Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East-West Passenger Rail Discussion

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jxzz
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Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East-West Passenger Rail Discussion

Post by jxzz »

6 options of study has been published and the study is still ongoing for the Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East West Rail:
https://www.mass.gov/lists/east-west-pa ... -documents

Lots of media attention too on this as Senator Eric Lesser is spearheading on this project.

Backshophoss
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Re: Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East-West Passenger Rail Discussion

Post by Backshophoss »

CSX has to allow more passenger service,or sell Worcestor-Springfield to MassDOT,otherwise forget it.
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jxzz
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Re: Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East-West Passenger Rail Discussion

Post by jxzz »

One or two of 6 options pretty much rebuild a new track along old line or along high way mass Pike. There seem to have a lot of political support on this and MA certainly is rich state that can fund this line easily
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ceo
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Re: Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East-West Passenger Rail Discussion

Post by ceo »

Using the I-90 corridor is going to be seriously spendy... a cursory examination of Google Maps indicates that there is room in the ROW, but definitely not in the median, so the tracks would have to run alongside the highway. This would require rebuilding all of the exits and service plazas (or depressing the tracks under the entrance/exit ramps) as well as all of the overpasses. If it only gains you 5 minutes BOS-SPG and 15 minutes BOS-PIT, it's unclear if it's worth it.

A little surprised they don't appear to be considering electrification of the CSX corridor.

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Re: Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East-West Passenger Rail Discussion

Post by MBTA3247 »

Not to mention the grades involved.
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troffey
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Re: Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East-West Passenger Rail Discussion

Post by troffey »

ceo wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:35 am
Using the I-90 corridor is going to be seriously spendy... a cursory examination of Google Maps indicates that there is room in the ROW, but definitely not in the median, so the tracks would have to run alongside the highway. This would require rebuilding all of the exits and service plazas (or depressing the tracks under the entrance/exit ramps) as well as all of the overpasses. If it only gains you 5 minutes BOS-SPG and 15 minutes BOS-PIT, it's unclear if it's worth it.

A little surprised they don't appear to be considering electrification of the CSX corridor.
I'm not sure the double stack clearance projects that went along with moving out of Beacon Park left space for catenary clearances...

jxzz
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Re: Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East-West Passenger Rail Discussion

Post by jxzz »

ceo wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:35 am
Using the I-90 corridor is going to be seriously spendy...
This project sounds like a big dig in Western Mass. But if there is political will and it is indeed beneficial to provide jobs to west and provide cheap housing to east, it may get funded and built, only to Springfield of course. It is unlikely to have rail between Pittsfield/Springfield.

Springfield as MA city is already awkward now. It has better connection to CT through CTrail Hartford Line, therefore has better rail connection to Stamford or NYC. It would look bad if MA does not want to support this line while CT and NYC is getting close link with this area.

TomNelligan
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Re: Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East-West Passenger Rail Discussion

Post by TomNelligan »

ceo wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:35 am
A little surprised they don't appear to be considering electrification of the CSX corridor.
There isn't enough current or likely future passenger traffic to justify the very high capital costs involved. You could make an argument for the line east of Worcester if the MBTA ever chooses to electrify its suburban branches (and finds the megabucks required), but not Worcester-Springfield.
Last edited by TomNelligan on Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ceo
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Re: Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East-West Passenger Rail Discussion

Post by ceo »

Then why are they looking at HSR down the I-90 corridor, which will cost a hell of a lot more?
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TomNelligan
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Re: Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East-West Passenger Rail Discussion

Post by TomNelligan »

Because the nature of a study/wish list/planning proposal is to throw out all sorts of scenarios for discussion. But HSR along the Mass Pike is a fantasy that will never come to pass. Let's start with something realistic, like one or two morning eastbound/afternoon westbound trains between Springfield and Boston (once CSX has been placated with a pile of money).
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jxzz
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Re: Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East-West Passenger Rail Discussion

Post by jxzz »

I want to be realistic. CT is rare exception with big rail bets on Metro North, CTrail Hartford Line and Shore Line East. Three lines covering almost whole state. I do not dream or hope for the same thing for MA.

Even if it is just two round trips in the morning and night bidirectional between Springfield/Boston with transfer at Worcester would help a lot for western mass or CT residents who do not wish to drive to go to Boston.
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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East-West Passenger Rail Discussion

Post by Rockingham Racer »

Has there been an actual study on the demand for this service? If not, it could very well be throwing good money after bad.

Safetee
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Re: Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East-West Passenger Rail Discussion

Post by Safetee »

I would tend to doubt that there was a marketing survey to determine just how rich a pittsfield to springfield and boston market would be. My thoughts are that folks in pittsfield have closer ties to albany area and to a lesser extent nyc. But if they do want to go to boston or albany they just jump on the turnpike. Would 120 mile an hour trains with really cheap fares make a difference? Possibly . But I dont think that the population in and around Pittsfield is half as desirous to get to Boston by rail as say folks in the Greenfield/southern Vermont area.

jxzz
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Re: Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East-West Passenger Rail Discussion

Post by jxzz »

Rockingham Racer wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:38 am
Has there been an actual study on the demand for this service? If not, it could very well be throwing good money after bad.
Demand and cost of the 6 options will be part of this study。 The study final results will be out next year.

One thing it may not be obvious for many is that this line connect commuter rail across whole region between NYC and Boston. Currently NYC/Stamford/New Haven are connected by Metro North New Haven Line, New Haven/Hartford/Springfield is connected by CTrail Hartford Line. This line won't help CT commuters to Boston that much, too far away. But it certainly opens up Springfield/Worcester job opportunity to CT and vice versa, New Haven/Stamford jobs opportunity to Springfield/Worcester area.
Last edited by jxzz on Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East-West Passenger Rail Discussion

Post by Rockingham Racer »

Thank you.

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