Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

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

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lordsigma12345
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by lordsigma12345 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:48 am

You will be able to ride the CTrail trains for free on opening weekend. So far it is sounding like you will not be able to ride the Amtrak 400 series for free but if they are not free you will definitely be able to ride them (as well as the through Amtrak Regionals - 140 series) at the new lower CTrail rates that day as Amtrak is lowering their prices to match CTrail on that service startup day. I will be doing that on Sunday the second day of service - riding CTrail south to New Haven in the morning and riding on a Shuttle back to Springfield in the afternoon just because of the way the schedule is I don't want to wait for the next CTrail train which is in the evening.

My understanding is the Amtrak pricing for trips within SPG-NHV is going to become a flat rate matching the CTrail rates with no buckets. The normal bucket rates still apply if you are riding beyond NHV on Amtrak but when you ride beyond New Haven, the portion of the fare for the Springfield line is even lower than the CTrail fares, usually just a couple dollars more than it would be if you were travelling between New Haven and your NEC destination.

njt/mnrrbuff
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:53 am

Scheduling conflicts will cause me to ride Amtrak Train # 460 northward after connecting from Metro North if I do the trip on the very first day of service. After that, I’ll probably ride all Ctrail trains between NHV and Hartford. I won’t have time to go all the way to SPG.

Traingeek3629
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by Traingeek3629 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:03 pm

lordsigma12345 wrote: My understanding is the Amtrak pricing for trips within SPG-NHV is going to become a flat rate matching the CTrail rates with no buckets. The normal bucket rates still apply if you are riding beyond NHV on Amtrak but when you ride beyond New Haven, the portion of the fare for the Springfield line is even lower than the CTrail fares, usually just a couple dollars more than it would be if you were travelling between New Haven and your NEC destination.
If you book through a QuikTrak machine or any Amtrak vendor you will pay the Amtrak rate. You can only get the CTrail fare on Amtrak if you use a CTrail ticket vendor.

Also, why don't they install ticket machines at a few SLE stations? Then CTDOT would have an excuse to bilk on-board fares out of some SLE pax too.
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lordsigma12345
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by lordsigma12345 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:19 pm

Although that is true the "Amtrak fare" on the relevant trains will be the same as the CTrail fares. The Hartford Line website doesn't say that but it was announced on their social media site that Amtrak was lowering their rates. I bought a northbound Shuttle ticket for the second day of service (6/17) from an Amtrak station agent. The fare was the same as the CTrail rate and the station agent confirmed that the fares are the same as CTrail when the trip is contained within the SPG-NHV corridor. I believe you will also be able to redeem an Amtrak ticket on the CTrail trains, so in reality whatever way you buy (CTrail machine, QuikTrak machine, Amtrak agent, online through Amtrak) it is pretty much going to be interchangeable. The only thing that hasn't been confirmed is if the Amtrak tickets will be fully transferrable on the Amtrak side (For example if your ticket is for one Shuttle train and you board a different one.)

Amtrak's matching with its own fares is helpful because it will allow Windsor and Windsor Locks (Which won't have CTrail machines) access to the lower fare rates on the Amtrak trains as they'd be able to buy a ticket online thru Amtrak. (For CTrail trains Windsor and Windsor Locks people can buy a ticket on board for no surcharge.)

If you check out AmSnag (https://biketrain.net/amsnag/amSnag.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) you can verify the matching fares. Begin now and do a 30 day search and you will see the Amtrak fare change on 6/16.

lordsigma12345
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by lordsigma12345 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:33 pm

It should be noted of course that this does NOT apply to the Vermonter. The Vermonter Amtrak fares for NHV-SPG remain the same and it does not accept CTrail branded tickets.

lordsigma12345
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by lordsigma12345 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:39 pm

Ok there is new information available. The Shuttles and the 140 series Regionals WILL be accepting the free tickets on 6/16 and 6/17 the same as the CTrail trains. So you will NOT need to buy a ticket for the Shuttle trip. This was posted yesterday on the Hartford Line social media in a comment response. There will be volunteers at all stations handing out the free tickets. They will be redeemable on the CTrail and Amtrak trains.

The full schedule test run of the line begins this Saturday and runs all next week. The CTrail test trains will increase to operating their full schedule. Amtrak will also be altering its schedule that same day but as stated in earlier posts its trains will all be in full passenger service.

daybeers
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by daybeers » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:11 am

Wow, that's great to hear! I have an event during the opening weekend, otherwise I would go to the ribbon cutting at Hartford, etc, but I may be able to sneak in one round-trip late Sunday afternoon.

