• 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 Ridgefielder
Jeff Smith wrote:I’d venture, whether from the South, or from N Adams, they’d need some kind of qualifying or a pilot.

I wouldn’t consider it a given that Berkshire Scenic would be the operator, if, and it’s a big “if”, they even are interested in running a last mile “Flyer”. Especially off the formerly HRRC ROW. I’m not sure who or how they could operate such, since it would be a seasonal/weekend only operation.
They won't be coming from Adams, that's for sure; the 10+ miles of the Pittsfield & North Adams from Pittsfield through Cheshire to Adams were torn up 30-odd years ago.
  by J.D. Lang
I think that the ideas here is to give travelers better options to popular endpoints which may draw more passengers to the Berkshire Flyer. As I've said before in my opinion Pittsfield as an endpoint in its self is not the best for selling this trial service. If running a shuttle down the upper Berkshire is not really feasible at this point then I agree with Arlington that may be a dedicated bus shuttle of some sorts from Pittsfield to the lower Berkshire towns would do. Many of these towns have vans or small buses to transport seniors to various locations. Coral one or two of those for the weekend and advertise the Berkshire flyer and sell tickets to those destinations. This a a trial service and the local chambers of commerce or whatever agency in these Berkshire towns should pool their resources to make this trial successful. They should also do as much as they can to promote this through ads in the greater NYC metro's media. If this trial succeeds and a permanent weekend summer service goes forward then they should move forward with running down to Great Barrington directly. The traffic in the center of some these small tourist towns is almost gridlock on the weekends plus Mass. DOT should get something out of all the money that they're spending to upgrade the line.
  by Jeff Smith
Agree with J.D. Lang: they need a last mile connection.
scoostraw wrote:
Jeff Smith wrote:I’m not sure who or how they could operate such, since it would be a seasonal/weekend only operation.
Which is a perfect fit for an operator such as the BSRR.
That would certainly stick a finger in the eye of HRRC!
  by njtmnrrbuff
Yes, Pittsfield isn't the nicest town in the Berkshires but at the same time, it's not the worst. If it is the largest commercial town and there is an Amtrak station there, then running the trial service isn't a bad idea.

It doesn't pay for the Amtrak to be extended from Pittsfield to Great Barrington. It's only adding additional time for people who are heading to Great Barrington and already the ride between NYP and Pittsfield is already going to be about an hour slower than driving. You might be looking at a 5 hour + train ride from NYP to Pittsfield. When you take Amtrak from NYP to Hudson and rent a car there for Great Barrington, then give or take, you could be in Hudson in a bit less than four hours. It might be nice for the museum to run a few excursion trains from Great Barrington to Pittsfield or even as far as The Adams and have one of their trains meet with Amtrak in Pittsfield.
  by DutchRailnut
this whole project has as much chance as Trumps wall.
  by Arlington
MassDOT is on a mission to share some rail love statewide.

CapeFlyer is cash-positive and pretty much makes it mandatory to at least try a Berkshire Flyer on the same trial basis as the Cape Flyer got and Greenfield is getting.
  by Greg Moore
It is also, as far as I can tell from news reports, actually funded for a 2020 trial.
  by scoostraw
Arlington wrote:A 50 seat motor coach is usually the better option.
You mean like this?
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
  by Rockingham Racer
So, a two-year pilot, rental car possibility in Pittsfield. I wonder if New York State wants to add Chatham as a stop.
  by Greg Moore
They really should, but won't.
For one thing, I suspect it would take more than a year just to get a station up in running in Chatham. Gotta get the bids out, rigged, and then come in overbudget and overtime.
  by Arlington
scoostraw wrote:Only $75 for a 1-way ticket!!
Ouch. How much would a ticket to Albany usually go for on the same train?

I would try to price Pittsfield at something like $2 to $5 more.
  by Greg Moore
Hmm, if only there was a site that you could use to look up Amtrak prices... one where you could select, a set of city pairs, and a time and date...

Plugging such data into such a mythical site gets back a variety of costs, ranging from $45-$63 dollars (for value fairs) and $67-$85 for business class.

Considering that NYP-ALB is 2:30 or so regularly and ALB-PIT is 1:04, I think the extra cost is reasonable, especially since as we know, some folks think that Amtrak should be financially responsible and not giving away rides.
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