• Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

  • 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 Station Aficionado
 
Based on the responses (or lack thereof), I’m going out on a limb and say that CSX had not signed off on this. I won’t hold my breath waiting for pictures of happy travelers being towed backwards from Albany to Pittsfield.
  by hs3730
 
As much as I'd love another Empire Service being converted to a Named Train (and therefore getting cafe service) I don't see it happening without at least another passing siding. CSX can't even reliably get an on time 449 through that stretch consistently.
  by scoostraw
 
Station Aficionado wrote:I won’t hold my breath waiting for pictures of happy travelers being towed backwards from Albany to Pittsfield.
HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
  by scoostraw
 
hs3730 wrote:CSX can't even reliably get an on time 449 through that stretch consistently.
Well to be fair, I strongly suspect that CSX tries on purpose to be the biggest pain in the *ss that they can with regard to Amtrak.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
CSX hasn't been that generous to Amtrak and I wouldn't count on people who use that seasonal train being too happy about delays. Probably a passing siding would help somewhere. It's been years since I rode the former Boston & Albany. Many people who are traveling to Pittsfield by train will probably be better off getting off in Rensellaer and making other travel arrangements from there. There are plenty of people who take Amtrak to Rensellaer to head to and from the Berkshires. I did it in 2010 after spending a long weekend with family friends in Lee, Ma. They live now in Great Barrington closer to the downtown area so Hudson is the closest station. Wassaic on Metro North isn't super far either. More trains stop there obviously and it's about an hour drive from Pittsfield. I saw that the LSL 448 and 449 take about an hour as well to travel between ALB and Pittsfield but that's probably doesn't happen much. Pittsfield is huge so if you live in the western part of that city, you might be closer to Rensellaer than you might think. People will drive more miles to get to a station with better service.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Seems to me that getting off in Hudson would be quicker, if total travel time is the main factor in getting to Pittsfield.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Yes, but I am not sure about how many car rental facilities are in the immediate area of Hudson Station. Looking at a map of the Western Mass and the Hudson Valley near Albany, it looks like from Pittsfield to Hudson, that takes the same amount of driving travel time that it does to drive to Rensellaer. If you are coming up from NYC or the Lower Hudson Valley, then Hudson would be the best option, assuming that you can rent a car or get a ride. If you are coming from Buffalo or Rochester, then getting off in Rensellaer is your best bet since it it is more direct. The issue with getting off at Hudson if you are coming from western Upstate NY is that it is a longer ride on the train to get to your destination.
  by Greg Moore
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote:Yes, but I am not sure about how many car rental facilities are in the immediate area of Hudson Station. Looking at a map of the Western Mass and the Hudson Valley near Albany, it looks like from Pittsfield to Hudson, that takes the same amount of driving travel time that it does to drive to Rensellaer. If you are coming up from NYC or the Lower Hudson Valley, then Hudson would be the best option, assuming that you can rent a car or get a ride. If you are coming from Buffalo or Rochester, then getting off in Rensellaer is your best bet since it it is more direct. The issue with getting off at Hudson if you are coming from western Upstate NY is that it is a longer ride on the train to get to your destination.
Exactly. The goal appears to be a single-seat ride to Pittsfield where you can have Lyft, Uber, local bus or friends pick you up. Sometimes it's more about convenience than total time.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Greg Moore wrote:
njt/mnrrbuff wrote:Yes, but I am not sure about how many car rental facilities are in the immediate area of Hudson Station. Looking at a map of the Western Mass and the Hudson Valley near Albany, it looks like from Pittsfield to Hudson, that takes the same amount of driving travel time that it does to drive to Rensellaer. If you are coming up from NYC or the Lower Hudson Valley, then Hudson would be the best option, assuming that you can rent a car or get a ride. If you are coming from Buffalo or Rochester, then getting off in Rensellaer is your best bet since it it is more direct. The issue with getting off at Hudson if you are coming from western Upstate NY is that it is a longer ride on the train to get to your destination.
Exactly. The goal appears to be a single-seat ride to Pittsfield where you can have Lyft, Uber, local bus or friends pick you up. Sometimes it's more about convenience than total time.
I didn't say that it was. I said "If it was..."

And if you're coming in from the west, obviously you'd change trains at A/R or take the Lake Shore straight through. Hertz and Enterprise are in Hudson. Enterprise isn't open there on Sat/Sun, so that wouldn't work too well, given the proposed weekend-only schedule for the train. I don't know if Hertz would come and get you or not.

I understand the goal of being a one-seat ride. And the folks in Pittfield are quite attuned to having options to continue the journey to a final destination once the train gets there. It's too bad they don't have the money to build an east leg of the wye at Castleton. That would cut at least two hours off the trip.
  by Station Aficionado
 
And while the convenience of a 1-seat ride might overcome a slightly longer trip time, the greater the time difference, the more the time will matter.
  by scoostraw
 
This is what happens when there is no vision by our "leaders". The Harlem should have been rail-banked like the Housey was.

