Amtrak Vermonter (Montreal Greenfield Boston CT River Line)

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TomNelligan
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Post by TomNelligan »

RichM wrote:Why would it have to be an Amtrak purchase? Why couldn't the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts buy it? Better still, why couldn't Massachuesetts condemn it and take it over via the Supreme Court ruling on eminent domain? If the market truly exists for this service...
Given the way the People's Republic freely squanders our tax money on all sorts of special interest projects, anything is possible, but given that the Vermonter already serves the Pioneer Valley college market via the stop at Amherst that replaced the one at Northampton on the B&M routing, the increased benefit to the Commenwealth is minimal. The theoretical advantage of returning to the original route would be a savings of maybe an hour at most for passengers traveling north of Springfield on one train a day, and the bill (based on what recent service restorations in MBTA territory have cost) would be several million dollars a mile for 30+ miles. That's probably too much even for this whacko state.

CNJ

Post by CNJ »

What could the the chances of a negotiated agreement with Guilford/PanAm?

It worked for the Downeaster, and look that the dividends its paying out there.

TomNelligan
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Post by TomNelligan »

CNJ wrote:What could the the chances of a negotiated agreement with Guilford/PanAm?

It worked for the Downeaster, and look that the dividends its paying out there.
I'm sure that Guilford would be happy to host the train again as long as someone else pays for the track upgrade, which was the case with the Downeaster and the state of Maine. But again, who pays the tens of millions of dollars required to turn 30+ miles of 10 mph track into a passenger railroad? Amtrak doesn't have the cash and Massachusetts has more cost-effective places to spend rail/transit money, like the Green Line extension to Medford, the restoration of commuter service to Fall River and New Bedford, and even the recently proposed extension of commuter service to Springfield. For one train a day that wouldn't serve any new markets, I can't see how it would happen.

gprimr1
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Post by gprimr1 »

I hope this would not affect service to Amherst MA.

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shadyjay
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Post by shadyjay »

gprimr1 wrote:I hope this would not affect service to Amherst MA.
Any reroute of the Vermonter onto the original Montrealer route in Massachusetts would affect service to Amherst, by moving it to Northampton. Northampton is another big college town and I think that most of the Amherst "boardings" would get to Northampton. A reroute would make the trip significantly shorter in both directions.

But alas, it'll probably never happen.

-Jay H.

gprimr1
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Post by gprimr1 »

I could handle Northhampton.

I was just afraid if they ever did it while I was in college, the 5 college area might loose service.

CNJ

Post by CNJ »

shadyjay wrote:
gprimr1 wrote:I hope this would not affect service to Amherst MA.
Any reroute of the Vermonter onto the original Montrealer route in Massachusetts would affect service to Amherst, by moving it to Northampton. Northampton is another big college town and I think that most of the Amherst "boardings" would get to Northampton. A reroute would make the trip significantly shorter in both directions.

But alas, it'll probably never happen.

-Jay H.
Well, I think anything is possible with a little negotiation. Seems to have worked with the Downeaster.

Ideally, I'd like to see a resumption of the Montrealer.

TomNelligan
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Post by TomNelligan »

CNJ wrote:Well, I think anything is possible with a little negotiation. Seems to have worked with the Downeaster.
Of course. But I repeat -- who pays for it? The Downeaster exists ONLY because hard-working local passenger train proponents put together a viable funding package and then fought for years to get the trains running. The line to Portland would still be freight-only if it had been solely up to Amtrak or the Guilfrod organization. The B&M Conn River line will continue to be a rusty 10 mph track until and unless some third party comes up with tens of millions of dollars.

I have fond memories of riding that line behind B&M F-units in 1965 and then on Amtrak's Montrealer in the 70s and 80s, and like you I wish it wasn't in the state it is today. But service restorations don't just happen. Someone has to pick up the bill.

Gilbert B Norman
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Post by Gilbert B Norman »

gprimr1 wrote:I could handle Northhampton.

