• 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

  • 2176 posts
  • 1
  • 123
  • 124
  • 125
  • 126
  • 127
  • 146
  by shadyjay
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:03 pm Yes, I got you now about the I-91 part. From Springfield to New Haven, it takes just over an hour in little traffic. Ctrail trains, counting padding in the schedule, take an hour and thirty two minutes from Springfield to New Haven while many of the Amtrak trains that accept Ctrail tickets are ten minutes faster than Ctrail trains. The Amtrak Vermonter is scheduled to take one hour and twenty five minutes counting padding. I'm sure that if it leaves Meriden on time heading southbound and Windsor Locks on time heading northbound, the southbound will arrive into NHV a few minutes early. The northbound Vermonter would arrive into Springfield a few minutes early too. The travel times on the trains from Springfield to New Haven are almost time competitive with driving and when traffic is at a standstill on I-91, even for a few miles, watch that two car Amtrak Shuttle train pass traffic at at least 90 mph between Wallingford and Mill River Interlocking in New Haven.
The length of I-91 in CT is about 60 miles. Plus another 5 to get you into Springfield center itself. During midday hours, you'd have to be moving pretty good to make that trip in an hour. The congestion at Exit 29 will eat up at least a few minutes and its only going to get worse while Exit 29 gets relocated to the left and the whole roadway rebuilt through Wethersfield, into Hartford. Southbound, you usually have a little slowdown by the I-84 interchange in Hartford and again coming into Meriden.

It's hard to believe, that prior to 1990, I-91 north of Hartford was 2 lanes (each way).
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Traffic can slow down a lot around Hartford, especially where the 84/91 interchange is. When construction begins of the new highway routing which at the same time, the brand new Hartford train station should get its turn, traffic will probably only get worse until construction ends. For now, there will continue to be a single track at the busiest intermediate station on the Springfield Line. Before the brand new station in Hartford opens up, there will probably be the second track coming back to the majority of the Springfield Line above Windsor, with the exception of the Connecticut River Bridge. Once more double track gets added, there will be more trains running up and down the Springfield Line and hopefully up to Greenfield(if pilot is successful).
  by asull85
 
GU1001 wrote: Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:19 pm Was caught by surprise @ 5:30 this morning when the Damon Rd Northampton gates lowered for a northbound Amtrak. It had one P42 & 2 amfleets. Did the Greenfield service start, or was this something else?
The trains are running without passengers until Friday.
  by bratkinson
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:33 am Hopefully, these shuttle trains will wait for any late northbound Amtrak NE Regional Connections at New Haven Union Station, especially 94 which had a dismal on time record when it started out in Newport News. In April of 2017, I was at New Haven Union Station and I watched 494 depart New Haven way before 94 arrived since 94 was running very late-probably over an hour. I think now, it starts out in Norfolk and hopefully, it's better than it used to be.
For what it's worth, they DO hold the northbound shuttles at NHV 'for a while' to make the guaranteed connections. From my own experience in the past few years, they'll hold a shuttle about 30 minutes, max. This is especially true if the next shuttle or through train like 148 is scheduled within an hour or less. In the past 2-3 years, I ended up on the 'next shuttle' 4-5 times, even 148 when 178 was running 30+ minutes late. Just this past Monday, arriving NHV on an hour late 2172, they sent 412 on it's way without us, and then held 478 about 5 minutes so the connecting 2172 passengers could board. I'm still not happy that Metro North ran an (almost) OT 178 around 2172 just before STM and then kept us at 30-35 MPH to BRP. I'll be on 174 this coming Friday. Hopefully, we'll be close enough to on time to make the 474 shuttle.
daybeers wrote: Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:20 pm I understand the 20 minute padding, but that just seems like too much to me. That's 20 minutes that a potential passenger might see and say "well that's silly, I'll just drive instead" especially if their final destination is not NYC. My problem with the ticketing is the CTrail trains don't show up on Amtrak.com or on the timetables, so how are passengers supposed to know the connection with CTrail 6411 even exists?
The 20 minute padding at SPG for the KC trains is there to ensure making connections at NHV to trains 95 and 171 without forcing them to wait, as doing so would cause further delays along the NEC. The Vermonter uses the padding to...well...sometimes they need the padding, especially northbound.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Bradkinson, I guess that things have changed and they are supposed to hold connections at New Haven if possible. That was annoying that Metro North had 178 run before 2172. I thought that Acelas are supposed to be the next priority after Metro North. Sadly, on the New Haven Line, CDOT gives MNR the first shots but still, that was probably poor dispatching on CDOT's part for 2172 to be put further in the hole. I laud Metro North overall, but when it comes time for the New Haven Line, I think there is some more room for improvement.
  by Traingeek3629
 
This pilot is being set up to fail. I'm furious that we are 5 days away from it and absolutely NO press coverage except for one poorly written MassLive article. Nothing even on the Hartford Line website, which advertises the Labor Day schedule but nothing about a FREAKING SERVICE EXTENSION.
  by gregorygrice
 
