I guess this is a start. This route does seem better than dropping down the old NECR towards NLC. However, it seems like it would still be lightly used. The good news is Pittsfield seems to be on board. This could lead to new activity on the old B&A route.
Please allow a brief fair use quote from Group: Best passenger rail route from Berkshires to NYC might be through Albany, to start
The Berkshire Flyer Working Group, led by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, had to get some possible routes nailed down so it could ask Amtrak to price it all out, something t
hat takes about six to eight weeks."Amtrak is not in the habit of giving ballpark figures," said Astrid Glynn, MassDOT's rail and transit director. "We need to sharpen what the request is."
After forming last summer under an economic development initiative sponsored by Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, the group has moved swiftly to analyze what Hinds says is a hungry seasonal travel market for work and leisure-related service.The group is collecting data, too, and will get more figures on how many Manhattan and New York metro area residents have second homes in Berkshire County, for instance. MassDOT did it for Pittsfield already: that's 212 people right there.
And Clete Kus, transportation program manager at the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, said he would have a similar analysis of Airbnb use in the Berkshires by New York City residents, and would also look into data from vacation rental sites like Homeaway.com.With a March 1 deadline to present its research and a possible plan to the Legislature, the group is getting into the nitty-gritty, like timing for Sunday evening service back to New York.
"There's a 4 p.m. departure at Albany," said Jay Green of the Berkshire Scenic Railway. "You could depart from Pittsfield at 3 p.m. for a 6:30 to 7 p.m. arrival at Penn [Station].""Later is better," Hinds said.
Perhaps this could a be a Friday-Sunday operation.
Edited by Thirdrail7, 02 December 2017 - 04:10 PM.