• 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 lordsigma12345
shadyjay wrote:But if those platform<->tunnel connections have been abolished, better keep in the boardwalk and allow extra dwell time.
Although the stairs themselves were left they just put a concrete cap over them. For platform C they capped the east stairwell and are not using it only the west one, the new elevator will be coming down to the middle of the tunnel. The current elevator for platform D was built at the bottom of the former east stairwell and the stairwell is still there for accessing the hydraulic elevator machine room.

For platforms 1 and 2 they removed the headhouses and sheetrocked in the stairwells for aesthetic reasons but they are still there for when they do those platforms down the road.

Note that track 2a is owned by Amtrak and the track 2/2a platform that they use to board the LSL is also Amtrak's. CSX owns track 1/2 and only owns the one platform that is not used at all (the track 1 platform closest to the historic union station.) They were previously using it sometimes for LSL boardings but presently all LSL boardings/disembarkings are on track 2. The pedestrian walkway crossing tracks 1 and 2 was removed when they did the waterproofing work I believe. CSX had a major issue with passengers crossing its tracks, so you'll never see the track 1 platform in use again without an upgrade so it can be accessed from the tunnel.
  by shadyjay
Interesting. I did not know about Track 1 platform being closed off. I would think the westbound LSL would be stopping there so as to not have it switch tracks. But then again, with bi-directional signalling (vs directional traffic - EB on Track 2, WB on Track 1, etc) I guess it doesn't matter.

And I'll guess we'll see what happens down the road with future platform conversions.

Here's a link to the Springfield Union Station wikipedia page which has a track layout which explains the situation regarding 4/6 not being accessible for the LSL from the west. Tracks 4,6,8 merge together, parallel the B&A, and then curve to the south beneath I-91. There is a connection reach the B&A from the west via the Springfield Line, but its a little bit of a distance from the platforms (closer to the former M&E platform).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springfie ... achusetts)
  by BandA
Backshophoss wrote:MBTA has a project to put in an Island platform at Worcester,was announced in the MBTA forum.
Sorry, I confused the two topics!
  by Allouette
Track A, which was built parallel to and to the east of track 1, was supposed to get connected at both ends to track 1 at some point. It was intended primarily for the Lake Shore, but would also be used for proposed Boston-Montreal service, should that ever materialize.
  by lordsigma12345
Did not realize that. I was under the impression that track was built as a temporary bypass track for the tunnel water proofing when they had to shut down the regular tracks.

Another thing they could do is shift from track 2 to track 1 boarding. You actually could safely use the track 1 platform if passengers entered from the mezzanine level of the new Union Station. That actually would make baggage easier as there is an elevator in the back part of the new building that could be used.
  by Backshophoss
Some time down the road,a joint MassDOT/ConnDOT is planned to build a layover yard near Springfield union station,for both
ConnDOT and "T" west commuter ops to Greenfield.
  by daybeers
lordsigma12345 wrote:A facebook user posted a nice photo of the platform construction. Anyone know what that large yellow piece of equipment is:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... WEi2WufPZe" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Seems like some sort of driller to me.

Can someone give me a reminder on what will happen once the construction on platform C is completed? Also, it's unfortunate that the LSL won't be able to benefit from this project, at least not yet.

As to the station, are passengers now using the renovated station? There is a new elevator going in on platform C, correct? How do passengers get to the other platforms? Do they have to cross the tracks?
  by njtmnrrbuff
I hope that if 449 and 448 use the brand new platforms, that won’t cause delay issues. Isn’t there still a platform directly along the Boston Line?

As for just running New Haven to Boston shuttle service, that is still not a bad idea. I think that that would probably be better for the sake of time rather than just having the trains split at New Haven. It sounds like CDOT will not be in a good position to let Amtrak run any more trains on Metro North tracks anytime soon. The New Haven Line is as busy as it is.

I know that in the past, there were proposals to extend MBCR to SPG which isn’t a bad idea.
  by lordsigma12345
daybeers wrote:Is to the station, are passengers now using the renovated station? There is a new elevator going in on platform C, correct? How do passengers get to the other platforms? Do they have to cross the tracks?
Right now Amtrak is still using the old trackside station next to track 8. Passengers enter thru the new Union Station intermodal facility (which right now is used by bus passengers and CTrail ticketing/boarding announcements) and then get to the old Amtrak station via the one elevator/stairwell currently open which goes to Platform D/track8. Passengers wait in the old station and board either on track 8, track 6, track 2a, or track 2 (LSL only.) For tracks other than track 8, passengers cross the tracks on a paved walkway that crosses as far as Platform B (track 2/2a) - it used to go all the way across to the track 1 platform but CSX wanted that removed and it was removed during the tunnel water proofing - LSL now only boards on track 2 - CSX is uncomfortable with passengers crossing the B&A tracks. Right now because platform C is under construction, trains using track 6 just pull up to the paved walkway and let passengers on/off at one door - everything is low level on all platforms. The new high level platform C will have its own elevator/stairs to the new intermodal center below and at that point Amtrak waiting/ticketing is supposed to move into the intermodal center. What is going to happen with the LSL remains unknown - they could either:
a) Use the new platform with a backup move.
b) Install new switches to the west that would allow the LSL to use the new platform without backup move.
c) Keep boarding the LSL the way it is now - LSL passengers would still have to enter near the old Amtrak station and cross the active Amtrak tracks.
d) Switch to track 1 and have passengers enter through the second floor of the intermodal center which has doors that go directly onto the viaduct.

Alternatives A, B, and D would eliminate all passenger crossing of any tracks.
  by Kilo Echo
Thank you, lordsigma12345, for your numerous informative updates. Has there been any discussion whatsoever with regard to additional rehabilitation for, say, Platform B?
  by lordsigma12345
Kilo Echo wrote:Thank you, lordsigma12345, for your numerous informative updates. Has there been any discussion whatsoever with regard to additional rehabilitation for, say, Platform B?
Nothing beyond Platform C is presently planned. Platform C with low level platform D as overflow is supposed to be able to handle all present service and currently planned service (knowledge corridor pilot.) All that has been stated about other platforms is that more platforms may need to be upgraded if other possible service comes such as a larger knowledge corridor increase beyond the pilot and east-west rail. The only current unknown is what the deal is going to be with the Lake Shore because it runs on the B&A and as earlier posts have stated there's no switches west of the station.

The only real clue is in the proposed signage for the current project. The new proposed signage that's in the Amtrak drawings for the project includes signage for tracks 4, 6, and 8 only.
  by Literalman
As for return of Inland Route service, what was the reason for the trains being discontinued?
As best I can remember (having lived in Massachusetts for some years and ridden the Inland Route a few times), the Amtrak service was oriented to New York, one train only, to New York in the morning and to Boston in the evening. So the only additional service it provided was Framingham and Worcester to New York and points in between, plus Boston to points between Boston and New Haven. There was nothing for people north of New Haven who wanted to go to Worcester or Boston unless they wanted to arrive at night. Sure, New York is the big market, but only Framingham and Worcester gained one-seat service to and from New York. Boston, Springfield, and the cities between Springfield and New Haven already had it.

I think that to develop healthy ridership, the route will need more than one pair of trains a day. Something like four round trips would give travelers a more attractive service between city pairs such as Hartford-Boston, Hartford-Worcester, and New Haven-Worcester. They also would create a connection at Springfield between Boston and Vermont and, someday perhaps, Montreal.
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