Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inland

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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby benboston » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:29 am

BandA wrote:
Traingeek3629 wrote:
lordsigma12345 wrote:
As for inland route I don't think they'd run dedicated trains. They'd either use the current Shuttle method or return to a practice of having a combined train run NHV-WAS and split it for shore/inland routes.


I disagree. It is much easier to dedicate two shuttle sets that just run between Boston and Springfield along with the LSL. New stops should be constructed at East Springfield, Palmer, and West Brookfield. (also serving Warren, Ware, and Brookfield) Although the line runs through Charlton, I think that is just a waste of time to stop at Charlton since that is so close to the regular commuter rail. Ideally the runtime should be reduced to around two hours instead of 2.5 hours. Springfield-Boston is also only a 90 minute drive, still in commuting range.

Here is my proposed schedule:
Springfield-Boston Boston-Springfield
6:20 AM-8:27 AM | 6:45 AM-8:52 AM
11:35 AM-1:42 PM | 12:50 PM-3:01 PM (LSL)
5:33 PM-7:51 PM (LSL) | 5:25 PM-7:32 PM

P.S. Why is that line so loopy after Palmer? If I had built the line it would have gone through Spencer and Leicester instead of Charlton.

I'm thinking the ideal location for an Inland Regional Amtrak station between Palmer and Worcester would be the former site of South Spencer (Depot?), but accessed from the 55 MPH MA-49 instead of South Spencer Rd. It's unclear from the satellite if that is swampland, conservation land or state forest. There are about 3 houses on Depot Rd. It's a quick 11 miles from the yuge I-84 / I-90 / US-20 Interchange in Sturbridge & right off of MA-9, across the highway from the automobile unloading facility. Or you could build a station at Charlton Depot, but that would require a new Mass Pike / MA-31 interchange and that ain't happening anytime soon. Charlton is far enough from Worcester (~~>25 min) to have it's own train station, but it's pretty rural, US-20 & MA-31 are far from ideal. Warren train station is so darn perfect you want it to be reopened, but for Amtrak it would be too near Palmer, and again you would need a new I-90 interchange at MA-19 - which I believe has actually been talked about in the past.


I-90 Interchange would be there except that they didn't want to build a toll-booth, but with electronic payment that isn't necessary anymore.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby JcPinCT » Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:50 am

BandA wrote:I'm shocked that they repainted the MBB's but didn't fix or replace the seats? They were quite comfortable when they were new. Maybe they could inject new foam into the seat cushions? Comes down to poor materials selection / design by MBB.


Why would CDOT invest more money into cars that they don't own? I'm sure CDOT spent the minimum amount necessary to get the cars approved for service; especially seeing that (1) the MBBs are supposed to be a short-term (<5 years) solution until CDOT purchases their own passenger cars and (2) there wasn't much time to get the cars ready for the start of service.

BTW, CDOT had the MBBs wrapped in Ctrail branding, not repainted. Another cost savings on the leased equipment.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby east point » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:06 pm

Correct this if wrong. Was SLE eventually supposed to operate with M-8s that had 25 Kv switching installed ? That was supposed to occur when the next order of M-8s arrived and Amtrak installed the necessary CAT to some tracks and sidings ? However with the extra demand for riders on the New Haven NYG supposedly the on order M-8s will be needed for that segment instead of for SLE ?
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby DutchRailnut » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:10 pm

The M-8's have still not been accepted by Amtrak and very little testing has been done.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:24 pm

It's a disgrace that the M8s haven't been tested thoroughly on the Shore Line where Shore Line East operates. They are perfect for operating on Shore Line East. The catenary is obviously there and while the stops are pretty far a part from each other, they are pretty close. Their acceleration would be a nice benefit. Had the M8s been able to operate on Shore Line East, the Mafersa cars would have been operating on all of the Hartford Line commuter trains.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby JcPinCT » Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:39 pm

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:It's a disgrace that the M8s haven't been tested thoroughly on the Shore Line where Shore Line East operates. They are perfect for operating on Shore Line East. The catenary is obviously there and while the stops are pretty far a part from each other, they are pretty close. Their acceleration would be a nice benefit. Had the M8s been able to operate on Shore Line East, the Mafersa cars would have been operating on all of the Hartford Line commuter trains.


Agreed, but even if the M8s had been fully tested and accepted by Amtrak for use on the shoreline, CDOT doesn't have enough of them for SLE service. That's why there are still multiple sets of M2s in active service on the New Haven line.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby gregorygrice » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:36 am

JcPinCT wrote:
njt/mnrrbuff wrote:It's a disgrace that the M8s haven't been tested thoroughly on the Shore Line where Shore Line East operates. They are perfect for operating on Shore Line East. The catenary is obviously there and while the stops are pretty far a part from each other, they are pretty close. Their acceleration would be a nice benefit. Had the M8s been able to operate on Shore Line East, the Mafersa cars would have been operating on all of the Hartford Line commuter trains.


Agreed, but even if the M8s had been fully tested and accepted by Amtrak for use on the shoreline, CDOT doesn't have enough of them for SLE service. That's why there are still multiple sets of M2s in active service on the New Haven line.


