Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

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

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:51 pm

Yes, it would be nice the BSRR to run that RDC to Pittsfield to connect with the Amtrak train but I think that many people will get to their destinations faster when they get picked up at the station by auto transportation. I'm sure that Uber and Lyft will benefit a lot from people taking the train to Pittsfield from NYP. Being that the Berkshire Region is larger than you might think, once you get north of Pittsfield, the distance between important towns is very spread out. Looking at a map, I see that Williamstown is 20 miles north of Pittsfield and it takes 30 minutes to drive between the two towns. I'm sure that there will be people who are heading to Williamstown who will want to take the train to Pittsfield. Overall, people who are going to towns like Lee, Lenox, Stockbridge, and parts of Great Barrington might use the train directly to Pittsfield. The further south you are from the Mass Pike, you are only adding driving time to get to Pittsfield on top of a longer train ride. In the end, you would be better off driving to Hudson for faster and more frequent service.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Jeff Smith » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:21 pm

Well, if HRRC is serious about passenger service, and since MA bought the ROW and has upgraded/maintained it, maybe they should lease a couple of those All-Earth RDC’s and run a Hooterville Cannonball lol down the line a bit.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Greg Moore » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:32 pm

Jeff Smith wrote:Well, if HRRC is serious about passenger service, and since MA bought the ROW and has upgraded/maintained it, maybe they should lease a couple of those All-Earth RDC’s and run a Hooterville Cannonball lol down the line a bit.

Hah.. if the HRCC is serious about passenger service. Thanks for the laugh!

They're not at all serious about quality freight service, let alone passenger service.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby scoostraw » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:48 pm

I suspect that HRCC is no longer in the catbird seat since the state purchased the line.

My guess is that the Housy would not be involved in any such service. They would just be "asked" to host it. Who knows - this may have all been part of the negotiated purchase of the line? It will be interesting to see what happens.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Jeff Smith » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:52 pm

Yeah, that was tongue in cheek. But maybe MASSDOT can hook something up? After all, they now own the ROW. Which is what CT needs to do; buy that 15 miles between Danbury and New Milford; the middle is nothing, which, to bring it back on topic (something I complained about just a bit up thread) is why we’re talking Amtrak, Albany and Pittsfield. Yes, CT is broke.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:16 pm

Not only will many people board this train in NYP, but there are a lot of people who live along the Hudson Line north of NYC who might want to take this train to Pittsfield as well. There will probably be many people who will pick up this train at Yonkers, Croton-Harmon, and Poughkeepsie. One of the advantages of living in Westchester County is that the mountains of Upstate NY and Western Mass are an easy trip away.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Arlington » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:42 pm

I recommend going back to p.1 of this thread and re reading why CT/ Housy is not the current best option, and Albany is (at least for a proof of concept Berkshire Flyer).

And also refresh on MassDOT very clear competence at and preference for Summer weekend service, and test services that extend existing routes. All that says try PIT via ALB.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby J.D. Lang » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:00 am

scoostraw wrote:I suspect that HRCC is no longer in the catbird seat since the state purchased the line.

My guess is that the Housy would not be involved in any such service. They would just be "asked" to host it. Who knows - this may have all been part of the negotiated purchase of the line? It will be interesting to see what happens.

That would be my guess also. It would be nice to be privy to exactly what kind of agreements are in place. The state is pouring a lot of upgrade money into the upper Berkshire line that they now own right now ie: 136lbs. welded rail, thousands of ties, grading and surfacing. Get an RDC or two and have either BSSR or HRR meet up with the train and run it down to GT. Barrington with stops in Lenox, Lee, Stockbridge, GT. Barrington. All these station stops are in the center of those towns. The NYP-Pittsfield "Berkshire Flyer" is a trial program and adding this option just might help this trial become successful.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Arlington » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:21 am

In the 2018 state rail plan,
https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/20 ... prng18.pdf
of interest here are the real chance there will be a Berkshire Flyer (via Empire-ALB-LSL) and NO CHANCE there will be a Housy route:
(see pages 10 through 13 in the plan linked above)

PASSENGER
Tier 1 (IMPLEMENTATION)
NHHS operations
Greenfield pilot program

Tier 2 (STUDY)
Western Mass to Boston Rail Study (Inland Route)
Berkshire Flyer via Empire & LSL route (THE ACTUAL TOPIC OF THIS THREAD)

Tier 3 (NO ACTION)
Housatonic Passenger Rail ("No current likelihood of service improvements in Connecticut")
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby J.D. Lang » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:54 am

Tier 3 (NO ACTION)
Housatonic Passenger Rail ("No current likelihood of service improvements in Connecticut")

Not talking about the Housy in Connecticut.
Tier 2 (STUDY)
Western Mass to Boston Rail Study (Inland Route)
Berkshire Flyer via Empire & LSL route (THE ACTUAL TOPIC OF THIS THREAD)

I believe what the possibilities are on the MA. owned upper Berkshire line dovetail from the actual topic of this thread because getting more people to use this trial service is important.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Arlington » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:33 pm

Sure, if BSRR can figure out how to meet the BF without clogging its platform, and to not bust their budget in so doing, more power to them.
A 50 seat motor coach is usually the better option. Or 15 seat van.

For the actual BF train, success is going to require a certain density of passengers per available seat-mile.
The train does the dense part (to Pittsfield) and kiss-and-ride and transit fan out across the Berkshires.
Pretty much the way that the Cape Flyer works.

The Downeaster has really drilled holes in its own boat by throwing itself out beyond Portland, no matter how touristy-awesome-meet-the-scenic-RR and tiny-college-town it seemed to go to Freeport (L.L. Bean) and Brunswick (Bowdoin College & sometime Maine Eastern RR terminus). We can honor their audacity by not repeating their mistake.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:54 pm

Arlington, I think you misunderstand. Service to meet Amtrak at Pittsfield via Albany to head south on MASSDOT owned trackage only as far as the state line. The hunk of track between New Milford and Canaan in CT is no man’s land. No service. This is just a potential last mile connection on an RDC. Mass. Knows CT isn’t interested; as you note, thus, via Albany.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Ridgefielder » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:33 pm

Jeff Smith wrote:Arlington, I think you misunderstand. Service to meet Amtrak at Pittsfield via Albany to head south on MASSDOT owned trackage only as far as the state line. The hunk of track between New Milford and Canaan in CT is no man’s land. No service. This is just a potential last mile connection on an RDC. Mass. Knows CT isn’t interested; as you note, thus, via Albany.

Would BSRR crews be allowed to operate the last half-mile over CSX to access the Pittsfield station?
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Jeff Smith » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:03 pm

I’d venture, whether from the South, or from N Adams, they’d need some kind of qualifying or a pilot.

I wouldn’t consider it a given that Berkshire Scenic would be the operator, if, and it’s a big “if”, they even are interested in running a last mile “Flyer”. Especially off the formerly HRRC ROW. I’m not sure who or how they could operate such, since it would be a seasonal/weekend only operation.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby scoostraw » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:09 pm

Jeff Smith wrote:I’m not sure who or how they could operate such, since it would be a seasonal/weekend only operation.

Which is a perfect fit for an operator such as the BSRR.
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