Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby merrick1 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:17 pm

Noel Weaver wrote:The one place where the New Haven competed for passenger business was Pittsfield - New York and the distance was about the same as was the running time and this was back in the 1940's, I don't think the running time would be much different today.
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At some time the New York Central had service to North Adams via Chatham and Pittsfield. One of the roll signs above the Graybar Passage was stuck on "North Adams" for years.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby scoostraw » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:27 pm

Harlem service to Pittsfield and North Adams ended around 1953 I believe.

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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby scoostraw » Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:25 pm

This stuff is too interesting not to share:

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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby J.D. Lang » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:37 am

Thanks for posting the timetables Scoostraw. I knew that there used to be through service to N. Adams but seeing an actual timetable is pretty neat.

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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study

Postby scoostraw » Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:29 am

scoostraw wrote:Was the connector to the B&A at Castleton always one-way? Or was there a wye at one time?

I answered my own question. There was never a wye at the Castleton cut-off. It was always one way - designed to connect with Selkirk only.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby merrick1 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:08 am

scoostraw wrote:This stuff is too interesting not to share:


Thanks for posting that.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby scoostraw » Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:00 pm

One thing that occurred to me that I had never thought about before is that when the Central ended passenger service to North Adams, they cut it all the way back to Chatham - and not Pittsfield.

You would think that they would have wanted to remain competetive with the New Haven with service to NY City out of Pittsfield. But they didn't do it for some reason.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Ridgefielder » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:18 am

May well have been a lost mail contract. I know that's what ended the weekday Pittsfield-NY round trips on the NH.

And by the way-- that 1939 schedule folder you posted-- I WANT SEATS LIKE THAT ON THE HARLEM DIVISION AGAIN! :-D
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby scoostraw » Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:50 pm

Weren't those contracts lost in the 60's?
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:55 am

scoostraw wrote:One thing that occurred to me that I had never thought about before is that when the Central ended passenger service to North Adams, they cut it all the way back to Chatham - and not Pittsfield.

You would think that they would have wanted to remain competetive with the New Haven with service to NY City out of Pittsfield. But they didn't do it for some reason.


Could have to do with Boston & Albany crew rules, since the B&A division for its entire history inside the NYC system always retained a measure of quasi-independence from the mothership in management and operations (to preserve the barest illusion of real competition in Southern New England after the RR monopolies carved it up). Chatham would've been the division post between regular NYC and the B&A, so when chopping the Pittsfield & North Adams Branch from the schedule they may have opted for internal accounting reasons to eliminate all B&A division thru-running. I don't know if the rules at the time required a crew change at Chatham to B&A or not. But even if ops were seamless the unusual way B&A was structured semi-apart from the rest of the NYC system would've required some form of internal "trackage rights" cut to the B&A's ledgers for use of their main on that schedule, so the reason for cutting Pittsfield may have been little more than expeditious intra-divisional penny-pinching.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby scoostraw » Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:27 am

Thanks for the thoughts F-line. That is very plausible.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:14 pm

The service to/from North Adams ended in drips and drabs. First they started running Budd Cars between Chatham and North Adams meaning anybody traveling beyond Chatham had to change trains there. At least some of these trains ran between Albany - Pittsfield and North Adams. Then they cut the some of the trains at Pittsfield and finally ended all services to North Adams. I do not have the dates here right now but I might be able to provide some of them in the future. I think we are looking at the early 50's here. Eventually it was just between New York and Chatham. Some sort of food service remained fairly late in this operation as well. It was always a scenic ride and an interesting operation. The people in the area rode the trains at least during the 50's as well.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby scoostraw » Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:30 pm

Very interesting Noel. I never knew about the Budd Cars.

I'm looking at a 1952 public timetable here and sure enough the trains to North Adams are separate from the Harlem trains. They all ran thru to North Adams, but earlier (1950) some terminated at Pittsfield.

I remember hearing how the Central tried running Budd Cars on the Harlem but gave it up quickly because they were speed limited at crossings and therefore could not maintain the schedule.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Greg Moore » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:37 pm

Apparently, Mass is still looking at Pittsfield-NYP service.

“establishing direct seasonal weekend passenger rail service” between New York and Pittsfield between Memorial Day and Columbus Day weekends, on a route connecting to the Hudson River line that carries Amtrak passenger trains between Penn Station and Albany, New York.


I think this is the best way to start it. Simple, few trains, and see how people respond.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby johnpbarlow » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:02 am

Greg Moore wrote:Apparently, Mass is still looking at Pittsfield-NYP service.

“establishing direct seasonal weekend passenger rail service” between New York and Pittsfield between Memorial Day and Columbus Day weekends, on a route connecting to the Hudson River line that carries Amtrak passenger trains between Penn Station and Albany, New York.


I think this is the best way to start it. Simple, few trains, and see how people respond.


Interesting idea but not a quick route out of A/R on the single track Post Road. Perhaps the planners should consider using the developing Inland Route via Springfield?
But I wonder how many of the seasonal vacationers in the Berkshires want to go to downtown Pittsfield, as opposed to going to Lenox, Lee, Stockbridge, Great Barrington, Sheffield, Canaan,...?
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