• Taking Amtrak to the Berkshires (and an alternative)

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by cle
 
https://www.timesunion.com/business/art ... m=referral

This is encouraging. 3tpd each way (assuming one includes the existing Lake Shore) would be a great help to the region, and make rail less of an eccentric choice and a more viable one. Demand creates demand, see the Hartford Line - and those investment dollars will make it quicker.

In time, perhaps they could continue on - a Boston-Montreal (which could connect to a waiting NY-Toronto/Niagara/Buffalo - same platform at Albany - and enable transfers between them all, inc 2tpd NYC-Montreal/more Saratoga)
  by Greg Moore
 
I have to agree.
Next weekend because of complicated scheduling, we're going to end up driving two cars to the Boston area.
I'd LOVE to take the train, even though it takes longer than driving because it would mean I wouldn't basically be "wasting" a round trip in a car for a single person.

This is looking more and more possible and even likely. I won't hold my breath just yet.
  by Safetee
 
Well if the berkshire flyer is really sold out I'd have to tip my hat to the folks promoting it like adam hinds and company and say "job well done".

Certainly i dont believe it for a minute, however if it turns out to be true it's my long over due time to be wrong. On the other hand, it doesnt really matter if it's true or not because there's so much political power pushing for boston to albany service right now including both Richie Neal and Steve Gardner. if it comes to pass, it's definitely looking to be the foot in the door for an inland route alternative to the shoreline in case of flooding etc in rhode island.

Yesterday Mr. Gardner rode the train from Boston to Springfield with our beloved soon to depart Governor Baker. So the political action definitely is in to making things happen in this corridor while uncle joe is passing out the buckets of federal rail expansion dollars. No doubt, there will be some synegies from boston to albany service with connections for chicago montreal and nyc.
  by lordsigma12345
 
I watched the press conference. Based on a couple comments CEO Gardner made that I got the impression that inland service would likely be the most feasible to implement as a first step as he referenced trains currently terminating in Springfield running to Boston when they were asked about what could happen in the near term. Plus - with no offense to Pittsfield - tying Hartford into Boston is likely going to generate more ridership than extension out to Pittsfield. I believe Pittsfield is eventually going to be tied in via Albany service but I think priority one is going to be the line between Springfield and Boston (as its needed for any improvement.) Pittsfield requires an additional investment.
  by Greg Moore
 
Unless something has changed, the "sold-out" status of the Berkshire Flyer is a bit of a lie.

Wht I've been seeing (and jives with numbers I've seen elsewhere) is that the NYP-ALB segment is sold out, which on a late afternoon Friday makes a lot of sense.
But the ALB-PIT segment is far from sold out. For example, right now I see it's only 20% full for this weekend. (vs 90% for the NYP-ALB segment)
That said, even if that number is true, that number isn't terrible a I believe they're running either 4 or 5 coaches plus the empty cafe car. Assuming it's 4, that's nearly a full car and over 50 passengers. I suspect they're somehow not counting the entire train though.

That said, recently the Empire State Passenger Assoc had a post on FB giving a suggestion for Sunday round trips, to ride out in the morning spend a few hours and then back on the LSL.

Honestly, at $30/trip (including bike charge), I've been giving it some thought to biking to Pittsfield and taking the train back to get in a decent ride and some scenery.

One smart thing they did by the 2nd or 3rd week was open the dead-head ride back to paying passengers.
  by west point
 
2 more trains RT BOS <> ALB would really open up the berkshires to persons who did not want to drive if last mile transportation can be found. But more impostantly at least one and maybe both will give connections both north and south at Springfield. Persons west of Back Bay can take MBTA to Wocester to connect and all points west.

The problems among others will be equipment availability, necessary restoration of sections or all of 2nd main track, eventual eliminating slow sections one at a time, building / restoring stations, platforms that are ADA compliant, nimbys.
  by lordsigma12345
 
They would likely double track east of Springfield. I’m addition to the two RTs they’re also talking inland route service - which would add additional trains east of Springfield. I would agree that it may not be necessary west of Springfield.
  by west point
 
lordsigma12345 wrote: Mon Aug 29, 2022 6:05 pm They would likely double track east of Springfield. . I would agree that it may not be necessary west of Springfield.
IMO that seems reasonable. For west of Springfield would like to know length of sidings and how far apart in train times both passenger and freight.
  by NHV 669
 
There's 27 miles of double iron between CP 123 and CP 150, and a 25,000 foot siding in Chatham.
  by Arborwayfan
 
lordsigma12345 wrote:I would agree that it may not be necessary west of Springfield.
About 15 years ago I was on the LSL eastbound and we had to wait a really long time--like half an hour--for a westbound freight to come upgrade on single track. I think the conductor told us it was something like 17 miles. That was the only time it happened to me, but that can't happen to a short-distance train or it'll ruin the credibility of the service. Whether it would be cheaper to avoid that kind of delay by double-tracking, adding sidings, or simply paying CSX enough money to delay it's own trains in all such situations, I have no idea.
west point wrote:Persons west of Back Bay can take MBTA to Worcester to connect and all points west.
Or Framingham. Wouldn't Inland Route and Pittsfield/Albany-Boston trains stop at Framingham like the LSL?
Safetee wrote:if it comes to pass, it's definitely looking to be the foot in the door for an inland route alternative to the shoreline in case of flooding etc in rhode island.
Good point. Even with the sea levels and hurricane frequencies/strengths of a century ago, the shore line has been blocked by actual ships before now. I remember reading about a crash between a train and a schooner, I think in the 1800s.

Question: Isn't Amtrak planning to order some semi-permanently coupled trainsets? Would it be possible to order that kind of equipment made in such a way that trains could combine/divide at Springfield, so that an Albany route train and an Inland Route train could be one train from Springfield to Boston, without requiring a lengthy brake check?
  by cle
 
I would expect that the first iteration of this will be extending some Regionals from Springfield to Boston (from WAS/NYP) - but then 2tpd Albany-Boston seems the plan on top of that. Hopefully timed with NYP-ALB arrivals on to interesting places and position Albany as something of a 'scissor hub'.
  by Railjunkie
 
While the B&A is not as busy as it once was has anyone asked CSX how they feel about all this new service? How about Keolis? I'm sure they would like to know also. Has anyone on here ever been stuck behind a CSX freight on its knees climbing the mountain out of Pittsfield or Worcester because the pencil jockeys said its enough HP on the head end to get the train over the road, done the B&A shuffle? CSX really does not care if we are on time or not, watched just a few weeks ago as the MTO melted down as he watched both a very late 449 and Berkshire Flyer get screwed by a freight switching in Pittsfield.
  by STrRedWolf
 
NHV 669 wrote: Tue Aug 30, 2022 8:12 am There's 27 miles of double iron between CP 123 and CP 150, and a 25,000 foot siding in Chatham.
How long is their longest freight train?

Longer than 25,000 feet? Nope, double-track it more.
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