• Taking Amtrak to the Berkshires (and an alternative)

  • 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
 
So this was floated around various local Boston news:

Amtrak: Berkshire Flyer Passenger Train Service starting July 8th

In short: weekend (Friday up, Sunday back) service up to the Berkshires from NY Penn up to Albany and then reversing over CSX track a-la Lake Shore Limited to Pittsfield, MA.

Interesting... but then someone pointed out the Housatonic Railroad...

Housatonic RR Passenger Service

In short: NY Grand Central to Danbury and Pittsfield.

Pittsfield is going to need more station!
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Oh sure hey; and I'm going to take The Berkshire back to my 60th next month; should have been held last year, at SKS, getting off at Woodrow and hiking "up The Hill" to School!!!!

But those photos sure reminded me of "how things were back in my day"; they are authentic.
STrRedWolf wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 7:23 am
Housatonic RR Passenger Service
  by NaugyRR
 
Hey Everyone,

My father texted me about this last night and it popped into my news feed this morning. I remember reading a rumor about it on here awhile back but kind of forgot about it lol. Since it's official now, I figured it's deserving of its own thread.

Amtrak is planning on running a pilot seasonal service from NYP to Pittsfield dubbed the "The Berkshire Flyer", starting July 8th through the Summer. Per Amtrak's press release...
"The Berkshire Flyer will depart from New York Penn Station at 3:16 p.m. on Fridays and arrive at Joseph Scelsi Intermodal Transportation Center, 1 Columbus Ave, Pittsfield at 7:12 p.m. The train will make all the intermediate station stops as the typical Amtrak Empire Service train does on Fridays, which include Yonkers, NY, Croton-Harmon, NY, Poughkeepsie, NY, Rhinecliff, NY, Hudson, NY, and Albany-Rensselaer Station. The Sunday return trip, making all the same station stops, will depart Pittsfield at 3:00 p.m. and arrive in New York at 7:05 p.m."
https://media.amtrak.com/2022/04/berksh ... ns-july-8/

Do any of the ALB-based crew on here know how they're planning to handle the move on and off the B&A? I'm guessing a power exchange a-la 449/448? I feel like top and tailing the train would be a waste of power.
  by NaugyRR
 
Oh crap, sorry Wolf, I didn't see this when I just posted my own. That's my bad.

Mods can we please merge the two threads?
  by Greg Moore
 
Adding/dropping power should not be too bad. One of the upgrades of the station trackage a few years back was adding a pocket track for engine changes and the like.

But that said, given that it's only running weekends, I can also see them running an engine at either end (since they won't need as many during the weekends).

That said, a perfect choice for a trainset with a cab car when they become available.

I'll be curious to see how well this does. It's definitely longer than driving, especially because of having to go to Albany first. (Future plans include adding bypass from the Hudson line up to the CSX line just south of the bridge. This would cut out Albany, but save a lot of time).

As for the Housatonic, I'd LOVE to see this happen, but a lot of that is a wish and a dream (and the owners trying to milk NYS for more money). And all those plans are to GCT and are unlikely to involve Amtrak in any way.
  by daybeers
 
Greg Moore wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 9:12 pm That said, a perfect choice for a trainset with a cab car when they become available.

As for the Housatonic, I'd LOVE to see this happen, but a lot of that is a wish and a dream (and the owners trying to milk NYS for more money). And all those plans are to GCT and are unlikely to involve Amtrak in any way.
Amtrak doesn't have spare cab cars and I don't see any freeing up until the Amfleet I replacements start appearing which will be at least another few years.

The Danbury-Pittsfield route needs to happen. So much potential in those towns that need revitalization.

I think this service might flop due to the weekend focus. Ultimate solution IMO is GCT-Danbury-Pittsfield and NYP-Albany with frequent ALB-BOS service to connect to Pittsfield from, say, POU. And the Hudson-Harlem Maybrook Line connector.
  by Railjunkie
 
NaugyRR wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 9:16 am Hey Everyone,

My father texted me about this last night and it popped into my news feed this morning. I remember reading a rumor about it on here awhile back but kind of forgot about it lol. Since it's official now, I figured it's deserving of its own thread.

