• AMTRAK NEC: Springfield Shuttle/Regional/Valley Flyer

  • 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

  • 2177 posts
  • 1
  • 132
  • 133
  • 134
  • 135
  • 136
  • 146
  by lordsigma12345
 
jxzz wrote: Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:00 pm
JcPinCT wrote: Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:48 pm
lordsigma12345 wrote: Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:53 am I do think Springfield and Mass folks should take notice of some of the work included in the Windsor Locks station project. Some of the work seems to be designed to make Windsor Locks a possible northern terminus for the service.
From a political standpoint, I doubt that Windsor Locks would be the northern terminus as an Enfield station is planned and local officials have recently been vocal about supporting the station - even to the effect of providing funding for a temporary platform. I highly doubt the temporary platform would happen, but I'm sure that Enfield officials made that offer to let the state know that they are holding them to the promise of a Hartford Line stop.
That is right read on CT. There is no way to cut off Enfield from this line. If it goes to Enfield, it is almost there in Springfield.

The most possible case is, if MA does not cough up for funding on this, or any related project such as Springfield East West rail to Boston, CT is going to leave the line north of Hartford as it is, a gift only as it is, but not going to invest that much more.
I don't see Enfield happening until service frequency is increased and all infrasturcture work is done. I simply don't see Amtrak wanting all their trains to stop at all of CTDOT's proposed infill stations as it would add time to the trips. What probably makes sense is when CTrail is eventually able to increase the train NHV-HFD frequency even more, the Amtrak trains could add the Enfield stop but run express from Hartford to New Haven.
  by Backshophoss
 
The elephant in waiting is the I-84 project in Hartford,"Waterbury Switch" to E Hartford is floating on how I-84 is rebuilt.
STILL NO FINAL DESIGN AT THIS MOMENT
  by jxzz
 
Backshophoss wrote: Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:42 pm MassDOT/MBTA have yet to state their intentions on "T" West,based in Springfield.
Given the history of lack of enthusiasm for Western mass rails in massDot, I am not sure where is "T" West coming from.

All massDot is planning is afterthoughts. I posted in MBTA east west thread of recent conference in Boston, experts were predicting minimal rail connecting Worcester to Springfield taking advantage of what CT has invested on CTrail.
  by Arlington
 
Please remember that the Greenfield trains are a pilot-in-lieu-of-a-study. The idea was that running trains and seeing how it goes was the same price and more learning and more public mobility.
  by troffey
 
Charlie Baker has been adamant that public transit should run at breakeven for operations cost (all modes, not just the Valley Flyer). That's why MassDOT wasn't allowed to subsidize the fares.

While there is no need for a layover yard at current service levels, it was Massachusetts' obligation to build one to support the operation and it didn't happen.

MassDOT isn't an experienced rail agency. They don't handle the commuter rail operations, and they don't have any institutional experience in designing and marketing a rail operation. As Arlington noted, it's a pilot in place of a study, but it's also a learn on the fly operation in a lot of aspects for MassDOT.
  by Train60
 
Break even? Some of the MBTA Commuter Lines cost over $100 per passenger to run on the weekends. Baker's people tried to kill these trains and people went nuts, rightly so. We run these trains for the same reason we maintain state highways in the far corners of the state, because we provide transportation to the public as a whole - not just for the populated regions, or for the rich.

Lets be clear here. Mass DOT really has no idea what they are doing when it comes to passenger rail service. Its all about pretending to know what you're talking about and covering your ass to hold on to your nice job. They basically have no staff so they contract most everything to outside contractors. The states around MA (Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and now maybe even New Hampshire of all places) are "all in" but the MassDOT's so called Rail & Transit Div is focused on making sure, #1 they can't be blamed for anything, and #2 they don't spend any money, unless of course its for infrastructure AND the feds pickup the tab. This is a joke, plain and simple. In other parts of the country they get it, but not here. The sooner that someone (unnamed) retires the better.
Last edited by Train60 on Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by jxzz
 
Train60 wrote: Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:16 pm Break even? Some of the MBTA Commuter Lines cost over $100 per passenger to run on the weekends. Baker's people tried to kill these trains and people went nuts, rightly so. We run these trains because for the same reason we maintain state highways in the far corners of the state, because we provide transportation to the public as a whole - not just for the populated regions, or for the rich.
Break even talk is silly. Nothing is breakeven, highways for car driving, bus etc. Public transportation are part of government subsidy for greater good and overall economy. It is priority which gets more , which gets less.

In comparison to CT, it seems that MA as richer state that does not want to spend more dollar on Western Mass while CT is spending a lot on three rail lines covering almost whole state.
  by Ridgefielder
 
jxzz wrote: Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:06 am
Train60 wrote: Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:16 pm Break even? Some of the MBTA Commuter Lines cost over $100 per passenger to run on the weekends. Baker's people tried to kill these trains and people went nuts, rightly so. We run these trains because for the same reason we maintain state highways in the far corners of the state, because we provide transportation to the public as a whole - not just for the populated regions, or for the rich.
Break even talk is silly. Nothing is breakeven, highways for car driving, bus etc. Public transportation are part of government subsidy for greater good and overall economy. It is priority which gets more , which gets less.

