• 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 Safetee
 
According to the amtk schedule lv gfield at 1:36p ar penn 6:25p or 4.75 hours if theyre all on time. throw in the recommended 1/2 hour be there ahead of time for boarding works out to over 5 hours minimum in each direction.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
There is probably a lot of sightseeing activities in the Pioneer Valley Region and I heard that the cities like Northampton and Greenfield are very nice towns. People might want to use these trains from points south and west to the Pioneer Valley to enjoy a long weekend of sightseeing, visiting family, and friends. I'm sure that there will be many people who live in Southern Vermont along 91 who might drive all the way to Greenfield for some more rail options. If you live in Southern Connecticut, especially around New Haven and want to spend a weekend in the Northwestern part of the Berkshires in cities like Williamstown or North Adams, you could probably take the train as close as Greenfield.
  by Safetee
 
The Pioneer Valley is primarily very rural similar to Vermont and has very little set up for interface with Amtrak especially the way of availability of meaningful connecting public transportation and car rentals.

Are there things to do in the Pioneer Valley? Absolutely but they're not right next door to the train station.

To access towns like Northampton and Greenfield if you don't have friends with a car or you are perhaps a marathon walker, things as they are will get very old very quickly. Now Springfield has tons of cabs, buses, and even MGM has a free bus shuttle trying to scoop up as many gambling train riders as it can.

In Greenfield the " intermodal station" paid for with umpteen million tax payer dollars is owned by the regional transit authority which really doesn't give a rats petootie what happens to Amtrak passengers. In fact, the Oliver station building with the waiting area and rest rooms etc is closed on weekends.

Until proper modal connections are provided, tourism as an inbound rail reality is just not going to float. Obviously that could change with time, one has to understand that in the meantime Amtrak doesn't really care if there's connections or not as long as the state subsidy dollars keep rolling in.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Safetee wrote:
snip

Until proper modal connections are provided, tourism as an inbound rail reality is just not going to float. Obviously that could change with time, one has to understand that in the meantime Amtrak doesn't really care if there's connections or not as long as the state subsidy dollars keep rolling in.
The folks planning the new service to Pittsfield are very aware of this "last mile" concept, and want to make sure that there's good connectivity from the station to the final destination.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Greenfield and Northampton Stations, just like many stations, in the Amtrak system will probably have sparse public transportation connections. You probably need a car in those areas anyway, especially if you want to explore the wilderness. It would be nice though if the local bus system can be improved in the towns mentioned above to some extent. Plenty of people who live up there own cars anyway. Even if you get off the train in Springfield, you still can't take the bus everywhere from the station.
  by Dick H
 
Greenfield Transit Map. No weekend service
http://www.frta.org/wp-content/uploads/ ... n_FY19.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Northampton Transit Map 7 Days
Click on Northampton Schedules in the top line
College schedules do not run during school breaks.
http://www.pvta.com/schedules.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Well, it looks Northampton has an okay bus system there, especially the route that runs from there to Amherst. When the Vermonter was discontinued from serving Amherst, that probably wasn't a huge loss at all, given the fact that Northampton is very close to there and there are probably many college students who take Amtrak to Northampton. I would not be too surprised if these universities have their own bus routes that bring people to the various downtown areas and train stations. I see that in Holyoke, there are some more PVTA options, especially for those people who are heading to and from Springfield.

From looking at the FRTA, it seems like the service is very infrequent. Plus it doesn't run on weekends. One of these day, I would love to spend a weekend in the Upper Pioneer Valley and would love to visit the trolley museum in Shelburne. I think for that, I would probably end up taking an Uber to get there or I also saw that the museum is also open on Monday.

In terms of predicting whether a lot of college students will use the Amtrak shuttle trains, it depends on what they are using it for. In general, college students like to sleep late and in some cases very late. If they are heading back to visit their families west of New Haven, many of them will probably prefer to take the Vermonter since they don't have to wake up very late. There are probably many college students who might have morning classes on an abbreviated day so that would also be a good reason to take the Vermonter down. The majority of college students who take the shuttle trains will probably use them to head to internships and jobs closer to New Haven and further west but probably as far west of New York City. I'm sure that the internships happen a few times a week. The other cities in Coastal Connecticut like Bridgeport and Stamford have many corporate jobs so you will probably have many people getting off in those cities who are coming from the Pioneer Valley.

The distance from Southern Maine to Boston isn't like from Central Massachusetts to NYC. On the Vermonter, it takes a little under five hours to travel from Greenfield to NYP and from Portland to Boston, it's two and a half hours on the Downeaster. Even commuting from Southern Maine to Boston on Amtrak is still very time consuming and your options are limited, especially heading down to Boston if you have to be at your job there at 8:00.
  by Safetee
 
Apparently state Sen. Joe Comerfords bill to fund a study of east west passenger rail service from North Adams to Greenfield to Boston has just passed the Mass Senate. No question that many communities in North Western Mass and southern Vermont and New Hampshire would welcome some semblance of regular rail service to and from Cambridge and North Station Boston.
  by Traingeek3629
 
Most of the people in this thread have obviously never been to Northampton or Greenfield. Northampton has excellent bus connections, a great hiking/biking trail system, and a nice downtown Greenfield, at least the downtown area, isn't really meant for tourists. You wouldn't take a bus to the places people would visit Greenfield for.
  by Kilo Echo
 
Traingeek3629 wrote:Most of the people in this thread have obviously never been to Northampton or Greenfield. Northampton has excellent bus connections, a great hiking/biking trail system, and a nice downtown Greenfield, at least the downtown area, isn't really meant for tourists. You wouldn't take a bus to the places people would visit Greenfield for.
Agreed. Northampton (NHT) is a burgeoning tourist destination that, for a city its size, abounds with activities.

https://northampton.live
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Since the Hoosier State will be discontinuing service very soon, maybe Amtrak could see about shifting some of those single level cars to the Springfield/Greenfield shuttles to provide more seating capacity.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Not on any of the 400 series shuttles and any of the future ones that will be getting extended to Greenfield-if we are talking about a Budd RDC. If there are any Amfleets, maybe use at least an additional one.
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