• Berkshire Flyer: Pittsfield - New York City Service via Albany

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by STrRedWolf
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Sun Oct 23, 2022 6:57 am WAAAY OT, so I now see, Mr. Wolf, that your furry friends also gather over there?


I guess riding Amtrak, your costumes are not all that much of an issue, but on a plane?

And getting them back in one piece ready to display?

GBN; (one who has not checked anything with an airline in thirty-five years and never with Amtrak)
Yeah, we're an international bunch (there's numerous conventions all over the world). One of the folk who run it also does public videos of the convention.

Still, to get back on track, the costumes generally don't have a problem in ether Amtrak or the airlines... except for the head, with is rather critical. I've seen folk bring them on as seat warmers because they're that concerned over breaking it. This does result in funny photos being pushed out by airline PR teams, though... something you don't see on Amtrak.

Even then... well... it makes me wonder if we need a mitigation tax along routes that have high NIMBY/NAMR objectors, because the only option is diesel (I don't see battery being any good for another few decades).
  by Gilbert B Norman
STrRedWolf wrote: Tue Oct 25, 2022 3:24 pm (I don't see battery being any good for another few decades).
Good way to return to topic, Mr. Wolf.

Yes, it's great to talk about all this esoteric stuff like battery powered locomotives, but, judging from the litany of Amtrak procurement boondoggles (yes, airlines have them too), the Coaches on the (yet to be fleet named) Corridor regional sets will be done before these "locomotives".

I trust the Sprinters 601-669 will be compatible with these sets; after all it's all Siemens - and based on the RailJets and some EuroCity sets.

It would be folly for Amtrak to find themselves in a situation of "oh we can't put the cars in service until we have the engines". All I can say from my "railfanning in Riverside" last May (hotel room not ready), the A-I's are looking mighty tired - and after closing in on fifty years of "nickel and diming" their maintenance, can you blame them?
  by Jeff Smith
For the life of me I could not find a more recent topic on this service; if someone can find it, link it here and I'll merge it in.

https://www.cntraveler.com/story/amtrak ... spring/amp
Berkshires Flyer train returning this summer

Following the introductory year of a pilot program last summer that won over travelers, the new Berkshires Flyer train is back for another season. The route was conceptualized as an alternative to the traffic-choked roads between New York City and the Berkshires, and it runs from New York Penn-Moynihan Station with six stops—including Poughkeepsie, Hudson, and Albany—before arriving in charming Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Tickets for summer 2023 go on sale on March 20. One piece of advice: book as early as possible. Many trains sold out last summer, especially on holiday weekends. Amtrak is still considering the 2023 season as part of the route's pilot program, so the train's popularity this summer could determine whether it becomes a permanent offering.

Service on the seasonal route operates from July to September and only on weekends. Last year, the Berkshires Flyer departed New York Penn-Moynihan Fridays at 3:16 p.m. and arrived at Pittsfield's Joseph Scelsi Intermodal Transportation Center at 7:12 p.m. On the southbound leg, the train departed Pittsfield on Sundays at 3 p.m. and arrived in New York at 7:05 p.m.
  by Jeff Smith
HenryAlan wrote: Mon Mar 20, 2023 12:18 pm There has been fairly recent discussion of the Berkshire Flyer in this thread:

taking-amtrak-to-the-berkshires-and-an- ... 74200.html
Thanks! Merged.
  by BandA
Red Wing wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 6:40 pm If it's so easy to widen highways and building bypasses and the like in Western Mass, why isn't there an exit on the Pike between Lee and Westfield yet?
Toll roads are not eligible for interstate highway funds. In their 60+ years of existence, other than The Big Dig they have added only two exits (that I know of) I-495 in Westborough and US-20 (to MA-146) in Millbury. Also Massachusetts' Prevailing Wage law and road costs being 3X the national average are factors. I-90 probably could use exits between Lee & Westfield, US-20 at the Charlton Plaza, MA-56 in Oxford (and to bring us back closer to topic a Commuter Rail type of station west of Worcester on MA-56 at the Oxford/Leicester line), and US-20 (North Beacon St) in Brighton.
Last edited by BandA on Thu Mar 23, 2023 10:03 pm, edited 4 times in total.
  by Greg Moore
Also, there's not much between Lee and Westfield. I'm not sure an exit there would get much use.
  by shadyjay
One was proposed a couple years back, but the people of Blandford shot it down... would've been around either the service plaza or the DOT maintenance facility. Looks like the people there want their quiet town to remain just that... quiet. I've driven US 20 between Westfield and Lee once... when the RTT signs on the 'pike read into the triple digits for minutes from Westfield to Lee.

