• 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
 
The problem, I think, is that CSX won’t view this as just 2 extra trains per week. They’ll view it as a foot in the door for even more trains (which would be accurate) and will want much compensation (access fees, track improvements, etc.) in exchange. And it will be politically harder to sell paying for those when the immediate result is 2 trains a week a few months of the year. Maybe I’m wrong-hope so-but the history of the industry’s attitude toward additional passenger service doesn’t make me optimistic.
  by Ironman
 
Backshophoss wrote:Remember the "host" RR is CSX here,they will say NO!! Train #'s 448/449 get delayed on the B&A on a regular basis.
They won't be happy dealing with a push-pull shuttle running between Pittsfield -Chatham - Albany.
This will require NYSDOT and MassDOT to help fund the service.
Figure on MN "donating" some Shoreliner I's(5 coaches,3 cab cars) to NYSDOT to equip the service when MN's MLV-II's go online.
I have to say this is not really accurate, 448/449 don't really get delayed on the B&A unless they are already running behind. Most of the CSX B&A traffic runs at night and 449 runs during the day, when very little CSX traffic is around. It's pretty rare for it to be delayed by CSX. Worcester is a constant choke point now due to the abolishment of Q422/Q423 a few years ago, but if Q022 is out of the way then 449 will usually have a straight shot to Pittsfield or Chatham, Q424 will usually hold for 449 at CP123. After that, it all comes down to how 448 is doing. 448 is delayed on a regular basis, but not because of issues on the B&A.

The dispatchers do try to run Amtrak on the B&A, even holding eastbound freight's at CP187 (Post Road Junction) for 449 if they are running behind.
  by J.D. Lang
 
So from the study itself, it appears that at least one CSX representative was involved, but beyond generic statements, there's no more details.
Again with a total of 2 trains a week planned, for 20 weeks a year, I think there's a greater chance than some here do.
I also tend to be optimistic like Greg that this will get the go ahead for a trial and that CSX will go along with it for now. If its successful and they plan on making it permanent then the wye at N. Adams Junction makes sense and that will involve CSX because CP 148 will need to be reconfigured. CSX may ask for more in terms of trackage rights fees or some siding extensions but for now I see this going through. I hope that if they run in 2020 it will be a success.

J. Lang
  by Jeff Smith
 
With CSX looking to divest, maybe they'll sell the B&A to Mass.
  by Greg Moore
 
Jeff Smith wrote:With CSX looking to divest, maybe they'll sell the B&A to Mass.
That would be an ideal outcome!

Then in 2020... Pittsfield to NYC 20 weeks a year, Friday/Sunday.
Then 2022, 52 weeks a year, with Sunday trip.
2023, extension to Springfield in both directions
2029, 3 trains a day (including 448/449) to Boston.

And then 20-never... a train a day each direction up the Housatonic :-)
  by Station Aficionado
 
Related thought: it’s a good thing for both this proposal and any other future service that the LSL has continued to run. It has been the “foot in the door” for other services. It is a possibly under appreciated argument for LD trains—they preserve both passenger infrastructure and, to an extent, access rights for passenger service. If there were no LSL, hard to believe there would be any consideration at all for new Berkshire service.
  by Ridgefielder
 
Jeff Smith wrote:With CSX looking to divest, maybe they'll sell the B&A to Mass.
Wouldn't 100% surprise me. Thing is, does the Commonwealth have the $$?
  by benboston
 
Mass is looking into it. Mass has more funding available than other states. Also, they own a lot of the tracks in Mass.
  by Arlington
 
I think we learned in the "CSX Selling Branches" thread that there's basically no chance CSX would seek to divest the B&A. More likely is a deal with Mass to upgrade SPG-BOS and simply re-institute the inlands. Pittsfield via Albany to NYC is great. Pittsfield within Mass makes way more sense by bus PIT-SPG, feeding into the carefully planned three-legged rail hub (VT/QC, CT/NY, and BOS)
  by BM6569
 
They need to double track west of Pittsfield where Amtrak splits with CSX. 448/449 constantly get delayed in that section by CSX freights
  by jonnhrr
 
Ridgefielder wrote:
Jeff Smith wrote:With CSX looking to divest, maybe they'll sell the B&A to Mass.
Wouldn't 100% surprise me. Thing is, does the Commonwealth have the $$?
Except that CSX just got done spending a ton upgrading Worcester for intermodals, plus undercutting bridges on the Boston Line for double stacks.
I could see them divesting East of Worcester maybe someone like P&W would pick up the local freight business out of Framingham.
  by Arlington
 
^ Yes. Spoke routes...into and out of cities like BOS, NYC, and WAS are where trains can win.

Find a way to make a route a spoke route (as PIT-ALB-NYP would be) and trains can win.

But drawing radial routes between spoke ends is a losing proposition. PIT-SPG is too "radial" there's not enough at either end, (particularly as when njt/mnrrbuff points out: the Masspike + bus is killer fast and frequent, and trains aren't).

Virginia, famous for making trains work, is still using a bus where it makes more sense (hitting college towns on I-81 and taking them into DC on I-66 and HOV lanes)
  by Jeff Smith
 
TimesUnion.com: Berkshire train service would target downstate millennials

No real new ground here:
...
Trains would depart Penn Station in New York City on Fridays at 2:20 p.m., arriving at 6:10 p.m. in Pittsfield. Return trips would leave Pittsfield on Sundays at 2:45 p.m., arriving at Penn Station at 6:45 p.m.

With 2,600 one-way trips over a 20-week pilot program, the service would require a subsidy of about $237,000 to cover Amtrak's estimated operating cost of $422,000.
...
  by J.D. Lang
 
Jeff Smith wrote:TimesUnion.com: Berkshire train service would target downstate millennials

No real new ground here:
...
Trains would depart Penn Station in New York City on Fridays at 2:20 p.m., arriving at 6:10 p.m. in Pittsfield. Return trips would leave Pittsfield on Sundays at 2:45 p.m., arriving at Penn Station at 6:45 p.m.

With 2,600 one-way trips over a 20-week pilot program, the service would require a subsidy of about $237,000 to cover Amtrak's estimated operating cost of $422,000.
...
Guess you would have to get out of work early if you wanted to go to Pittsfield via train. Doesn't sound like a reasonable schedule.

J. Lang
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