• 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 electricron
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:01 am Agreed. He wants it both ways.
When the same politician and/or political party suggests both balancing of the books and increasing capital for improvements - that is usually a sign that fare increases are soon to arrive. In all other government programs outside of transit - expect higher taxes.
Why, because that is the only way to have it both ways - spending more on something by not cutting other things.
  by Jeff Smith
 
lordsigma12345 wrote: Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:19 pm
jxzz wrote: Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:00 pm
JcPinCT wrote: Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:48 pm
lordsigma12345 wrote: Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:53 am I do think Springfield and Mass folks should take notice of some of the work included in the Windsor Locks station project. Some of the work seems to be designed to make Windsor Locks a possible northern terminus for the service.
From a political standpoint, I doubt that Windsor Locks would be the northern terminus as an Enfield station is planned and local officials have recently been vocal about supporting the station - even to the effect of providing funding for a temporary platform. I highly doubt the temporary platform would happen, but I'm sure that Enfield officials made that offer to let the state know that they are holding them to the promise of a Hartford Line stop.
That is right read on CT. There is no way to cut off Enfield from this line. If it goes to Enfield, it is almost there in Springfield.

The most possible case is, if MA does not cough up for funding on this, or any related project such as Springfield East West rail to Boston, CT is going to leave the line north of Hartford as it is, a gift only as it is, but not going to invest that much more.
I don't see Enfield happening until service frequency is increased and all infrasturcture work is done. I simply don't see Amtrak wanting all their trains to stop at all of CTDOT's proposed infill stations as it would add time to the trips. What probably makes sense is when CTrail is eventually able to increase the train NHV-HFD frequency even more, the Amtrak trains could add the Enfield stop but run express from Hartford to New Haven.
Amtrak Shuttles: It has never been the plan for Amtrak to serve the infill stations. Earlier plans even contemplated ceasing service on the shuttles at one or two of the present stations: one of the Windsor's, and one of the stations south of Hartford, either Meriden or Berlin I think.

Enfield: For now that's not going to happen. I'm not sure Enfield can or should happen without Springfield. Then there is the matter of the CT River bridge. And if Enfield is the end, where do you store train sets? How is that paid for? There's the cost of deadheads, too. But that's more of a matter for the Hartford line topic in the MNRR/CtDOT forum: https://railroad.net/viewtopic.php?f=67 ... 5#p1524185
  by Jeff Smith
 
jxzz wrote: Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:00 am
Backshophoss wrote: Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:42 pm MassDOT/MBTA have yet to state their intentions on "T" West,based in Springfield.
Given the history of lack of enthusiasm for Western mass rails in massDot, I am not sure where is "T" West coming from.

All massDot is planning is afterthoughts. I posted in MBTA east west thread of recent conference in Boston, experts were predicting minimal rail connecting Worcester to Springfield taking advantage of what CT has invested on CTrail.
MBTA and rail in western Mass and NW CT is a study in conflicting ideas. They buy the HRRC ROW in Mass with the hopes of Berkshire service, and to improve the condition of the line. CtDOT, having been burned by HRRC before, has no interest. They fund the scenic operation in North Adams. You hear about all these "great" ideas for west of Worcester, and the only thing we'll see is the Berkshire service via Amtrak on CSX. Maybe they just don't consider this service as "the juice being worth the squeeze".
  by troffey
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:06 pm Then why is Baker proposing billions of dollars to bring the system up to speed?
Baker is spending money on rapid transit SOGR because he wouldn't have been elected to a second term otherwise. He axed late night subway service because of the subsidy required. He's also alleged to be the major driver behind the recent increase in MBTA weekend shutdowns because of the money saved on the construction costs.

The recently released Regional Rail proposal came from a committee composed of Legislators and transit advocates, not connected to Baker.
  by BandA
 
Jeff Smith wrote: Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:39 am
jxzz wrote: Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:00 am
Backshophoss wrote: Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:42 pm MassDOT/MBTA have yet to state their intentions on "T" West,based in Springfield.
Given the history of lack of enthusiasm for Western mass rails in massDot, I am not sure where is "T" West coming from.

