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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

  by CRail
 
The press release stated Amtrak services will not be affected. I somewhat doubt that myself but that's what they're saying.
  by GirlOnTheTrain
 
I thought the modification (as discussed here) was that the Shuttles would lose a bulk of their stops (since NHHS would cover the local service) and would basically become super-expresses doing SPG-Hartford-NHV. /shrug

I'm sure as ridership pans out (or not) more modifications will be made.
  by Jeff Smith
 
I remember a while back someone posted just that^; I believe the shuttles will skip Wallingford and Meriden. Not sure about Windsor or Windsor Locks; maybe after the next, north of Hartford phase.
  by Patrick A.
 
Would imagine at the very least for the Shuttles post-May '18 you'd have SPG, WNL (for BDL connection) and HFD, probably a tossup between Berlin and Meriden to keep one stop between Hartford and New Haven.
  by Ridgefielder
 
You probably keep Berlin because of the highway access to New Britain and the Farmington Valley suburbs.
  by njt/mnrrbuff
 
I don't know what will happen to the Amtrak 400 series trains after the commuter trains operate between NHV and SPG. Unless if the Amtrak Shuttles ever get extended to Greenfield or Boston, you probably don't need to keep them as the Ctrail trains will be making the stops that the Amtrak shuttles currently make. On the other hand, if Amtrak still keeps the shuttles but makes them a limited stops express between NHV and SPG, they will probably keep Berlin, def Hartford, and most likely Windsor Locks. Of course, in the beginning, there are always trial and error scenarios. Remember, there is a proposal to open up some new stations so in this case, such as North Haven(Amtrak used to stop there in the beginning).
  by Jehochman
 
If anybody at CDOT is listening... the shuttles would be much more useful if they ran a bit less frequently, but went further north, serving the college and boarding school towns of Northampton and Greenfield. When I head down the NEC, I try to get one of the through trains because the shuttle connection in New Haven is less desirable. I would be equally happy to take a commuter train to New Haven if I can't use a through train.

Since Connecticut is broke, and Massachusetts is financially better off, it would make sense to ask MA to fund part of the shuttles if they ran all the way up the Pioneer Valley. That scenario would benefit everybody.
  by Backshophoss
 
Local service north of Springfield would be under "MBTA Conn River operations" NOT ConnDOT's.
The proposed contractor for the NHV-Springield Commuter service was part of the former "MBCR" operating company and
is not respected for the mess left behind for MassDOT and the current contractor had to clean up!
IF the Montrealer does return to service,Mass and VT will need to come up with the "PR II A" funding to extend 1-2 shuttles to
St Albans Vt.
  by CRail
 
Conn River is WAY out of the MBTA's district. It will be a MassDOT service.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
MassDOT can't run any service on the Conn River unless it forks over its share of capital funds for Armory Layover, the combo AMTK/CDOT-laundered-via-MassDOT maint facility and full-size yard to be built about a half-mile east of the station. Since the Springfield Union Station reno is largely fed grant-funded, the layover is one of the few Springfield Line upgrades that hits square on MassDOT state-funded ledgers. Thus far they've refused to commit funds for it ever since Gov's. Patrick & Malloy cut off communication with each other over Patrick's Berkshire Rail fiasco. That site is necessary for the Hartford Line to scale up to full-blown Springfield frequencies instead of short-turning in Hartford a third of the time, because Springfield Union and the Amtrak ex-mail yard are far too small to juggle anything more. So it's premature to even speak of the next Hartford Line scale-up to SPG, let alone full-on Conn River commuter rail, until somebody on Beacon Hill breaks the silence on funding Armory Layover. It was always a bit of an eyeroll whenever the pols talked about homegrown service running old beater T equipment and buried the lede on Armory as if Amtrak was just going to roll right over and donate space for them inside the mail yard. Hell no...the state's actively screwing over the plans of its two partners by pretending that very key piece of the pie isn't their problem. They won't be granted any space to run without proceeding on that commitment, so all talk of Knowledge Corridor service is premature without action on the layover.

