njtmnrrbuff wrote: ↑Thu Sep 10, 2020 7:23 am
I agree that if you live in Holyoke, then you might as well use Springfield. The train frequency north of Springfield is almost nothing. Plus travel time from Holyoke to Springfield is painfully slow. A new northeast wye track from Springfield Station onto the line to Holyoke and points north is needed. The current wye track setup for the Vermonter and Valley Flyer adds to the travel time. It’s not like CSX runs hundreds of trains through Springfield.
Yes, I agree that a train from the south of SPG heading to the north should enter on the existing southeast wye and depart on the northeast wye, but its not that simple. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Springfield stations platforms are unique in that the northern 3 are owned by CSX, while the southern (4,6,8) are Amtrak's. Amtrak can stop at the northern platforms but there is no connection between the CSX ones and the Amtrak ones, not without a reverse move back towards the SE leg of the wye. In a perfect world, there would be 2+ additional high levels at Springfield, and a train on Track 6 or 8 would be able to depart for the north and get to the NE leg of the wye, but that's just not possible today.
It would also be nice if a new northernmost platform was built and the NB Vermonter could cross the diamond then back into SPG, since there's usually padding for the train arriving into SPG anyway. But that would require a new track and platform and connection to the subway beneath. Some of this track was in place as a bypass during subway waterproofing but its no longer connected. This new "Track 3" could also serve Lake Shore WB traffic, allowing a station stop off the main.
Hopefully the Valley Flyer continues on and is expanded in the future. The "Knowledge Corridor" is a very nice piece of railroad and has come a long way in recent years, and its definitely worthy of having more than one daily roundtrip.