All massDot is planning is afterthoughts. I posted in MBTA east west thread of recent conference in Boston, experts were predicting minimal rail connecting Worcester to Springfield taking advantage of what CT has invested on CTrail.
MBTA and rail in western Mass and NW CT is a study in conflicting ideas. They buy the HRRC ROW in Mass with the hopes of Berkshire service, and to improve the condition of the line. CtDOT, having been burned by HRRC before, has no interest. They fund the scenic operation in North Adams. You hear about all these "great" ideas for west of Worcester, and the only thing we'll see is the Berkshire service via Amtrak on CSX. Maybe they just don't consider this service as "the juice being worth the squeeze".
Deval Patrick's plan for HRRC service cost about exactly as much proportionally compared to his big project in Boston as the population of Hampshire + Hamden county compared to the population of the rest of the state. He needed the liberal democratic pro-transit folks in the western end of the state so that he could get what he really wanted, which was a package for the MBTA. I haven't analyzed the Baker administration plan but it sounds like the same kind of political calculus, except BOS-SPG service actually makes sense where service to the Berkshires or Greenfield will probably do poorly for the next 20 years.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
And to accomplish that BOS-SPG service, doubling the track between Worcester and Springfield will have to be done. At least that's what's in the plan. But I have seen zero reference to that project, so it apparently won't happen in the near future.

The other bugaboo is that folks in Western Mass. seem to be more aligned with Albany than they are with Boston.
  by Traingeek3629
 
473 reached capacity today. From what I've heard, a lot of UConn/UMass students went home today thus causing crowds on the line.
  by lordsigma12345
 
Pittsfield area maybe - but I live in Springfield area and I certainly wouldn’t say that’s true. I’d say some people may be more aligned with Connecticut than Boston, but certainly not Albany. More aligned with Boston than Albany. With Richard Neal as chair of the ways and means committee this may be the best chance to get east west rail. The MBTA has proposed a bold plan to upgrade/electrify. Neal has said the price for the MBTA upgrades should be east west rail to western mass. I hope it happens - but realistically, at least for now, out to Springfield is probably the best we can hope for with a bus connection to PIT. Still better than what we have now. 448/449 are great when I’m going to Boston area overnight but don’t help for a day trip.
  by Safetee
 
Truly, outside of the folks in the vicinity of Pittsfield not many Western Mass folks want to go to Albany. For the time being, i dont think that many people from Boston want to go to Springfield much less Pittsfield or vice versa. But,for those folks who do want to go between between Bean Town and MGM west or Pittsfield, there is ample road access via the pike and and to a lesser extent route 20 plus tons of bus service via Peter Pan. And of course there is a daily train.

If there is any pent up interest in reaching Boston by rail it's in Franklin county and Greenfield in particular. The current option is by road over a very curvy 2 lane route 2. There is no bus service. And of course there is no rail passenger service.

As far as Connecticut is and in particular New Haven is concerned with some obvious exceptions in the holidays, north of Springfield, not many people have much desire to head down there. if they do want to sample the nutmeg, there is ample bus and train service and a fairly decent rte 91 at their beck and call. As far as people in Connecticut wanting to go points in western mass north of Springfield, outside of fall foliage only Yankee Candle comes to mind.
  by lordsigma12345
 
I would not say there is “ample road access.” Driving to Boston on the pike can be absolutely atrocious - I would argue worse than driving south where we have loads of rail service. sure it’s not a big deal at off peak hours but many times it’s not ideal. I can say from attending meetings there is interest. And as much as greenfield is great, the population of Franklin county does not justify the even higher expense of bringing rail to Greenfield. If east west rail is going to happen it needs to go to Springfield. If the Springfield study returns a no build recommendation, there is absolutely no way a northern route will occur.
  by lordsigma12345
 
And much of the ridership draw for a Greenfield approach would be the Northampton-Amherst market. This market would also be served by a Springfield stop, and would be served better by so. Most of the proposals include a Springfield and Palmer stop. Springfield could serve folks coming down 91, Palmer could serve folks further to the east such as Amherst and UMass.
  by lordsigma12345
 
Understood. Most commonly when people say western Massachusetts it includes the berkshires and the pioneer valley (Hampden/Hampshire/Franklin counties.) but surely the eastern part of the valley is getting into the central part of the state.
  by Arlington
 
Western=4 counties of Area Code 413.
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