Traingeek3629
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by Traingeek3629 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:01 pm

I'm planning to catch the 11:04 in Wallingford this Sunday, and I am going to try to be the first passenger to ever board a Hartford Line train if I get on the 8:00 out of NH early enough.

Also, what happened to 81 minutes between NH and Springfield? That first train is 95 minutes.
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lordsigma12345
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by lordsigma12345 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:32 pm

Amtrak just release its new timetables for the NEC. Unfortunately it appears as if the Shuttles that are advertised by CTDOT as connecting to Acela trains are actually either going to be standalone Shuttles with no Amtrak connection in New Haven or they will connect with a Regional train instead. While you can of course unofficially make the connection at your own risk, Amtrak is not going to offer it as an actual connection which means your screwed if the Shuttle is late and you miss the connection. Trains 451 and 412 on weekdays will be standalone connectionless Shuttles, train 417 will have an official connection with train 177 instead of 2175. Sunday northbound train 416 will connect with train 96 instead of train 2256. Looks like another great job of communications between CTDOT and Amtrak.

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GirlOnTheTrain
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by GirlOnTheTrain » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:16 pm

Traingeek3629 wrote:Also, what happened to 81 minutes between NH and Springfield? That first train is 95 minutes.
Schedule padding...same reason why Metro-North trains get like 20 minutes to go between West Haven and New Haven.
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Traingeek3629
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by Traingeek3629 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:52 pm

Amtrak can make it without schedule padding? Why not making it something like 88 minutes? That still gives 7 minutes of make-up time, and they should keep in mind a train is not late until 5 minutes 59 seconds after the scheduled arrival time.
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Traingeek3629
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by Traingeek3629 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:54 pm

lordsigma12345 wrote:Amtrak just release its new timetables for the NEC. Unfortunately it appears as if the Shuttles that are advertised by CTDOT as connecting to Acela trains are actually either going to be standalone Shuttles with no Amtrak connection in New Haven or they will connect with a Regional train instead. While you can of course unofficially make the connection at your own risk, Amtrak is not going to offer it as an actual connection which means your screwed if the Shuttle is late and you miss the connection. Trains 451 and 412 on weekdays will be standalone connectionless Shuttles, train 417 will have an official connection with train 177 instead of 2175. Sunday northbound train 416 will connect with train 96 instead of train 2256. Looks like another great job of communications between CTDOT and Amtrak.
Looking at the new NEC schedule there is no Shuttle advertised for 417 and 416. And once again, there is no AM peak Hartford Line train. (4401 now connects to 1541 rather than 1539, the last AM peak train.
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lordsigma12345
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by lordsigma12345 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:23 pm

The 416 and 417 connections aren’t on the timetable but they are available as connections on Amtrak.com if you book a trip. Note that both have abnormally long layovers in new haven. Bizarrely it seems as if they timed these shuttles to meet the Acela but are not actually going to sell tickets for that connection. Makes no sense to me.

lordsigma12345
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by lordsigma12345 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:32 am

lordsigma12345 wrote:Although that is true the "Amtrak fare" on the relevant trains will be the same as the CTrail fares. The Hartford Line website doesn't say that but it was announced on their social media site that Amtrak was lowering their rates. I bought a northbound Shuttle ticket for the second day of service (6/17) from an Amtrak station agent. The fare was the same as the CTrail rate and the station agent confirmed that the fares are the same as CTrail when the trip is contained within the SPG-NHV corridor. I believe you will also be able to redeem an Amtrak ticket on the CTrail trains, so in reality whatever way you buy (CTrail machine, QuikTrak machine, Amtrak agent, online through Amtrak) it is pretty much going to be interchangeable. The only thing that hasn't been confirmed is if the Amtrak tickets will be fully transferrable on the Amtrak side (For example if your ticket is for one Shuttle train and you board a different one.)
Just to clarify further, where there can be a difference is in cases where CTrail offers a discount Amtrak doesn't (or is better.) For example CTrail offers a child discount. In those cases it makes a difference when you buy from a CTrail machine. However for general adult tickets when no discounts are applicable, booking through Amtrak will be the same price.

daybeers
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by daybeers » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:13 pm

What's the deal with Berlin? @HartfordLine replied to my Tweet a while back saying both platforms will be operational, but that about 300 feet of the east side platform will be closed until the full opening of the station in the fall. Is this still true?

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