Amtrak is planning on running a pilot seasonal service from NYP to Pittsfield dubbed the "The Berkshire Flyer", starting July 8th through the Summer. Per Amtrak's press release...
"The Berkshire Flyer will depart from New York Penn Station at 3:16 p.m. on Fridays and arrive at Joseph Scelsi Intermodal Transportation Center, 1 Columbus Ave, Pittsfield at 7:12 p.m. The train will make all the intermediate station stops as the typical Amtrak Empire Service train does on Fridays, which include Yonkers, NY, Croton-Harmon, NY, Poughkeepsie, NY, Rhinecliff, NY, Hudson, NY, and Albany-Rensselaer Station. The Sunday return trip, making all the same station stops, will depart Pittsfield at 3:00 p.m. and arrive in New York at 7:05 p.m."
https://media.amtrak.com/2022/04/berksh ... ns-july-8/

Do any of the ALB-based crew on here know how they're planning to handle the move on and off the B&A? I'm guessing a power exchange a-la 449/448? I feel like top and tailing the train would be a waste of power.
My number came up and over stay-cation I caught covid like Ive said all along its not if but when. Anyway, once I get back to work I will be on third trick yard job for a bit and it will be easy enough to find out how they intend on handling this.
Normal move would be come off pocket 5 with a engine, tie onto the rear of the train thus making it the head end, fuel, air test and go. On the flip cut the west facing engine off run it to the middle towards the shop, air test, fuel and go. Of course its Albany and moves change like the wind. I just want to know where they are getting the extra equipment from we barely have enough to run the current service.

Just thinking about times for 449 if its on time arrives in Albany 610pm. The Post Road to CP187 were Amtrak ties into CSX is single track and on up to Chatham CP176. That is 20 miles of single track for those of you keeping score, its slow too. The only place for a meet is Chatham then its single track to PIT yet again. Its a little quicker if your not following or waiting for QXXX. 716pm into PIT?? everything is going to have to work perfectly and that includes CSX.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Messrs. Daybeers and Moore, Perhaps when your "dream" becomes reality, and you have brought pressure to bear to have Woodrow become a stop, perhaps you will choose to hike "up The Hill" to SKS; maybe my cremated remains can join you!!! (roundly one third of my Class of '61 is now deceased; to read the Honor Roll during the '16 Memorial Service fell to me. Someone else's turn this time).

Of interest, Woodrow, was located at the intersection of the tracks and Bulls Bridge Road. It was discontinued as a stop during '47, but the School sought regulatory relief so it remained both in the Tariff and when School recessed or convened, The Berkshire made a stop there. Apparently, that continued until A-Day when 141-144 made its last.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Fri Apr 29, 2022 6:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Railjunkie wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:41 am My number came up and over stay-cation I caught COVID. Like I've said all along its not if but when. Anyway, once I get back to work I will be on third trick yard job for a bit and it will be easy enough to find out how they intend on handling this.
Mr. Junkie, so that's how Amtrak treats an employee, who needs to get his bodily rhythms back in shape, returning from an illness?

Where's your Amtrak "Dr. Quackenbush" up there when you need him?

GBN - so far so good; antigen Negative yesterday; after returning from Indianapolis next Sunday (friends, hotel, two restaurants), I'll go in for a PCR.
  by Train60
 
daybeers wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 9:49 pm The Danbury-Pittsfield route needs to happen. So much potential in those towns that need revitalization.
There are no current plans to restore passenger service on the Berkshire Line although Deval Patrick was eager to do that back when he was governor. MassDOT is in the middle of a multi-year effort to rebuild the line and there is a bill in the House (MA) that calls for a study. https://malegislature.gov/Bills/192/H3571

The bigger problem is that the line between Danbury and the MA-CT state line is in rough shape.
  by Railjunkie
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 6:43 am
Railjunkie wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:41 am My number came up and over stay-cation I caught COVID. Like I've said all along its not if but when. Anyway, once I get back to work I will be on third trick yard job for a bit and it will be easy enough to find out how they intend on handling this.
Mr. Junkie, so that's how Amtrak treats an employee, who needs to get his bodily rhythms back in shape, returning from an illness?

Where's your Amtrak "Dr. Quackenbush" up there when you need him?

