• AMTRAK NEC: Springfield Shuttle/Regional/Valley Flyer

  • 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

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  by gokeefe
 
asull85 wrote:The Greenfield thing is now a definite. I'm unsure on the timeline but additional crews will begin qualifying shortly.
I know it's easy to take for granted but this kind of extension is nothing short of amazing. A few years ago Greenfield had no service at all. Now they're going to have corridor style shuttle service on top of the Vermonter.
  by Backshophoss
 
MN New Haven line is Eastward to Fair st,Westward to New Rochelle/Woodlawn(as is the rest of the NEC)per their ETT.
Amtrak's Springfield line is northward to Springfield southward to New Haven per their ETT.
  by gprimr1
 
I"m guessing the trains will do a fast turn at Greenfield, unload passengers, load passengers,then leave, no idle time.

Or does Greenfield have a passing track now? I haven't been up there since they built the new station.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
gprimr1 wrote:I"m guessing the trains will do a fast turn at Greenfield, unload passengers, load passengers,then leave, no idle time.

Or does Greenfield have a passing track now? I haven't been up there since they built the new station.
Yes. Conn River's a Plate F+ freight clearance route for Pan Am Southern, so all of the new full-high platforms have passers.


No layover space to be had around there so they won't be sticking around for long on turns. But short-term idling wouldn't block any thru traffic.
  by asull85
 
gprimr1 wrote:I"m guessing the trains will do a fast turn at Greenfield, unload passengers, load passengers,then leave, no idle time.

Or does Greenfield have a passing track now? I haven't been up there since they built the new station.
I believe the plan is for the morning trains to deadhead up to arrive 30min prior to departure and the run through to New Haven. The northbounds will discharge in Greenfield then deadhead back to Springfield. At least that was their plan a couple months ago.
  by Palmer5RR
 
asull85 wrote:Effective 1/2/18 trains 490, 470, 476, 495, 493 and 479 will be reinstated.
Are you saying all these trains will continue through Northampton to Greenfield daily starting Jan 2nd? If not is there any approximate timeline to starting service.
  by andrewjw
 
Palmer5RR wrote:
asull85 wrote:Effective 1/2/18 trains 490, 470, 476, 495, 493 and 479 will be reinstated.
Are you saying all these trains will continue through Northampton to Greenfield daily starting Jan 2nd? If not is there any approximate timeline to starting service.
No, he is commenting on the Springfield Line (the main topic of this thread). Those trains did not run during much construction, and will return to their scheduled NHV-SPG route.
  by asull85
 
Aside from 476/479 the last two winters, they haven't run at all since August 2015. Only one or two of them in the morning and one or two at night will continue to Greenfield sometime in the spring. A couple of the existing shuttles will be replaced different ones (ex 493 will be replaced by 471 or 571).
  by lordsigma12345
 
So far the only losses in service along the line I can see based on the proposed schedules are the elimination of the weekday southbound Shuttle 493 and the elimination of the Berlin and Wallingford stops on the Vermonter. The loss of 493 only really affects stations north of Hartford as proposed CTrail train 4455 will operate around the same timeframe as Amtrak 493 and will maintain the connection to NE Reg 93 but will only run from Hartford to New Haven. Although Springfield folks will lose 93 as a connection they will gain weekday southbound connections to Acela 2151 (new Shuttle 451), NE Reg 171 (new Shuttle 471), NE Reg 173 (new Shuttle 473), and Acela 2175 (new Shuttle 417) as a result of the changes. It will be nice to have direct connections to Acela trains finally. Springfield folks who used to use 493 will be able to use 471 or 473 instead. Connections to additional Acela and NE Reg trains will also be possible by using the CTrail trains. If I missed any other eliminations in there someone let me know.
  by bwparker1
 
As much and i would like to see it, all bets are off on if this service will actually launch, or perhaps more likely, last, given how broke CT is... Not trying to be overly negative but I've lived here 10 years and every 2 years we have a bigger budget deficit than the last one. I could see them killing either this or the busway within the next few years. This is, after all, the state that built a monorail at its airport and then never ran it once and tore it down.