Traingeek3629 wrote: Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:18 am Nothing even on the Hartford Line website, which advertises the Labor Day schedule but nothing about a FREAKING SERVICE EXTENSION.
The Valley Flyer solely put together by the state of Massachusetts and is not part of the Hartford Line program which is why it's not on the site.
  by bratkinson
 
I sometimes wonder if the Metro North dispatchers scheme to stab Amtrak trains. I know the the general plan is locals on the outer tracks and expresses on the inner. There's maybe 10-15 miles total where one of the tracks is closed for repais making dispatching a challenge during peak times. But after 8pm or so, both regionals and Acelas have lengtby stretches of 30-40 mph. But then, the schedules already account for most of the slow running.
  by gokeefe
 
Traingeek3629 wrote: Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:18 am This pilot is being set up to fail. I'm furious that we are 5 days away from it and absolutely NO press coverage except for one poorly written MassLive article.
I do not agree. They are avoiding hype precisely to ensure that things go as smoothly as possible. Look at what happenned with CT Rail on the first day. Totally overwhelmed the system. That was not merely a function of publicity but also latent demand and a market that has been underserved for decades.

I think the cautious approach is really smart and will not be in the least bit surprised if the trains are full or at least very heavily patronized without the benefit of heavy press coverage. There's plenty of population in this area that will want to use the service.

I've met the people behind this effort and they are very savvy and know what they are doing. If there is success to be had with this pilot they will ensure it is found.
Last edited by gokeefe on Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by Ridgefielder
 
lordsigma12345 wrote: Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:59 pm I agree and yes I live about 15 minutes from Springfield. I am just saying that any trips you can get off of 91 is positive. Obviously some people are always going to want to drive further south. But NHV has a nice big parking garage already. I think a better investment would be improvements to the HL to try to improve its usefulness to more people and take advantage of investments that have been made for parking at more northern stations that are under utilized. I am guilty somewhat of this - I am moving to Holyoke and while there is a stop in Holyoke I plan to mostly continue to drive to Springfield (my house is literally right off I-91 so it is more convenient than driving into downtown Holyoke and paying the extra money and obviously Springfield has more service available, and the new union station has more amenities to offer. I’ll probably use HLK when I go north on the Vermonter though.
With regard to building another garage at NHV-- remember, one of the goals of the State of CT is to cut down on congestion on 95 by getting commuters onto the New Haven Line. The bulk of those garage slots are going to be used by people heading from homes in New Haven, Hamden or East Haven to jobs in Lower Fairfield, Westchester or New York.
  by west point
 
If we were management we would be worried that the same result of over crowding will occur. Then it becomes again the need to get more cars which seems close to impossible ?
  by gokeefe
 
If the garage in New Haven is selling out regularly then it's probably time to add capacity. The only addition I would encourage would be plenty of bike storage (preferably sheltered) for those who are close by.
  by jp1822
 
I am sure the answer to my question is buried in the 125 pages of data here, but can someone advise on how many additional trainsets this new service will need - and will it be the standard P42 with just two Amfleet coaches, or will they add a third? This is a corridor that would really benefit from DMUs or something more efficient.

Also, I get the fact that this is a MA funded pilot program, it’s too bad though that VT couldn’t have kicked in some money to try a round-trip shuttle train leaving White River Junction at 6 am and return either late afternoon or late evening.

The shuttle service north of Springfield should be VERY popular with college students (and parents). This market may also tap the Lake Shore Limited - 448/449 - to get to/from Boston. Currently that’s the only east-west train across central MA. Its reliability is obviously a big challenge being that it is a LD train. It’s too bad there’s not at least ONE Inland shuttle.

OVerall though, this should be an amazing service and hope it’s a huge success!
  by gregorygrice
 
jp1822 wrote: Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:52 pm I am sure the answer to my question is buried in the 125 pages of data here, but can someone advise on how many additional trainsets this new service will need - and will it be the standard P42 with just two Amfleet coaches, or will they add a third? This is a corridor that would really benefit from DMUs or something more efficient.

Also, I get the fact that this is a MA funded pilot program, it’s too bad though that VT couldn’t have kicked in some money to try a round-trip shuttle train leaving White River Junction at 6 am and return either late afternoon or late evening.

The shuttle service north of Springfield should be VERY popular with college students (and parents). This market may also tap the Lake Shore Limited - 448/449 - to get to/from Boston. Currently that’s the only east-west train across central MA. Its reliability is obviously a big challenge being that it is a LD train. It’s too bad there’s not at least ONE Inland shuttle.

OVerall though, this should be an amazing service and hope it’s a huge success!
No additional trainsets. These are just extensions of existing shuttle runs.
  • 1
  • 123
  • 124
  • 125
  • 126
  • 127
  • 146