AMTRAK NEC: Springfield Shuttle/Regional/Valley Flyer

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, Amtrak67 of America, Tadman, gprimr1

johnpbarlow
Posts: 2153
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:50 pm

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

Post by johnpbarlow » Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:13 am

Kilo Echo wrote:How much did it cost to extend the Fitchburg Line 4.5 miles from Fitchburg to, um, Fitchburg (Wachusett)? Something like $93.3 million? Has there been a dramatic increase in ridership since the extension? While having northern-tier service may sound grand, the price tag would be prohibitively grand.
The MBTA station at Wachusett features 369 parking spaces. By my occasional unscientific weekday eyeball observations, I would guess that no more than half the parking spaces are utilized. Re: a rehab of Pan Am Southern District 3 from Greenfield to Wachusett, getting several passenger trains around the yard at E Deerfield each day may require addition of a passing track/crossovers given how frequently PAS freights are parked on main tracks awaiting admission to the yard. Also, I'm guessing both IETM-S and ACSES II PTC schemes would have to be implemented to support NS and MBTA equipment.

lordsigma12345
Posts: 514
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:05 pm

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

Post by lordsigma12345 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:27 pm

As someone who rides out of Springfield, I would not exactly call the Springfield station "unused." Not saying that it's any major transit hub in the realm of New Haven or Eastern Mass, but between intercity bus usage and the rail ridership I think they are happy with the utilization. And rail ridership has improved with the re-institution of 100% train service as well as added trains as part of the Hartford Line. The parking garage does not get as much utilization as it probably could, but many more passengers at Springfield are dropped off/picked up so you can't go completely by the garage.

lordsigma12345
Posts: 514
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:05 pm

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

Post by lordsigma12345 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:28 pm

Beginning on Monday 4/22 they will be installing the new Platform C at Springfield station. The precast concrete modules have been staged under the I-91 viaduct near Sweeney Interlocking. Details: https://www.springfield-ma.gov/dpw/inde ... fic_alerts" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
BandA
Posts: 2892
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:47 am

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

Post by BandA » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:40 pm

Remind me, if you fully upgraded Greenfield-Fitchburg or Greenfield-BON, how would speed compare to SPG-BOS? I.e. curviness & grade. Are there lots of grade crossings?

Also, MassDOT might get more bang-for-their-buck upgrading MA-2 highway than Greenfield-Fitchburg, and building massive park & ride garages somewhere near Littleton 495 or Acton, and focus on improving Fitchburg-BON. Although the Feddybucks of an Amtrak upgrade would be a nice balm for the MBTA.

User avatar
Kilo Echo
Posts: 124
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:54 pm

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

Post by Kilo Echo » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:42 am

lordsigma12345 wrote:Beginning on Monday 4/22 they will be installing the new Platform C at Springfield station.
Any word as to when Amtrak's ticketing operations will move down to the renovated concourse?
Mind the gap

Ridgefielder
Posts: 2741
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:22 pm
Location: Harlem Division MP 15

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

Post by Ridgefielder » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:10 pm

Way I see it, it boils down to numbers.

There are 154,000 people in Springfield and 185,000 people in Worcester.

There are 17,000 people in Greenfield and 40,000 people in Fitchburg.

Restoring corridor service on the B&A links the third and second largest cities in the Commonwealth.

Instating corridor service on the B&M links the county seat of the least-populous county on the MA mainland to the third largest city in Worcester County.

lordsigma12345
Posts: 514
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:05 pm

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

Post by lordsigma12345 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:49 pm

Kilo Echo wrote:
lordsigma12345 wrote:Beginning on Monday 4/22 they will be installing the new Platform C at Springfield station.
Any word as to when Amtrak's ticketing operations will move down to the renovated concourse?
I do not know, however they have begun the process of tying the Amtrak data into the screens in the new station, so it could be happening soon maybe? They have integrated the feed - it is displaying on the screen behind Amtrak's new counter, but the data has not been appended to the other screens yet (nor is it tied to the speakers) only Ctrail trains showing on the other screens.

jonnhrr
Posts: 1194
Joined: Sun May 30, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Sabattus ME USA

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

Post by jonnhrr » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:22 pm

BandA wrote:Remind me, if you fully upgraded Greenfield-Fitchburg or Greenfield-BON, how would speed compare to SPG-BOS? I.e. curviness & grade. Are there lots of grade crossings?
That segment of Pan Am is very curvy and has grades. One of the reasons the trial MBTA service to Gardner never panned out due to how slow that section is, with the line looping up to south Ashburnham before coming southwest to hit Gardner. Not that the B&A line is arrow straight either but it is somewhat better.
BandA wrote: Also, MassDOT might get more bang-for-their-buck upgrading MA-2 highway than Greenfield-Fitchburg, and building massive park & ride garages somewhere near Littleton 495 or Acton, and focus on improving Fitchburg-BON. Although the Feddybucks of an Amtrak upgrade would be a nice balm for the MBTA.
Agreed, Route 2 still has traffic lights in West Fitchburg. Speeding up that section would help. Outside of the hills and curves in the Fitchburg area, it is a lot more direct than the railroad.
Avatar Photo - P&W local from Gardner to Worcester at Morgan Rd., Hubbardston