Instead, now everybody is trying to make chicken salad out of chicken $%^&.
  by Greg Moore
 
Rockingham Racer wrote:
Greg Moore wrote:
njt/mnrrbuff wrote:Yes, but I am not sure about how many car rental facilities are in the immediate area of Hudson Station. Looking at a map of the Western Mass and the Hudson Valley near Albany, it looks like from Pittsfield to Hudson, that takes the same amount of driving travel time that it does to drive to Rensellaer. If you are coming up from NYC or the Lower Hudson Valley, then Hudson would be the best option, assuming that you can rent a car or get a ride. If you are coming from Buffalo or Rochester, then getting off in Rensellaer is your best bet since it it is more direct. The issue with getting off at Hudson if you are coming from western Upstate NY is that it is a longer ride on the train to get to your destination.
Exactly. The goal appears to be a single-seat ride to Pittsfield where you can have Lyft, Uber, local bus or friends pick you up. Sometimes it's more about convenience than total time.
I didn't say that it was. I said "If it was..."

And if you're coming in from the west, obviously you'd change trains at A/R or take the Lake Shore straight through. Hertz and Enterprise are in Hudson. Enterprise isn't open there on Sat/Sun, so that wouldn't work too well, given the proposed weekend-only schedule for the train. I don't know if Hertz would come and get you or not.

I understand the goal of being a one-seat ride. And the folks in Pittfield are quite attuned to having options to continue the journey to a final destination once the train gets there. It's too bad they don't have the money to build an east leg of the wye at Castleton. That would cut at least two hours off the trip.
Since the goal is to bring in folks from NYC, Mass really doesn't care about folks coming from the West.

And building the wye (which is discussed in the plans) hardly drops two hours.
The current plan (option 1A) has a train leaving NYP at 2:20PM and arriving at Pittsfield at 6:10PM. Just under 4 hours. 3:40-3:50 in the plan
Option 2 is listed at taking 3:30-3:40. A savings of 10 minutes.

In sounds counter-intuitive, but much more of the track is 40mph.
This would also require a new trainset (which given Amtrak's current situation is not available I'm betting) and capital costs are estimated at $17.2-$33.5M vs $0 for the planned option.
  by Greg Moore
 
scoostraw wrote:This is what happens when there is no vision by our "leaders". The Harlem should have been rail-banked like the Housey was.

Instead, now everybody is trying to make chicken salad out of chicken $%^&.
"Maybe".
In theory as I understand it the ROW still exists legally, but I can't see them rebuilding it back to Chatham. Too much NIMBYISM.

The other idea of course is the Housatonic, but that's got huge logistical issues also.

Honestly, I think this solution is better than nothing and could lead to more in coming decades (like more ALB-BOS service taking advantage of the new SPR trains, etc.)
But let's take one step at a time.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
The Housy will not be upgraded anytime soon for a conventional passenger train. In fact, even south of Danbury, it's not that fast of a ride to NYC. Many people who live in Danbury and the surrounding area drive to Southeast for travel to NYC, especially commuters. The Danbury Branch is great if you are traveling to cities like Norwalk and Stamford. Running a train on the Housy would probably take a painfully long time to get up to Pittsfield.

I am surprised to hear that Enterprises in Hudson isn't open for business on weekends. I hope that Hertz is able to help people out who are arriving into Hudson by train. Those Saturday morning trains that run to Upstate New York generate very good ridership at Hudson Station and not everyone who gets off the train in Hudson is making that their destination. Hudson Station is within easy reach of the Berkshires, especially the towns south of the Mass Pike, the southern part of Rensellaer County, Columbia County(Hudson is the County Seat), and parts of Greene County, especially where the city of Catskill is.

Driving time from NYC to Pittsfield is just over 3 hours. When there is a lot of traffic, this direct train would be a great idea. This would probably be good maybe from Memorial Day weekend to maybe sometime in October after the leaves change. Yes, when people are traveling by train, obviously they want to be dropped off in downtown if possible, especially when they are going to a city. I don't know too much about the transportation connections at the Pittsfield Station but I know that there is a local bus system.
  by scoostraw
 
Greg Moore wrote:
scoostraw wrote:This is what happens when there is no vision by our "leaders". The Harlem should have been rail-banked like the Housey was.

Instead, now everybody is trying to make chicken salad out of chicken $%^&.
"Maybe".
In theory as I understand it the ROW still exists legally, but I can't see them rebuilding it back to Chatham. Too much NIMBYISM.

The other idea of course is the Housatonic, but that's got huge logistical issues also.

Honestly, I think this solution is better than nothing and could lead to more in coming decades (like more ALB-BOS service taking advantage of the new SPR trains, etc.)
But let's take one step at a time.
I believe much of the Harlem ROW has reverted to private ownership. Plus the Black Grocery bridge has been removed. Etc. etc.

The Housatonic makes a lot more sense. It kind of seems like MA has just backed away from CTs objections rather than actively pursuing it.
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