In comparison to CT, it seems that MA as richer state that does not want to spend more dollar on Western Mass while CT is spending a lot on three rail lines covering almost whole state.
Of the 3.5mm people in the State of Connecticut, 2.7mm live in Fairfield, New Haven and Hartford counties. That, and the shore line from New Haven to the Rhode Island border, is where the trains run. There's no passenger service at all in Litchfield, Tolland or Windham counties.

Of the 6.9mm people in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 5.5mm live in the 7 eastern counties surrounding Boston. That, again, is where the trains run.

The two states are almost identical, with commuter trains serving counties with ~80% of the state population. It just happens that the population is somewhat more equally distributed geographically in CT than it is in MA.
  by jxzz
 
Ridgefielder wrote: Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:30 am
jxzz wrote: Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:06 am
Train60 wrote: Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:16 pm Break even? Some of the MBTA Commuter Lines cost over $100 per passenger to run on the weekends. Baker's people tried to kill these trains and people went nuts, rightly so. We run these trains because for the same reason we maintain state highways in the far corners of the state, because we provide transportation to the public as a whole - not just for the populated regions, or for the rich.
Break even talk is silly. Nothing is breakeven, highways for car driving, bus etc. Public transportation are part of government subsidy for greater good and overall economy. It is priority which gets more , which gets less.

In comparison to CT, it seems that MA as richer state that does not want to spend more dollar on Western Mass while CT is spending a lot on three rail lines covering almost whole state.
Of the 3.5mm people in the State of Connecticut, 2.7mm live in Fairfield, New Haven and Hartford counties. That, and the shore line from New Haven to the Rhode Island border, is where the trains run. There's no passenger service at all in Litchfield, Tolland or Windham counties.

Of the 6.9mm people in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 5.5mm live in the 7 eastern counties surrounding Boston. That, again, is where the trains run.

The two states are almost identical, with commuter trains serving counties with ~80% of the state population. It just happens that the population is somewhat more equally distributed geographically in CT than it is in MA.
Population, density, rail between CT and MA are not quite similar. CT does not have a mega city like Boston. On the other hand, CT is within a nearby mega city NYC, which itself is much bigger on footprint, population and commuter rails coverage. That makes two states comparison awkward, CT plus NYC compare to MA, not fair nor correct, NYC is too big. Without NYC, CT cities are all too tiny compared to Boston. In other ward, CT and MA are really two unique states with own population density, rail riding patterns and policy preference.
  by Traingeek3629
 
So I'm just going to openly rant about the Valley Flyer for a couple of sentences.


The northbound schedule is simply awful on weekdays. It's just unbelievably, horribly, hopelessly stupid. Having trains leaving NH at 7:30 and 9:50, Hartford at 8:20 and 10:40, and Springfield at 9:15 and 11:30 just does not work for 80% of commuters. It would make some sense if it were for NYC commuters, but the first morning train doesn't get to NYC until almost 10:30. I believe, if they switched to 476 and 412 (something would have to be done on Friday nights) ridership would increase for commuters, and people would still be able to have an evening at the casino, going to a show/game in Hartford, or a dinner in New Haven. I'm pretty sure the main reason they keep 478 as a Valley Flyer is to allow people to do the things above, but I think 412 would still be late enough to serve that purpose.

Thoughts?
  by Rockingham Racer
 
I am curious as to how you got your 80% figure. Was there some study done perhaps for northbound ridership in the morning? I've never driven I-91 northbound during AM rush. What's it like as one nears Hartford and Springfield?
  by Arlington
 
1) The idea is that housing is cheap (and wages are low) in the upper CT Valley, while wages are high in HFD, NHV, & STM. Ergo the native demand is Southbound in the AM and Northbound in the PM.

2)if there were reverse commute demand (AM Northbound) couldn't a bus be sufficient both for market size and given directionally favorable road congestion?
  by troffey
 
Train60 wrote: Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:16 pm Break even? Some of the MBTA Commuter Lines cost over $100 per passenger to run on the weekends. Baker's people tried to kill these trains and people went nuts, rightly so. We run these trains for the same reason we maintain state highways in the far corners of the state, because we provide transportation to the public as a whole - not just for the populated regions, or for the rich.

Lets be clear here. Mass DOT really has no idea what they are doing when it comes to passenger rail service. Its all about pretending to know what you're talking about and covering your ass to hold on to your nice job. They basically have no staff so they contract most everything to outside contractors. The states around MA (Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and now maybe even New Hampshire of all places) are "all in" but the MassDOT's so called Rail & Transit Div is focused on making sure, #1 they can't be blamed for anything, and #2 they don't spend any money, unless of course its for infrastructure AND the feds pickup the tab. This is a joke, plain and simple. In other parts of the country they get it, but not here. The sooner that someone (unnamed) retires the better.
MassDOT struggles with pretty much everything these days, to be honest.

And maybe break even wasn't the right choice of terminology. But Baker and Stephanie Pollack have made a very big deal about balancing the T's overall budget, and adamantly insisting that the T doesn't need any more money to be successful.
  by TomNelligan
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:06 pm Then why is Baker proposing billions of dollars to bring the system up to speed?
Because it's easy to make proposals. It's a bit harder to pay for them. At the moment the MBTA wish list is unfunded, and until such time as our wise and generous legislature comes up with a funding plan for major capital improvements, nothing will happen except talk.
  • 1
  • 132
  • 133
  • 134
  • 135
  • 136
  • 146