other than getting the station ADA-compliant.

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