• 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

  by gokeefe
Classic "big time" railroading ... Local running on the markers of the express performs "cleanup" duty.

The situation is a distortion at present due to the artificial constraints of a rollling stock shortage but it is impressive nonetheless.
  by jxzz
Traingeek3629 wrote: Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:49 pm More crowding on the Hartford Line today. Suddenly the extra CTrails immediately following Amtrak trains seem like a great idea.
Today's crowding is not CTrail specifically. Just holiday crowd ritual. I had to stand in Metro North train from Stamford to Fairfield, half of 1 hour ride back to New Haven.
Last time that I recalled that I had to stand was may be a year ago with terrible weather, and two years ago in Chrismas time. Rare case.
  by gokeefe
Have there been any indications that all of this new service is pushing up load factors on the Northeast Regionals in and out of New Haven?
  by Dick H
Valley Flyer #461 is sold out Northampton to New Haven Sunday 12/1

The Southbound Vermonter is sold out south of Springfield Sunday 12/1

The Northbound Vermonter has one seat left leaving New Haven Sunday 12/1
  by gokeefe
Interesting to see the Valley Flyer selling out during Thanksgiving. If it works at this time of year then the train pairings probably work year round as well.
  by njt/mnrrbuff
That's great to hear that the Valley Flyers did well with ridership over the Thanksgiving Day weekend! Hopefully that can be used as a motivation for the service to do well year round and provide it as a motivation to add a daily morning trip from New Haven and then have one return later in the day or early evening.
  by jxzz
Lentinula wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:44 am
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:28 pm New Haven is a hit or miss destination. The downtown area is fine for the most part during the daytime. I'm sure that there are a lot of events at Yale for the general public to attend. There are a few art museums on the campus at Yale. There is some nice shoreline in New Haven. Yes, the crime rate is very high but unfortunately, in many of the smaller cities in Connecticut, that's a rampant issue.
I figured the idea of going to New Haven was mostly to transfer to the ample Metro North service

I know when I go to NYC (frequently) I drive from Worcester to Hartford and jump the CTrail to New Haven where i transfer to Metro North to Harlem.

Its the easiest way until we get some useful rail service in Worcester or I give up and move to New Haven or something.
New Haven is cultural center of CT so that itself is decent city destination. But more importantly, New Haven Union Station is huge and mega station for transferring to New York City on Metro North
  by jxzz
Safetee wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:41 pm If mass dot would make rte 2 a four lane federal standard highway from greenfield to templeton and then figure a way to eliminate all the road jams east of fitchburg, almost nobody would even mention wanting a rail service solution. but mass dot doesnt even want to talk about route 2 because after all, it's west of 495. obviously some transport wizards seemed to think that the people in Greenfield want and need to go south instead of east. and the reason is, they just spent tons of mostly federal money on the conn river and now they want to get more action out of that investment. well, if just the vermonter couldn't justify the cost, maybe they should have left it running through amherst to palmer.
It would cost Mass probably billions of dollar to add more lanes on Route 2. Typically a state has rail-centric transportation policy preference or highway car centric preference, but not both. Mass has to go rail or highways , pick only one. It sounds like Mass is like CT on rail.

CT policy preference is pretty clear, rail rail and rail. CT has three rail lines covering the whole state from east to west, from south to north. Highways in CT will stay as it is , two or three lanes, no expansion other than maybe bridge or choke point improvement in CT2030.
  by Train322
Not sure how to make of it. I boarded a southbound morning train in Ct on Friday and had to stand. Its only two cars and each car probably only seats 60-64 people. On the other hand, the return trip at night, they only opened one of the two cars.

What are the fares north of Springfield?
Are they similar to the CT rail fare?
If they try to get the high Amtrak prices, it will push many people away.
  by lordsigma12345
The Valley Flyer stations are not a northern extension of the Hartford Line. For reservations to or from those stations normal Amtrak pricing applies, even if you are going to a Hartford Line station and no further. Fares on the Valley Flyer trains ARE commuter level if you're doing local commuting between Springfield and New Haven and they accept CTrail tickets between those stations also. The minute there's an endpoint on the reservation outside of SPG-NHV the commuter fares are replaced by Amtrak fares.
  by Jeff Smith
ADMIN NOTE: For discussion of the CTDOT Hartford Line service: CTDOT: Hartford Line
  by lordsigma12345
Jeff Smith wrote: Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:42 pm ADMIN NOTE: For discussion of the CTDOT Hartford Line service: CTDOT: Hartford Line
This one is murky as heck because the "Springfield Shuttle" is now also called the "Hartford Line" and the lines between the Amtrak side of it and CTDOT side of it are getting very blurry so it leads to a lot of overlapping discussions that could really go on either thread. I wonder if it would make sense to have one single thread for all MRS line (Amtrak/CTrail) stuff, and another for Springfield-north (Vermonter/Valley Flyer.) Just an idea!
  by njt/mnrrbuff
The timetable naming of the line should be known as the Hartford-Springfield Line. Plenty of trains go as far as Springfield.
  by Jeff Smith
See my response in the other thread. I think it's still a pretty clear distinction: Amtrak operated vs. MRS operated.
  by leviramsey
Ridgefielder wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:25 pm I feel like there's not enough appreciation out there for just how tough the mountains of western Mass. are from a railroading standpoint. There's a ~1,200' change in elevation between Westfield and the summit of the grade. That's roughly the same as the difference in elevation between Trinidad, CO and the top of the Raton Pass!

There's a reason the New York Central developed a heavy freight locomotive-- the Berkshire-- to deal with that hill. And there's a reason the B&M route farther north uses what's still, after 144 years, the longest railroad tunnel in the US east of the Rockies.
Between the Connecticut River Line improvements and the likelihood that the Commonwealth and feds end up paying for some level of Hoosac Tunnel improvements/rehab, it doesn't seem impossible that making Springfield-North Adams fast-ish is going to be cheaper than making Springfield-Pittsfield similarly fast. The B&M geometry and grades are a lot easier to work with than the B&A: the low speeds are MoW not RoW.

if PAS is mostly doubletracked to the tunnel and say run at 59 for pax, Adams-Pittsfield restored (and a short connection WB-SB/NB-EB coming out of the tunnel is built), would 448/449 be notably slower, and would a slightly slower Pittsfield-Adamses-Greenfield-Northampton-Holyoke-Springfield get more ridership than Pittsfield-Springfield?
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