sicariis wrote:A BOS-ALB morning shuttle would also be great. Would love to be able to catch the Adirondack or Maple Leaf in ALB.
If there is enough traffic to warrant a second round trip, I'm all for it. Just remember the second train should be considered a regional train which should be subsidized by the state/states. Can NY and MA agree to a subsidizing formula with Amtrak. Are there enough rolling stock available to support it? Is there a time slot on the corridor for a second train?
I think these are definitely fair questions and worth some thought.
From just talking to some people I know (a fairly small sample set) who travel to Boston from Albany one or more times a year, the general consensus is "yes, we'd seriously consider this."
Now, we're not enough to fill business class, let alone a full Amfleet I, but we are somewhat representative of the general Albany population. So I think if you had a small train, perhaps 2 coach and a cafe/BC car you could get away with that. (the issue with that is most Empire Service trains are 5-6 cars, it may be easier to deadhead 2-3 cars back and forth than switch out cars or otherwise have a dedicated train set).
So, you'd probably need 5-6 cars to "replace" a set you'd normally cycle between ALB-NYP. I think in a few years this might be available.
Looking at the schedule, it's basically 2:20 between ALB-SPR (WB it's 3:20 but that really is an hour of makeup in the schedule!)
I think since you're no longer dependent on waiting for a train from Chicago, you can better schedule your slots with CSX. The key would be to make this reliably a 4.5 hour (or less), not a 5.5 hour scheduled trip.
So I think leaving Albany at say 7, gets you to Springfield at 9:30 or so (time enough to do business in Springfield, catch a shuttle to Hartford or New haven). Or be in Albany in time for lunch. (Heck, time it right, get to Boston, grab some clam Chowder and hope on the LSL and be back home by 5:30).
I'm guessing that by the time you're leaving Springfield and heading into Boston, you've missed most of the commuter MBTA traffic so there are more slots available.
Now, EB, is a bit more complicated, but you're going against incoming commuter traffic, so that may or may not work out for an outbound train. Getting into Albany around Noon gives you time to do some business there and then hop the EB LSL back home.
It's never going to be a huge amount of traffic like the Empire Service between NYP-ALB or even the Connecticut River shuttles, but I think there's some viable traffic for connecting the cities in Mass.
Now funding... with the push in Mass for more trains, I can see them willing to work out something. The problem I see is NY and I don't see them willing to put up the funding. (nor any capital improvements to improve capacity on CSX in NYS).
So, while I think it could work, I just don't see New York going for it.
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