I was just afraid if they ever did it while I was in college, the 5 college area might loose service.
Let's see, "five college area'???

Smith Northampton (Sister and 'Little Niece": Alumnae - don't think either ever rode the B&M)
Mt Holyoke Holyoke
Williams Williamstown
UMass Amherst (one of these two your school; gprimr?)
Amherst Amherst

Right???

Mr. Hogan, I guess you go to school up that way as well.

CNJ

Post by CNJ »

TomNelligan wrote:But service restorations don't just happen. Someone has to pick up the bill.
Theres a first time for everything...no?

mjk

Post by mjk »

The fifth college in the "5-college area" is Hampshire College in Amherst, not Williams - Williams is about 90 minutes away and closer to Albany.

jp1822
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Amtrak Vermonter Thread (and Route Change Amherst)

Post by jp1822 »

The first time I saw this - I just figured it was a "Cab Car deadhead move" from the Springfield Line to Washington DC. But then I noticed this again tonight - Thursday 12/14.

The Vermonter had a cab car in its consist, but the "Cab" was not facing in the right way for it to be used for push-pull operation. That's the best I can describe it. In addition, the coach had its lights on, but was not being used. Didn't count the number of cars in the consist of the Vermonter this evening, Thursday 12/14. I know over Labor Day weekend it was certainly short cars, but Amtrak did find a car to add to the southbound run at New Haven.

So what is going on with this cab car observation I am noticing?

As an FYI - I've seen the Vermonter run Cab Car first from Palmer, MA to New Haven, to eliminate the "over-powering" of this trainset by putting two Genesis units on both ends for the reverse move necessary at Palmer. That's why I laugh when this is brought up as an excuse for the Vermonter to be turned into a DMU trainset.

But again, the Cab Car this evening (and the other time I noticed it) was facing in towards the trainset, AND adjacent to the Business/Cafe car. Vermonter operates with a 1/2 business and 1/2 cafe car for reference. So event the positioning for it to be used as a revenue coach, let alone cab car makes no sense.

Am I just catching the Vermonter on off days when Cab Cars are being dead-headed from say the Springfield Line to Washington DC for maintenance purposes (at DC or Delaware shops). Then again, aren't the Cab Cars mostly maintained at New Haven?

And of course there's reports that Cab Cars in short supply dur to their new assignment now on the Keystone Line. Perhaps Amtrak needs more de-motorized F-40s (i.e. Cabbages, NPCU cars or whatever they are called).

So...confused.....with these Vermonter observations. I thought the Vermonter converted back to using 2 Genesis units after reading those articles about how the Vermonter is over-powered and would be ideal for a DMU trainset. Not in support of that by the way.

hsr_fan

Post by hsr_fan »

A recent photo of the Vermonter with a cab car immediately behind a P42.

gprimr1
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Post by gprimr1 »

I live in Amherst so I see the Vermonter frequently. I have noticed that it is usually two engines and sometimes there is a cab car. I have heard two versions of the story.

Version A: Amtrak was having problems with the Vermonter Cab cars and found it easier to use two P42's.

Version B: Amtrak needed the cab cars for Keystones.
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jp1822
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Post by jp1822 »

In the photo that hsr_fan had, reverse the cab car and that's the observation I noticed. I assume this is a different day, from my sighting. If so - why is the Vermonter hauling around a cab car that is not being used for revenue passengers?

I believe what gprimr1 says - that they are using cab car and 2 diesel units depending on day of the week. But yesterday, 12/14, the Vermonter didn't have any delay coming into NYC. I would imagine there wuold have been a delay to shuffle the cab car if Version A was a factor. In addition, it was a southbound run, so the train started out in St. Albans, so doubt there was any spare loco in St. Albans to try run 2 diesels on the train.

All is interesting.......I think the Springfield Line should surrender two cab units and get a de-motorized F40 put in its place so the Vermonter can operate with a cab car, if money is such a problem with running two diesels for this train. Might be a waste of 2 cab cars for such a short run for the Vermonter......

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