The connection would be about 3,000' of new track.
https://archives.lib.state.ma.us/bitstr ... sAllowed=y
outline (page 21, option 2.1.2)
The appeal of Chatham isn't huge, but it's a good midpoint between Albany and Pittsfield. It's an "easy" add for any existing or proposed train (that said, I wouldn't add it for the LSL, but would for the Berkshire Flyer if it returns and future trains).
As for Jeff's question about the appeal of Albany, I should expand upon my point, especially in regards to the Berkshire Flyer (or similar operation).
I'd estimate about 80-90% (someone else may have the numbers) of the folks boarding a northbound train from NYP are going to get off at Albany (with a majority of the remaining percentage getting off at Hudson or Rhinecliff). Right now perhaps 1-2% continue on to Pittsfield. If you eliminate Albany as a stop, now you have a train in a key evening slot that loses a large portion of its ridership and makes the train less viable. I think you'd definitely pickup riders going to Pittsfield (who currently don't want to take the time to go through Albany) but not enough to compensate for the lost Albany passenger load.
Now in an ideal world, you might have some sort of train that could easily split at Hudson.
Or you'd reactivate the long torn up rails heading east out of Hudson (looks like it was the Hudson and Chatham branch of the B&A) and have a more direct route. But that's never going to happen. If anything I'd take bets on the Harlem line to Wassiac returning long before that! And I'm not taking bets on that either!)
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