• Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East-West Passenger Rail

  • Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.
Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

  by daybeers
 
Yes the situation in Springfield has long been an issue.

If only there was a window in which large spans of time exist with no trains serving the station until mid-September...
  by BandA
 
The easiest thing to pilot, and the most bang for the borrowed money would be extending the Springfield trains as Inland Regionals. Could this be done simply by adding an Amfleet or two? We should leave additional service from SPG to PIT or North Haverbrook for the future.
  by cle
 
BandA wrote: Wed Jul 20, 2022 6:43 pm The easiest thing to pilot, and the most bang for the borrowed money would be extending the Springfield trains as Inland Regionals. Could this be done simply by adding an Amfleet or two? We should leave additional service from SPG to PIT or North Haverbrook for the future.
Extending the Springfields makes sense as a first step - although you might want more of a Vermonter stopping pattern up the Hartford Line - to deliver more of an express/long distance v commuter delineation of service - keep the seats for the right journeys. Maybe extend 1-2 MBTA Worcester line services to Springfield too, to test out that market.

Equally, increased services from Albany would be good and I understand 2-3 per day are wanted. I think an additional Boston-Albany daily return would be a reasonable start.

Might that eventually carry on down to NYC to give a regular Pittsfield-NYC option, and another, much slower Springfield - NYC? Or could it run on to Toronto/Buffalo/Montreal - even combining with a service from NYC?
  by jbvb
 
At the end of through passenger service in 1958, the B&M's FItchburg Division was a 70 MPH railroad, though there were restrictions in towns and over considerable distances along the Deerfield River. A representative 1956 timing was 4:30 for 190 miles North Station to Troy, but there were no expresses: 14 regular and 10 flag stops (overall time omits 10 min. in Greenfield).

I don't have a corresponding B&A ETT but RDC schedules in 1957 were 2 hr. for 98.3 mi. Boston Springfield with 4 intermediate stops, then 2:27 for 102.1 miles to Albany with 2 intermediate stops (overall time omits 3 min. in Springfield).

I can't speak to what the B&A could achieve with a major rebuilding, but in the late 1950s the B&M appears to have had the faster railroad.
  by west point
 
Years ago had a lot of weekends in Hartford and Windsor. To visit relatives in Boston you guessed it . Windsor to New Haven then New haven Boston. Bought tickets from conductor then had to go to ticket counter at New Haven to get less fare Windsor to Boston. What a cluster, Windsor to Boston one train would save any way 1 -2 hours or more as connection usually missed in HVN unless it was late..
  by BandA
 
Springfield to Boston at rush hour by car would be 2 1/2+ hours. So there is an opportunity for Interurban Commuter Rail service, at least at rush hour
  by west point
 
If I lived in Springfield going to Boston I would like to sleep both ways to spend more quality at home with family.
Last edited by CRail on Tue Jul 26, 2022 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.
  by lordsigma12345
 
jbvb wrote: Sun Jul 24, 2022 2:37 pm At the end of through passenger service in 1958, the B&M's FItchburg Division was a 70 MPH railroad, though there were restrictions in towns and over considerable distances along the Deerfield River. A representative 1956 timing was 4:30 for 190 miles North Station to Troy, but there were no expresses: 14 regular and 10 flag stops (overall time omits 10 min. in Greenfield).

I don't have a corresponding B&A ETT but RDC schedules in 1957 were 2 hr. for 98.3 mi. Boston Springfield with 4 intermediate stops, then 2:27 for 102.1 miles to Albany with 2 intermediate stops (overall time omits 3 min. in Springfield).

I can't speak to what the B&A could achieve with a major rebuilding, but in the late 1950s the B&M appears to have had the faster railroad.
Certainly isn’t the case in 2022. West of Springfield things slow down considerably and the hill towns are curvy so that is an issue. But the biggest likely potential ridership wise is inland service - which you only need the eastern part for. B&A also has less at grade crossings and PTC going for it.
  by BandA
 
I had a colleague who took the bus from Springfield to Boston every day for years. When we moved to Westborough she took retirement rather than drive what was about half the distance to work. Meanwhile I was ticked off that the company saved 75% on their lease expense but my commuting costs tripled because I had to drive instead of taking subsidized MBTA service. Back when monthly passes were reasonably priced....
  by newpylong
 
BandA wrote: Tue Jul 26, 2022 2:36 pm Springfield to Boston at rush hour by car would be 2 1/2+ hours. So there is an opportunity for Interurban Commuter Rail service, at least at rush hour
Who would commute to Boston from Springfield? You're looking at one off work trips, sightseers and some folks going to the Sox.
  by Komarovsky
 
If the hybrid work regime sticks around, I could see a lot of people doing so. In 2018 during AM peak there were almost 900 people doing the 1.5 hour commute from Worcester to Boston and 99% of them were probably doing it 5 days a week. The study is saying it'll be a similar amount of travel time between Springfield and Boston under options 3 and 4.
Last edited by CRail on Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Unnecessary nesting quotes removed. Do not use the "Quote" button as a "Reply" button.
  by BandA
 
newpylong wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 8:41 pmWho would commute to Boston from Springfield? You're looking at one off work trips, sightseers and some folks going to the Sox.
I knew a woman in the early 1990s who took the ?Peter Pan? bus from Springfield to Boston EVERY DAY. She could sleep, read, whatever. When the office moved to Westborough, she refused to drive that far and retired.
Last edited by CRail on Tue Aug 09, 2022 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.
  by lordsigma12345
 
I would agree. Boston housing is nuts and housing is much more affordable in the western part of the state. I'm not sure there's a justification for 8-10 trains a day but a few intercity trains a day seems reasonable.
  by CRail
 
You'd probably have enough Springfield-Worcester/Worcester-Boston ridership to justify the trip. The efficiency of a single trip increases if the same seat is sold more than once. Justification of the orange line is not people commuting from Malden to Roxbury, there is a significant point or two in between.
  by Arborwayfan
 
Just what I was thinking. And with Greater Boston as expensive and congested as it is (that whole chunk of the state is basically full) I wouldn't be surprised to see more companies locating in transit-friendly places in downtown Springfield and Worcester over the next couple decades.

And don't forget that a lot of people are part of couples who both work: Live in Springfield and work in Hartford and Worcester, live in Worcester and work in Hartford and Springfield, etc., all by train; or maybe one commutes by car and the other commutes by train and the couple saves the huge cost of owning a second car. Along the inland route (and along the NEC) the cities are close enough together that it doesn't have to be a situation where most of the pax go one way in the morning and the other way in the evening. There could be substantial demand in both directions in both rush hours, if there were relatively frequent one-seat rides between any two stations between Boston and Hartford etc.
Last edited by CRail on Wed Aug 10, 2022 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.
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