Jeff Smith
Site Admin
Posts: 8595
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: If it's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium

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

Post by Jeff Smith » Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:39 am

Platform C lifted into place and other news: MassLive.com

Fair-use snips:
SPRINGFIELD — Cranes this week are lifting sections of precast concrete walkway onto the upper portions of Springfield Union Station for the new handicapped-accessible Platform C.
...
The new platform will open in June or July, said Kevin Kennedy, chief development officer for the city. “The platform is really beginning to take shape and obviously we are very excited about that,” he said.
...
Included in the $8.2 million project is reopening stairways and building an elevator to Platform C. The train tracks are overhead at Union Station. Passengers move from the grand concourse to a tunnel under the track to get to their trains or exit to Lyman Street.
...
The new platform nears completion as the state, along with Amtrak, plans this summer’s launch of expanded commuter rail service north of Springfield to Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield. Massachusetts authorities announced the two-year pilot program one year ago.

Meanwhile, the state continues to study options that could bring more train service from Boston to Springfield or as far west as Pittsfield. Neal said Gov. Charlie Baker and state Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack have been working hard on both expansion efforts.
...
Next stop, Willoughby
~el Jefe ("Jeff Smith Rules") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

User avatar
asull85
Posts: 146
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:52 pm
Location: Island of Sodor

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

Post by asull85 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:28 pm

The launch of the shuttle extensions to Greenfield has been pushed back to late Summer/early Fall. Some work needs to be done before the trains can start.

Palmer5RR
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:09 pm
Location: Western Massachusetts

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

Post by Palmer5RR » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:23 pm

asull85 wrote:The launch of the shuttle extensions to Greenfield has been pushed back to late Summer/early Fall. Some work needs to be done before the trains can start.
So if the start date gets pushed to October the test period will shrink from 30 months to 26 months? Normally with Commonwealth funding if you don't spend appropriated money in the fiscal year you lose it.

daybeers
Posts: 331
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:13 pm
Location: HFD

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

Post by daybeers » Fri May 03, 2019 2:58 am

asull85 wrote:The launch of the shuttle extensions to Greenfield has been pushed back to late Summer/early Fall. Some work needs to be done before the trains can start.
https://www.recorder.com/Expanded-passe ... r-25245592
Mullaney and Atwood said the state and Amtrak are still discussing fares, but it appears, at this point, they are not going to change.

“Our legislators are fighting hard for fare equity,” said Mullaney. “So, we’ll see what happens.
Please, if you are a resident of MA, contact your legislators! Tell them this pilot program needs flat fares like how Amtrak converted the Shuttle fares for the opening of the Hartford Line, otherwise it won't succeed!

Safetee
Posts: 334
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:07 am

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

Post by Safetee » Fri May 03, 2019 12:16 pm

High fares, low fares, or no fares I'm afraid that the grand experiment is going to be a complete waste of taxpayer dollars. Why? Well, the major reason is that there just isn't this pent up consumer demand in Western Mass to go to the big Apple.

The divine thinking on all this is that now that the Knowledge corridor is up and running at high speed, 70 in places, people in the Pioneer Valley will be hopping at the chance to take advantage of all the additional scheduling.

In the article, you will note that the local planner is opining that the new service will allow the public to travel to New York by train and back in one day. One very long day including 10 hours of train travel. Oh sure there may be a few people out there who will take advantage of that service. But how many people is the question.

By the same token, the article also mentions the fact that the service will facilitate people from NYC who want to go to Greenfield. Well I'm sure there must be at least three of those.

The Knowledge Corridor and connections to NYC is just not the same deal as the Downeaster. People from southern Maine do a lot of travel to and from Boston. And a lot of people from Boston do go to and from southern Maine. The NYC to Greenfield traffic dynamics however, just aren't there.

njt/mnrrbuff
Posts: 3583
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:33 pm

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

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Fri May 03, 2019 1:43 pm

Some major target markets that the enhanced service will cater to-business travelers going to day meetings along the NEC, especially NYC. There will be non business travelers who might make a long daytrip to NYC but that’s a long day. Many people who head to NYC might want to make their trip a vacation anyway.

daybeers
Posts: 331
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:13 pm
Location: HFD

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

Post by daybeers » Sat May 04, 2019 11:59 am

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel like it would be a maximum of 8 hours of train travel to NYC from Greenfield.

Return to “Amtrak”