Layovers + MOW buildings are somewhat pricey infrastructure and this will be a bigger-than-most layover because of the multi-tenant usage and generous baked-in expansion space for service increases, so it's a significant cost commitment they're sidestepping here. It's also not THAT horrible a cost in and of itself that this should be any sort of long-term hangup, as CDOT will be laundering plenty of second-hand funds as primary tenant for facilities it can't fund inside its own borders. But nothing happens unless MassDOT takes the lead on initiating the project. The Malloy v. Patrick cold war is over; Patrick's 3/4 a term in the rear-view, and Malloy's not seeking reelection in '18. But it's impossible to take seriously any renewed political hype about Conn River commuter rail being any sort of "soonish" thing so long as this MassDOT funding commitment for the layover stays artfully hushed. Not only will Conn River CR have zero place to park, but you won't be getting useful enough Hartford Line transfer frequencies into SPG without the layover space that allows most Hartford short-turns on the initial schedule (and then a whole lot of backfill schedule expansion) to be extended to Springfield Union. It's a prerequisite for all. And the longer it's delayed the more futile it is to try to speculate who's/what's/when's of Conn River ops. Any realistic start date starts sailing into the mid-2020's if the layover doesn't appear to have any signs of showing up on a Fiscal Year 2020-21 MassDOT CIP budget now being publicly circulated in draft form.
  by dowlingm
 
Backshophoss wrote:IF the Montrealer does return to service,Mass and VT will need to come up with the "PR II A" funding to extend 1-2 shuttles to
St Albans Vt.
Sorry if I am missing an obvious point here, but why?
  by Backshophoss
 
Montrealer was a federal funded train From "A" day onward(DC to Montreal and return)if it goes back online,only way to extend a pair of shuttles
to St Albans would be the $$$ used to fund the Vermonter for a sate supported shuttle runs Springfield-St Albans.
  by radio
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote:Remember, there is a proposal to open up some new stations so in this case, such as North Haven(Amtrak used to stop there in the beginning).
When did trains stoop at North Haven? Did they just stop at Devine St? Was there ever a station? I tried search, but "new haven" swamped the results.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Backshophoss wrote:Montrealer was a federal funded train From "A" day onward(DC to Montreal and return)if it goes back online,only way to extend a pair of shuttles
to St Albans would be the $$$ used to fund the Vermonter for a sate supported shuttle runs Springfield-St Albans.
The NNEIRI study does call for an optional third Vermont frequency joining the Montrealer and BOS-MTL direct, by means of a New Haven to St. Albans short-turn. But that's unlikely to make the cut if they proceed on the primary study recs since VTrans will already have its finances tapped thin by its initial subsidy of the BOS-MTL frequency. Chances are the short-turn frequency becomes a later add-on in the second decade when they ID a schedule gap between the Montrealer and BOS-MTL slots that's ripe for hole-plugging. Won't be an instantaneous thing. Would be better if VTrans could chuck in a few bucks to bring a Springfield Shuttle to Brattleboro since that's a slightly better terminus than MassDOT's option of funding a poke to Greenfield. But Bellows Falls, White River Jct., or St. Albans are definitely too far for meager VTrans resources.

Deeper-pocketed MassDOT still has interest in keeping a toehold on the Shuttles for repurposement while it mulls its NNEIRI options. Since the lack of funding action on Armory Layover moves out the practical timetable for both full-blown HFD-SPG schedules on the Hartford Line and any speculative start dates on Knowledge Corridor commuter rail into the 2020's (as well as places upper limits on how long they can practically sit on stored retired MBTA equipment), poking a few Shuttles north in the interim becomes a potentially practical means of getting the ball rolling. Even if it's just a temporary thing until the Inland Route upgrades end up re-routing all Shuttles away from Greenfield to Boston...with the commuter trains then backfilling those temporary north-of-SPG slots.
  by shadyjay
 
radio wrote:When did trains stoop at North Haven? Did they just stop at Devine St? Was there ever a station? I tried search, but "new haven" swamped the results.
The station was located on Devine St just east of Route 5 and north of Route 40, and behind the park & ride lot. This was during the early/mid 1980s. It was never more than just a pair of wooden platforms in the Amtrak era, one on either side of the tracks. This wikipedia (yes, I know) article has some pics and info....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Haven_(CDOT_station" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)
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