They are still in the process of testing the M8s on the shore line. Tweaks need to be made to their ACSES and a few of the stations still need catenary installed
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:50 pm

Yes, stations like Guilford need catenary on what is the eastbound track. All of the stations should have platforms on both sides of the tracks.

Maybe once the M8s are accepted to run on Amtrak in revenue service, they can run a few direct trains from Grand Central Terminal to Old Saybrook or even New London. These runs should be done during the rush hour since that is when the most people use Shore Line East.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby Larry » Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:02 pm

AMTRAK shuttle train 473 yesterday came through Windsor CT with 2 engines, Cab control car and a CAFE car. Is this the new norm?
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby Traingeek3629 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:13 pm

Larry wrote:AMTRAK shuttle train 473 yesterday came through Windsor CT with 2 engines, Cab control car and a CAFE car. Is this the new norm?


No, I suspect they just needed to bring an extra cafe car from Springfield to the NH yard.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby asull85 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:09 am

Larry wrote:AMTRAK shuttle train 473 yesterday came through Windsor CT with 2 engines, Cab control car and a CAFE car. Is this the new norm?


No, 473 has the test train equipment due to issues with the CDOT set assigned to Springfield.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:53 am

Believe Amtrak and ConnDOT are still at odds over the onboard ACSES gear factory installed on the M-8's.
When MN starts using ACSES on the New Haven line,along with the GCT to Woodlawn(JO) segment,should settle this problem.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby lordsigma12345 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:56 pm

Apparently pretty good ridership for the thanksgiving rush this year. Amtrak capped ticket reservations on the Shuttles to try to avoid an issue with CTrail passengers. All northbound shuttles sold out Wednesday and all southbound today. There was a glitch Wednesday, one Shuttle, 476, had to exclude CTrail passengers as it had a sold out crowd and only a two car consist was available for that run. CTDOT did a bus-stitution for CTrail passengers.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby BandA » Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:38 am

benboston wrote:
BandA wrote:
Traingeek3629 wrote:
lordsigma12345 wrote:
As for inland route I don't think they'd run dedicated trains. They'd either use the current Shuttle method or return to a practice of having a combined train run NHV-WAS and split it for shore/inland routes.


I disagree. It is much easier to dedicate two shuttle sets that just run between Boston and Springfield along with the LSL. New stops should be constructed at East Springfield, Palmer, and West Brookfield. (also serving Warren, Ware, and Brookfield) Although the line runs through Charlton, I think that is just a waste of time to stop at Charlton since that is so close to the regular commuter rail. Ideally the runtime should be reduced to around two hours instead of 2.5 hours. Springfield-Boston is also only a 90 minute drive, still in commuting range.

Here is my proposed schedule:
Springfield-Boston Boston-Springfield
6:20 AM-8:27 AM | 6:45 AM-8:52 AM
11:35 AM-1:42 PM | 12:50 PM-3:01 PM (LSL)
5:33 PM-7:51 PM (LSL) | 5:25 PM-7:32 PM

P.S. Why is that line so loopy after Palmer? If I had built the line it would have gone through Spencer and Leicester instead of Charlton.

I'm thinking the ideal location for an Inland Regional Amtrak station between Palmer and Worcester would be the former site of South Spencer (Depot?), but accessed from the 55 MPH MA-49 instead of South Spencer Rd. It's unclear from the satellite if that is swampland, conservation land or state forest. There are about 3 houses on Depot Rd. It's a quick 11 miles from the yuge I-84 / I-90 / US-20 Interchange in Sturbridge & right off of MA-9, across the highway from the automobile unloading facility. Or you could build a station at Charlton Depot, but that would require a new Mass Pike / MA-31 interchange and that ain't happening anytime soon. Charlton is far enough from Worcester (~~>25 min) to have it's own train station, but it's pretty rural, US-20 & MA-31 are far from ideal. Warren train station is so darn perfect you want it to be reopened, but for Amtrak it would be too near Palmer, and again you would need a new I-90 interchange at MA-19 - which I believe has actually been talked about in the past.


I-90 Interchange would be there except that they didn't want to build a toll-booth, but with electronic payment that isn't necessary anymore.
Warren I-90 & MA-19 interchange? The problem with toll roads is the interchange has to be paid for by the toll road, not reimbursable with feddybucks. So it is like CR & mass-transit, lots of stuff never gets built unless it is subsidized with Somebody Elses' Money

Warren would be an excellent but quiet stop on an MBTA/MassDOT BOS-SPG CR Line, whether or not an I-90 interchange is built. Palmer already has an I-90 interchange, and could become a union station again if the "central corridor" service were built. Warren & Palmer are 16 min apart via pretty uncongested roads that go over a mountain pass. I just read that Palmer hasn't had service since A-day. Palmer is closer to its' I-90 interchange and probably a cheaper place to build commuter parking than Springfield. Palmer & SPG are 20-30 min apart by road, is that enough to justify an Amtrak stop?
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby Hux » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:25 pm

Northampton is 20 miles away and they stop there.
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