• 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

  • 2177 posts
  • 1
  • 141
  • 142
  • 143
  • 144
  • 145
  • 146
  by Rockingham Racer
 
After reading the last couple of posts, it's not too hard to imagine that something's rotten in Denmark. Just a continuation of the baloney that goes on at the MBTA. Is there a location anywhere to see a detailed breakdown as to how these exhorbitant estimates were arrived at? Do you think there will be any challenge by anyone who would be credible enough to officially call some of this info a sham, as some are already?

As for Pittsfield folks wanting to go to Boston, some believe Pittsfield is more aligned with Albany than it is with Beantown. Makes sense.
  by lordsigma12345
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:16 pm After reading the last couple of posts, it's not too hard to imagine that something's rotten in Denmark. Just a continuation of the baloney that goes on at the MBTA. Is there a location anywhere to see a detailed breakdown as to how these exhorbitant estimates were arrived at? Do you think there will be any challenge by anyone who would be credible enough to officially call some of this info a sham, as some are already?

As for Pittsfield folks wanting to go to Boston, some believe Pittsfield is more aligned with Albany than it is with Beantown. Makes sense.
Pittsfield will contribute more than you might think - it actually does a surprisingly ok business towards Springfield, Worcester, and Boston on the Lake Shore. Springfield does more ridership on the Lake Shore but does way more going west towards Chicago and Albany than going East, but Pittsfield does not have a good direct route to parts east as the Pike instead serves Lee to the south and Pittsfield is thus more aligned with Albany. An east-west rail corridor would definitely better connect Pittsfield with the rest of the commonwealth and would be useful for Pittsfield - Springfield and Pittsfield - Worcester commuting as well as Boston commuting. In most of the alternatives the new service would also steal some Worcester - Boston ridership from the existing MBTA service as the service would be express between Worcester and Landsdowne.
  by Safetee
 
the picknelly family have been fighting amtrak almost since its inception.

the picknellys gravitate to the most lucrative routes, casinos being numero uno, and heavy use lanes like springfield to boston where their 5 to 17 dollars fares per rider are generally way below what amtrak offers. they will readily admit that they they are much more about making money on government subsidized highways than being a public service per se. However, they hate to see subsidized money going to competitive rail services.

what is also interesting to note is that peter pan bought the englander bus company operating rights between north adams and boston many years ago. but they rarely exercise those rights unless the state gives them a fat subsidy for a "test" project and then instead of going to athol, fitchburg etc they head south from greenfield to springfield to catch a boston run.

they are fully invested in the springfield to boston route via the pike and just do not want any competition beyond greyhound and company on what they look at as their corridor.

Which is one more reason why a rail service from greenfield to boston via fitchburg to north station may still have a chance.
  by Palmer5RR
 
lordsigma12345 wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:00 am For those hoping for inland route/east-west rail it's going to be an uphill battle. MassDOT released numbers for the six alternative numbers which are raising a lot of eyebrows. Exorbitantly high costs and extremely low ridership projections. The numbers seem to indicate that the Baker Administration is opposed to the project and that MassDOT is trying to kill it with the study - the numbers are way off from the previous study and seem off from what they should be.
Hopefully the East-West Passenger Rail Study public meeting Wednesday in Springfield https://www.mass.gov/doc/pub2flyereng2020/download
will be well attended with people asking the same questions posed here.
Also, lordsigma12345 could you please provide a LINK to the previous study showing the figures?
  by BandA
 
According to the documents, ignoring the capital costs, the fanciest option #6 (electrified service Pittsfield to Boston with new ROW west of 128) would cost $348.58 per one way passenger in operating costs, presumably forever. That assumes only 820 riders spread over 34 daily trains (17 each way) or just 24 passengers per train!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's the lowest operating cost option, some of the others cost $2000 per one way passenger. Since Andrew Yang is suddenly available, and he understand the maths, maybe he can figure this out because it makes no sense to me. Or continue to leave things in the hands of Mr. Pickenely and his profitable buses.
  by lordsigma12345
 
If the costs for the Springfield - Boston route are really accurate (2 billion at minimum) the Greenfield costs would be a lot more - lots more curves, tons and tons of at grade crossings, overall slower route for a smaller amount of ridership - plus you’d need to add PTC on the line which is currently class II freight and is PTC exempt unless they are only talking about a train or two per day like with the Valley Flyer (the B&A route already has or is getting I-ETMS and at least East of Springfield has way less grade crossings.) Not going to happen. I’m sure there would be Some enthusiastic folks in the Greenfield area and some from Northampton/Amherst that would use it but population wise it’s much more sparsely populated. Regardless of the politics and Picknelly if they aren’t willing to spend the money to get to the third largest city in the commonwealth they aren’t going to be willing to spend even more to bring it to Greenfield or North Adams. Also any Greenfield decision would likely be conditional on the Valley Flyer continuing permanently.
  by lordsigma12345
 
