Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inland

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

Postby Allouette » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:42 am

1964 ETT shows the two through trains (Montrealer/Washingtonian and Ambassador) plus one Friday-only and two Sunday-only round trips from Springfield to Greenfield. The through trains were conventional GP or F powered, with CN or NH cars including a buffet-sleeper on the night trains (presumably not open in the middle of the night...) and various coaches from CN/CV, B&M and NH on the day trains. The Ambassador lasted until Sept 1966. Only a six year gap before the Montrealer/Washingtonian reappeared in Sept 1972, though it didn't stop at Greenfield.
I don't know if the Friday and Sunday trains were handled with RDCs. The round trips open to passengers went Springfield-Greenfield-Springfield, so a deadhead move from Fitchburg to Springfield of about 75 miles on Friday afternoon returning Sunday night would have been required, unless B&M left an RDC sitting around in Springfield all week.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby BandA » Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:01 pm

Didn't the B&M cancel a bunch of passenger service in 1960? So they probably had a spare RDC to leave in Springfield during the week.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby Jeff Smith » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:26 am

Two round trips daily: one a.m. one p.m.

Extended shuttles: any idea which two? I’m thinking 495/490 as 495 still makes Hartford before 8 and 490 is the first NB. 451 is too early. Afternoon I’m thinking 475/476. Thoughts?

Cost looks reasonable:

...
For example, a trip from Northampton to New York City’s Penn Station and can vary between $68 and $47 over the next few months depending on discounts or promotions.
...


That’s the Vermonter, subsidized IIRC. This will be unsubsizized service. Not sure what the fares will be.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby lordsigma12345 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:00 pm

Costs should be similar to Vermonter - this is subsidized by MA - they are just not offering a more heavily subsidized local fare for commuters like what is done for the New Haven - Springfield service. I think the Hope was that for travel within the corridor of GFD - NHV it would be an extension of the Hartford Line fares so people could get a fixed fare into Grand Central or to allow commuting witbin the GFD-SPG corridor but sadly this won’t be the case.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby Arlington » Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:46 pm

It is effectively a state sponsored NER (or close enough).

I expect good patronage at Amtrak prices, since it is in a corridor sweet spot similar to Amtrak Virginia: it will be a great choice for college students and once-a-week super commuters with meetings in "the big city" (whether that turns out to be Springfield Hartford New Haven Stamford or New York)

I doubt that there is a significant number of five-day-a-week commuters here. But there are probably plenty of people who are traveling two to four times a month, and more who go six times a year who would love to have Amtrak as an alternative to going by car or bus.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby Arlington » Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:53 pm

Would Connecticut ever consider having the Shuttle (with Massachusetts' extensions) turn and do a tag out to New London? (Or how do connections work from New London to Springfield?)
Last edited by Arlington on Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby gokeefe » Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:14 pm

From the B&MRRHS Passenger Department Chronology, compiled and edited by Richard K. "Rick" Hurst

Sat. April 28, 1962 -- The ICC allows the discontinuance of four Budd trains between Springfield and Windsor, Vt. and one Budd round trip between Springfield and Brattleboro. Trains #79 and #70 operate daily, except Sundays, between Springfield and Windsor. Trains #77 and #74 operate Sundays only between Springfield and Windsor. Trains #71 and #72 operate daily, except Sundays, between Springfield and Brattleboro. The Central Vermont proposes discontinuance of the trains over its line between Windsor and White River Jct. For trains operating daily, this is the last day of service.

With the exception of two Sunday trains operated in each direction between Springfield and Greenfield, #75 and #751 northbound and #752 and #754 southbound which serve Connecticut Valley colleges, this discontinuance leaves only the daytime Ambassador and the nocturnal Montrealer/Washingtonian for Conn. River passenger service. (Source: ICC Finance Docket No. 21786 Decided March 9, 1962, which authorizes the discontinuances, B&M 1961 and 1962 annual reports, and Callboy. B&M petitioned the ICC under section 13a(1), which allows a railroad operating interstate trains to petition the ICC directly.)

Sun. April 29, 1962 -- B&M announces the institution of special train service to accommodate the needs of Connecticut Valley college students to better serve their needs in the wake of the recent train discontinuances on this line. Between now and June 15, 1962, there will be one Friday afternoon southbound from Greenfield to Springfield, with two northbounds on Sundays from Springfield to Greenfield. These will connect with New Haven Railroad trains to and from New York City. (Source: B&M notice dated April 27, 1962 signed by G.F. Gallagher, Supt. Passenger Transportation.)