While the ride through the Berkshires on Amtrak's LSL is nice and scenic, its not anywhere near close to needing a "local" frequency. It could use a second frequency between Albany and Boston but no need for a local service.
  by BandA
Useful to think of ALB and SPG as passenger hubs, with both having increasing service roughly north-south and east-west. Albany is bigger & will have more passengers than Springfield. The numbers wanting to go north from ALB to PIT is insignificant compared to ALB to MTR (Montreal) or ALB to Vermont.
  by Greg Moore
I agree with both the last two posts. Though I'd definitely add Chatham NY as a stop, at least on weekends, for the weekenders.

But I do agree, there isn't necessarily much Albany/Pittsfield traffic, it's ultimately the nodes on the network that works.

So a reliable Albany/Springfield connection with multiple trains per day would definitely work. It would be nice to get to New Haven that way once in awhile!
  by cle
A scissor hub, as they like to say in the aviation world.

Run a NYC-Buffalo/Toronto, and a Boston-Montreal, or variants of that. With a timed cross-platform transfer at Albany for all of the combinations. Not wildly different from the current Lake Shore - tbh that could just become a Boston-Montreal with a good schedule at Albany.

Similar for the Inland Route and those future frequencies.

Definitely agree on Chatham NY (living about 20 mins from there) - it could be a useful railhead for the region - although of course a NYC service would be the holy grail.
  by west point
BandA wrote: Thu Mar 23, 2023 9:40 pm ]Toll roads are not eligible for interstate highway funds.
Actually there was the I-95 Richmond - Petersburg toll road that was converted to non toll and remains part of I-95
  by R36 Combine Coach
Interstate routes are generally banned from toll collection, with limited exemptions such as grandfathered turnpikes built prior to the Interstate Act (mainly in Northeastern States) and HOV and lane expansions and new and
rebuilt bridges. For example, the Connecticut Turnpike (I-95) was a self-supporting toll operation until a 1983 agreement removed tolls and added it into eligible mileage for Federal Highway Fund appropriations.

One rare exception is the McHenry Tunnel in Baltimore which was built as part of I-95 as a standard toll-free
Interstate (90% Federal Highway Fund/10% state & local cost). However the very high cost for the 10% state share
(over $70 million in late 1970s) led Maryland to cover its costs through tolls. The agreement was reached under the condition the tunnel would be toll free upon the full state cost paid off. However the tolls have been retained out of concern to a traffic imbalance if I-95 were to be toll free (offsetting the nearby Harbor Tunnel) and the fact Maryland pools all statewide toll revenue into a single fund, instead of dedicating revenue to each facility.
  by Gilbert B Norman
How we got going on toll highways over here, allow me a point or two until this is killed.

Florida has been building an array of toll highways mostly of late in central part of the state. They are all numbered state highways and do not include any highways designated as Interstate.

The PA, OH, and IN Turnpikes were all "grandfathered". Illinois presents some kind of gray area. The 294 Tri State would be grandfathered, but there have been "Tollways" built since, such as the 355 Veterans and the 88 Reagan (President Obama's, the 55, is "free") the grand fathering appeared to take hold.

Pennsylvania has for years threatened to make the 80 toll, no doubt prompted by the Turnpike Commission to try and make their comparative cowpath price competitive. But if seems as if such goes nowhere.

However, there is no provision whatever to keep states from building "Lexus Lanes" along Interstates, so long as there are also Freeways. Illinois has avoided such to date. However, I know one Lex - my Lady Lex - that will never set rubber on one of such. I'm retired and as such my time isn't worth a plugged nickel. While I set schedules and endeavor to maintain them (no "oh let's just stop and explore a bit" on my road trips), I get there when I get there.
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