Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

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  by lordsigma12345
 
Kilo Echo wrote:
lordsigma12345 wrote:The ridership dropped substantially due to the track work and because a big chunk of weekday trains were substituted by buses for over two years. There have also been some weekends where all service on the line has been bus substituted. They have not really done a good job of advertising now that the buses are over with - I have heard several people still say that they run all buses between Springfield and New Haven not knowing that has ended. Amtrak also makes this worse because on their mobile app all the Shuttles show up as thruway bus connections even though they are trains - they really should correct that - that inaccuracy isn't going to help ridership.
The Amtrak app on my Android phone still listed shuttle service between NHV and SPG as bustitutions yesterday. While the so-called full site on my phone was slightly more accurate, it did not reveal the $24 fare (offering seats at $47 only).
The new fares for Amtrak starts on the CTrail launch date. Search Amtrak June 16 and later and youll see the lower fares. The Amtrak NHHS schedule changes and new shuttles start the 9th but the new reduced fares start the 16th.
Last edited by lordsigma12345 on Tue May 29, 2018 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by lordsigma12345
 
Ahh sorry about that. I see what you're saying now. Which mobile device are you using? I have an iPhone and what is showing up on mine matches what's on AmSnag. (For example if I do tomorrow I see $24 fares.)
  by Kilo Echo
 
I was aboard a New Haven-bound Metro-North train, attempting to figure out my travel options between NHV and SPG with my oldish Samsung (Android) phone. My first inclination was to check the Amtrak app, whereupon I tried the mobile website (m.amtrak.com), and finally, the so-called full website. It was a most frustrating experience. Perhaps I should invest in an iPhone. :-)
  by lordsigma12345
 
Well next time you ride New Haven to Springfield the fare should be Only $12.75 so you should be able to afford an iPhone now. :-D

In all seriousness I’m wondering if NHV SPG tickets will be transferrable to another shuttle other than the train listed on your ticket. According to the Hartford line site the Amtrak tickets will be redeemable on CTRail trains so you’d think they’d be transferrable between the Amtrak trains also.
  by Larry
 
AMTRAK was working in the Windsor CT parking lot taking out sidewalk and trees on East side (close to new track just laid), I was told this is all in preparation for a station platform to be built on this side.
  by Traingeek3629
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote:It's better to keep the SPG Line a diesel operation. Yes, the Genesis units have poor acceleration but look at the bright side-the stations are not super close to each other-not like where I live in Montclair, NJ. Of course, the ridership on the 470 series trains was dismal because of the trackwork.
Sorry, I forgot about the trackwork. At the peak in FY13, daily ridership was 1,068, including the Regionals. That still is not enough passengers for someone to make the case to electrify the line.

Note: All data comes from https://www.railpassengers.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Edit, I found 6695, it has been done for over two weeks: https://twitter.com/hartfordline/status ... ine.com%2F" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
There is a possibility that after all, I might be able to ride and photograph the Ctrail service on the very first day of service. Will we be able to ride the Amtrak 400 series trains on the Saturday the service starts?
  by lordsigma12345
 
You will be able to ride the CTrail trains for free on opening weekend. So far it is sounding like you will not be able to ride the Amtrak 400 series for free but if they are not free you will definitely be able to ride them (as well as the through Amtrak Regionals - 140 series) at the new lower CTrail rates that day as Amtrak is lowering their prices to match CTrail on that service startup day. I will be doing that on Sunday the second day of service - riding CTrail south to New Haven in the morning and riding on a Shuttle back to Springfield in the afternoon just because of the way the schedule is I don't want to wait for the next CTrail train which is in the evening.

My understanding is the Amtrak pricing for trips within SPG-NHV is going to become a flat rate matching the CTrail rates with no buckets. The normal bucket rates still apply if you are riding beyond NHV on Amtrak but when you ride beyond New Haven, the portion of the fare for the Springfield line is even lower than the CTrail fares, usually just a couple dollars more than it would be if you were travelling between New Haven and your NEC destination.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Scheduling conflicts will cause me to ride Amtrak Train # 460 northward after connecting from Metro North if I do the trip on the very first day of service. After that, I’ll probably ride all Ctrail trains between NHV and Hartford. I won’t have time to go all the way to SPG.
  by Traingeek3629
 
lordsigma12345 wrote: My understanding is the Amtrak pricing for trips within SPG-NHV is going to become a flat rate matching the CTrail rates with no buckets. The normal bucket rates still apply if you are riding beyond NHV on Amtrak but when you ride beyond New Haven, the portion of the fare for the Springfield line is even lower than the CTrail fares, usually just a couple dollars more than it would be if you were travelling between New Haven and your NEC destination.
If you book through a QuikTrak machine or any Amtrak vendor you will pay the Amtrak rate. You can only get the CTrail fare on Amtrak if you use a CTrail ticket vendor.

Also, why don't they install ticket machines at a few SLE stations? Then CTDOT would have an excuse to bilk on-board fares out of some SLE pax too.
  by lordsigma12345
 
Although that is true the "Amtrak fare" on the relevant trains will be the same as the CTrail fares. The Hartford Line website doesn't say that but it was announced on their social media site that Amtrak was lowering their rates. I bought a northbound Shuttle ticket for the second day of service (6/17) from an Amtrak station agent. The fare was the same as the CTrail rate and the station agent confirmed that the fares are the same as CTrail when the trip is contained within the SPG-NHV corridor. I believe you will also be able to redeem an Amtrak ticket on the CTrail trains, so in reality whatever way you buy (CTrail machine, QuikTrak machine, Amtrak agent, online through Amtrak) it is pretty much going to be interchangeable. The only thing that hasn't been confirmed is if the Amtrak tickets will be fully transferrable on the Amtrak side (For example if your ticket is for one Shuttle train and you board a different one.)

Amtrak's matching with its own fares is helpful because it will allow Windsor and Windsor Locks (Which won't have CTrail machines) access to the lower fare rates on the Amtrak trains as they'd be able to buy a ticket online thru Amtrak. (For CTrail trains Windsor and Windsor Locks people can buy a ticket on board for no surcharge.)

If you check out AmSnag (https://biketrain.net/amsnag/amSnag.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) you can verify the matching fares. Begin now and do a 30 day search and you will see the Amtrak fare change on 6/16.
  by lordsigma12345
 
It should be noted of course that this does NOT apply to the Vermonter. The Vermonter Amtrak fares for NHV-SPG remain the same and it does not accept CTrail branded tickets.
  by lordsigma12345
 
Ok there is new information available. The Shuttles and the 140 series Regionals WILL be accepting the free tickets on 6/16 and 6/17 the same as the CTrail trains. So you will NOT need to buy a ticket for the Shuttle trip. This was posted yesterday on the Hartford Line social media in a comment response. There will be volunteers at all stations handing out the free tickets. They will be redeemable on the CTrail and Amtrak trains.

The full schedule test run of the line begins this Saturday and runs all next week. The CTrail test trains will increase to operating their full schedule. Amtrak will also be altering its schedule that same day but as stated in earlier posts its trains will all be in full passenger service.
  by daybeers
 
Wow, that's great to hear! I have an event during the opening weekend, otherwise I would go to the ribbon cutting at Hartford, etc, but I may be able to sneak in one round-trip late Sunday afternoon.
  by Traingeek3629
 
I'm planning to catch the 11:04 in Wallingford this Sunday, and I am going to try to be the first passenger to ever board a Hartford Line train if I get on the 8:00 out of NH early enough.

Also, what happened to 81 minutes between NH and Springfield? That first train is 95 minutes.
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