So *roughly* speaking ... mid 1962 since there was much else beyond "once a day each way" (daytime).
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby gokeefe » Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:44 pm

From the same source quoted above ...

Sat. September 3, 1966 -- The last runs of the last 2 pairs of passenger trains on the Connecticut River line operating between White River Jct., Vt. and Springfield, Mass. are made, per decision of the ICC. The trains are #21 and #20, the nighttime Montrealer and Washingtonian and #75 and #76, the daytime Ambassador. The State of Vermont had contested the order, but after ICC reconsideration, the authority for discontinuance was reaffirmed and a final Order to that effect was issued Fri., Feb. 3, 1967. Note that the B&M is still operating one Friday trip and 4 Sunday trips with Budd cars between Springfield and Greenfield to accommodate college students in this area. (Source: ICC Finance Docket #24000 decided July 22, 1966 and B&M 1966 annual report.)


Also ...

Sun. March 5, 1967 -- The last runs of Sunday-only trains #751, #753, #752, and #745 between Springfield and Greenfield occur today. Train #750 made its final run between Greenfield and Springfield on Friday, March 3, 1967. This is the end of Conn River passenger service. (Source: DPU #15228 of February 23, 1967 and Supplement #3 to B&M timetable #14, effective 2:00 AM, Monday, March 6, 1967.)


So ... at the very latest, March 5, 1967. It's been at least 52 years since the Conn River Line north of Springfield has seen some form of service providing more than one daytime round trip.

These changes are fundamental alterations of the economic fabric which ties the Pioneer Valley together.

At long last the decay has ended.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby Rockingham Racer » Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:07 am

Very interesting, and nostalgic. Thanks for doing some digging!
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby Traingeek3629 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:50 pm

Jeff Smith wrote:Two round trips daily: one a.m. one p.m.

Extended shuttles: any idea which two? I’m thinking 495/490 as 495 still makes Hartford before 8 and 490 is the first NB. 451 is too early. Afternoon I’m thinking 475/476. Thoughts?

Cost looks reasonable:

...
For example, a trip from Northampton to New York City’s Penn Station and can vary between $68 and $47 over the next few months depending on discounts or promotions.
...


That’s the Vermonter, subsidized IIRC. This will be unsubsizized service. Not sure what the fares will be.



475 and 476 are both too early. I'm thinking more like 494 (might not be the best choice due to 94 OTP) and possibly 417. Yes, the latter is an Acela connection, but that could be changed if you moved 177 back ~15 minutes and moved up 417 up~25 minutes.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby JcPinCT » Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:56 pm

FWIW - there was a post on another site that mentioned it would be 495, 471, 494, 478.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby gokeefe » Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:29 pm

Rockingham Racer wrote:Very interesting, and nostalgic. Thanks for doing some digging!


You're welcome! I think it helps us all to have a real sense of perspective on the extent of what Amtrak and their partners have achieved.

I doubt very much that anyone in 1967 would have ever believed the trains would ever return. The Vermonter/Montrealer is one thing. The daytime locals is another matter entirely.
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby Arlington » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:29 am

It'd be nice to run about 6 hours ahead and behind the Vermonter.
Are they able to leave a train at GFD overrnight, or deadhead up from SPG at 5am, or does anything southbound have to follow immediately a northbound?

I think I have it, though (assuming a train can't be left at GFD overnight)
From GFD Southbound
Start today's train 495 at about 5:50am (with a train deadheaded up)
Start today's train 479 at about 6:10pm (with a turn of train 490)

From NHV Northbound
Start today's train 490 at its 9:00am, arrives GFD before noon and waits 6 hours to be 479
Start today's train 476 at its 5:25pm, arrives GFD at about 8pm and deadheads home
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby east point » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:55 am

We need to remember Amtrak and MA DOT is going to need to acquire more cars for this service. With some 2 car trains already selling out how many more persons will be on these trains? If Amtrak has the extra cars ready why aren't they being used now?
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Re: Amtrak Springfield Line Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield/Inla

Postby benboston » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:12 pm

I don't think that MBTA has any extra cars because they need to have them for events like today. They should probably order more...
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