GBN - so far so good; antigen Negative yesterday; after returning from Indianapolis next Sunday (friends, hotel, two restaurants), I'll go in for a PCR.
From vacation into Covid not my idea, perhaps Marist campus tour gave it to me, daughter liked the school but wasn't sold on the "crowd" Dad did not like the price. Ohh well, one week of vacation turns into two.
Started a course of Paxlovid some new monoclonal seems to be working. I prefer to call them Dr. Amquack after having to deal with them for a few other medical related issues.
  by eolesen
 

Gilbert B Norman wrote:
Railjunkie wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:41 am My number came up and over stay-cation I caught COVID. Like I've said all along its not if but when. Anyway, once I get back to work I will be on third trick yard job for a bit and it will be easy enough to find out how they intend on handling this.
Mr. Junkie, so that's how Amtrak treats an employee, who needs to get his bodily rhythms back in shape, returning from an illness?
That's life under a seniority system... no different than coming back from days off or vacation and having to readjust.

FWIW I had Covid as a third shift worker. Was lucky to be able to WFH and not have to take time off. You learn to sleep when you can.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by markhb
 
Railjunkie wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:41 am Just thinking about times for 449 if its on time arrives in Albany 610pm. The Post Road to CP187 were Amtrak ties into CSX is single track and on up to Chatham CP176. That is 20 miles of single track for those of you keeping score, its slow too. The only place for a meet is Chatham then its single track to PIT yet again. Its a little quicker if your not following or waiting for QXXX. 716pm into PIT?? everything is going to have to work perfectly and that includes CSX.
The last time I rode 449 (before all the trackwork at ALB was completed) it literally pulled into the approach to the Castleton bridge to wait for 448 to come through, and it was a LONG wait while we effectively blocked most freight traffic from New England from getting anywhere.
  by NaugyRR
 
Railjunkie wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:41 am Normal move would be come off pocket 5 with a engine, tie onto the rear of the train thus making it the head end, fuel, air test and go. On the flip cut the west facing engine off run it to the middle towards the shop, air test, fuel and go. Of course its Albany and moves change like the wind. I just want to know where they are getting the extra equipment from we barely have enough to run the current service.

Just thinking about times for 449 if its on time arrives in Albany 610pm. The Post Road to CP187 were Amtrak ties into CSX is single track and on up to Chatham CP176. That is 20 miles of single track for those of you keeping score, its slow too. The only place for a meet is Chatham then its single track to PIT yet again. Its a little quicker if your not following or waiting for QXXX. 716pm into PIT?? everything is going to have to work perfectly and that includes CSX.
Thanks for the inside knowledge Junkie, as always I appreciate it. I hope you recovered quickly and don't end up with any of the nasty long haul effects some people are getting.
Train60 wrote:
daybeers wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 9:49 pm The Danbury-Pittsfield route needs to happen. So much potential in those towns that need revitalization.
There are no current plans to restore passenger service on the Berkshire Line although Deval Patrick was eager to do that back when he was governor. MassDOT is in the middle of a multi-year effort to rebuild the line and there is a bill in the House (MA) that calls for a study. https://malegislature.gov/Bills/192/H3571

The bigger problem is that the line between Danbury and the MA-CT state line is in rough shape.
I had the opportunity to ride the MBRRE's Housatonic Flyer as my high school graduation present and I'm extremely grateful for the experience.
http://www.massbayrre.org/Gallery200910/HOFL0901.htm

That said, as a local who's lived in Sharon almost his entire life (and Lakeville for a bit) and graduated from Housy in Falls Village, I don't see the passenger potential much on this side of the state line. New Milford maybe, and potentially Kent, but the other towns really don't have much of a walk-able town center. Canaan's got a little bit going for it, but certainly not to the same degree as the other two.

I've previously mentioned in the Housatonic thread that I think the only viable passenger operations would be day trips to Kent and/or weekend trips to Barrington/Lee/Lenox/Stockbridge sponsored by the Red Lion. All under the very unlikely circumstance the track gets upgraded.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
NaugyRR wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 10:28 am I had the opportunity to ride the MBRRE's Housatonic Flyer as my high school graduation present and I'm extremely grateful for the experience.
http://www.massbayrre.org/Gallery200910/HOFL0901.htm
Not sure I agree with your "gratefulness", Mr. Naugy.

For the years - '56-'61, I rode NH 141-144, The Berkshire, between South Kent School and Stamford, the "Freedom Train" 141 was just fine. the "Prison Train" !44; uh, otherwise.

Trips on #143 was reserved for such as a family emergency.

Mom and Dad would drive me up from Greenwich (with stuff) for September and back in June after Prize Day; otherwise "Berkie Bullet".
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