In 1976, an experimental monorail was completed to link the terminal to a parking lot seven-tenths of a mile away. The "people mover" cost US$4 million and was anticipated to cost $250 thousand annually to operate. Due to the high anticipated operating cost, the monorail was never put in service and was dismantled in 1984 to make room for a new terminal building. The retired vehicles from the system are now on display at the Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor, CT. - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley ... al_Airport" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by asull85
 
There are some mumblings of it not launching at all and CT will just pay to add an additional car to each shuttle. The busway is transporting too much air to discontinue ;)
  by lordsigma12345
 
Perhaps they will abandon the dedicated CTrail trains and implement a reduced program using just Amtrak. They have already modified their plans as originally the added service was all supposed to be commuter trains and they have reduced the commuter service to 8 trips and increased the Amtrak service by 3 to try to keep the promise of 17 round trips presumably for cost reasons. Maybe they will do something similar to the following:
1) Add the additional Amtrak trains as planned.
2) Implement the higher speeds from all the track work on the Amtrak service and adjust the schedule to take it into account.
3) Have the Amtrak trains stop at New Haven State Street.
4) Adjust the Amtrak SPG-NHV pricing to what was going to be used for the CTrail trains.
5) Allow Connecticut commuter rail pass holders to use the SPG-NHV Amtrak service.
6) Abandon or indefinitely delay the launch of the CTrail operated service.

Not what was promised but at least would give something from all the money that was spent, but hopefully it wont come to that.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
The reason why the CTRail schedule is on a slow ramp-up is because the Springfield layover facility at Armory Jct. hasn't been built yet. That's the one funding piece for the Hartford Line that MassDOT was on the hook for as the largest payee, and they've so far refused to proceed with it without fed grant help. CDOT physically can't do 17 round trips without it, because Springfield Union and the old AMTK mail yard by the junction are too small to juggle a full commuter slate with the Amtrak schedule. They have limited slots to idle, which is why the starter schedule has so many trains running just NHV-HFD.

It'll get done. CDOT's not really ready for the full-blast Springfield schedule anyway with Windsor Depot still needing ADA platforms, Windsor Locks still needing to relocate up the street to a new station location fed by faster airport shuttles, and the bulk of Enfield/Thompsonville station construction beyond basic land clearing still yet to begin. All 3 of those north-of-HFD intermediates lagged the rest of the project by a few years because of late funding releases and are only now full-funded, final-designed, and shovel-ready. And there's still work to do with the North Haven and West Hartford infills, as well as the whole multimodal follow-through of connecting all those stops to new/enhanced last-mile local buses and private business shuttles started with economic development $$$. Hartford Line was always intended to be a slow-cooker like that during its first 5 years until all the connecting pieces were in place to really drive the ridership to an increased schedule. The Year 1 ridership is probably going to be tidy because of all the other moving parts that are still cooking, and that's why they aren't sweating reassignment of the Shuttles yet.

As for MassDOT, they may simply be looking for a way to roll up Armory Layover in a wad with further action on the NNEIRI studies for the Inland Route, since Shuttles being extended to Boston would mean MassDOT could claim some of Amtrak's share of layover space at that joint AMTK-CDOT storage + MOW facility for future Knowledge Corridor commuter rail without needing to pay more to outright expand the yard beyond current plans. They can't punt it off forever, and certainly cannot ever consider homegrown Conn River Line commuter rail without full-funding that facility for AMTK + Hartford Line in advance. Right now just appears they're picking their spots for most opportune timing and advantageous financing to jump in and aren't in any present-day hurry to put a rush on it.
  by lordsigma12345
 
asull85 wrote:Effective 1/2/18 trains 490, 470, 476, 495, 493 and 479 will be reinstated.
It’s official the long bus-stituted Shuttles are back in business. Rode the 490 this morning, first 490 train since 2015. I was heading back from Washington on 190 and the conductor said that it was still buses to Springfield even through everything I heard other than that said 490 train. So I was curious as to what was going to be waiting in NHV but sure enough there was the 490 sitting across the platform waiting. Slow going on the New Haven-Springfield line today north of Hartford. Two broken rail spots one in Windsor the other in Enfield. Crews on site working the problem but trains having to crawl through the area.
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