Palmer5RR wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:46 pm
lordsigma12345 wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:00 am For those hoping for inland route/east-west rail it's going to be an uphill battle. MassDOT released numbers for the six alternative numbers which are raising a lot of eyebrows. Exorbitantly high costs and extremely low ridership projections. The numbers seem to indicate that the Baker Administration is opposed to the project and that MassDOT is trying to kill it with the study - the numbers are way off from the previous study and seem off from what they should be.
Hopefully the East-West Passenger Rail Study public meeting Wednesday in Springfield https://www.mass.gov/doc/pub2flyereng2020/download
will be well attended with people asking the same questions posed here.
Also, lordsigma12345 could you please provide a LINK to the previous study showing the figures?
The meeting was well attended and folks asked some very hard hitting questions and there was a lot of criticism of the numbers - and some folks “went there” and brought up the possibility of meddling by Mr. Picknelly.
  by lordsigma12345
 
I would also argue that if the Springfield area is well served by the turnpike (where a three hour trip to Boston at rush hour is not uncommon) then the Greenfield and North Quabbin region is also well served by route 2 which is a divided highway out to Phillpston and a controlled access super 2 out to Erving. The 2 lane arterial portion from Erving to Greenfield also moves at a decent speed and I would not say it is heavily congested. This section does have one additional controlled access stretch in Erving as well.

I’m not opposed to Greenfield to Boston rail I just think if Springfield can’t happen, Greenfield can’t And won’t either.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Having the expanded rail service run all the way to Pittsfield is likely out of the question. There are too many curves and they are very sharp. The right of way is very hilly. It would be nice to have more options from BOS-SPG and maybe even have some of those trains continue to Greenfield and even Vermont. Track capacity must be expanded at South Station and probably along the Boston & Albany. Peter Pan runs a good bus service from BOS-SPG with multiple buses heading to Hartford and NYC.
  by trainhq
 
Good post; sums things up nicely. Boston to Spg CR will never happen; too far, too curvy, not enough population in
between. Maybe could toss in one or two three car trains each way for day trip service, if that.

The Valley flyer is clearly being designed to fail. If they wanted it to work, they would have given it a usable northbound commuter schedule and some kind of marketing like the Downeaster. They’re simply putting forth a token effort to mollify the people who want to see the new stations get used. Once they get the (expected) low ridership they can claim it didn’t work and kibosh it, thereby making the Peter Pan folks happy. Truly sad.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
It sounds like ridership on those Valley Flyer trains have been dismal. It seems that it's more catered toward people who live north of Springfield along the Connecticut River Valley in MA who want to make a long daytrip to NYC for business. That's not just where the market should end. Aren't there a lot of universities north of Springfield? There are no northbound rail options in the am to Holyoke, Northampton, and Greenfield as well as the reverse in the afternoon for those people attending classes at the schools as well as professors teaching there. If it's true that ridership on the Valley Flyer trains continues to go downhill, then that would be a win win for Peter Pan to bring back service to those towns and connect to the trains at Springfield.
  by lordsigma12345
 
trainhq wrote: Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:33 pm Good post; sums things up nicely. Boston to Spg CR will never happen; too far, too curvy, not enough population in
between. Maybe could toss in one or two three car trains each way for day trip service, if that.

The Valley flyer is clearly being designed to fail. If they wanted it to work, they would have given it a usable northbound commuter schedule and some kind of marketing like the Downeaster. They’re simply putting forth a token effort to mollify the people who want to see the new stations get used. Once they get the (expected) low ridership they can claim it didn’t work and kibosh it, thereby making the Peter Pan folks happy. Truly sad.
They aren't looking at Commuter rail between Springfield and Boston, they are looking at rail in general. While many people on here describe it as MBTA west or other similar names, the MBTA has absolutely nothing to do with the study, and it is unlikely that such a service would be run as an MBTA commuter line. It would most likely be an intercity rail corridor with a few round trips per day.
  by Backshophoss
 
As long as this virus persists, the "T" west experiment will be somewhat dismal #'s wise,figure on an extended time experiment,
after things return to normal.
Same thing on the NHV-Springfield shuttle services,with Hartford still waiting for a final answer on I-84 problem.
  • 1
  • 141
  • 142
  • 143
  • 144
  • 145
  • 146