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#21 lordsigma

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 08:04 AM

 

It is the closest station, however CTDOT decided against a shuttle from the Windsor Locks station and instead decided that shuttle service between Hartford station, the Hartford convention center, and Bradley airport was a better option - the extreme limitations of the present Windsor Locks station is one of the reasons for the decision if I recall correctly (although there are others as well - namely an additional desire was having a convention center shuttle.) This decision was criticized by many although CTDOT has defended it saying their research stated that a Hartford shuttle was the way to go. Supposedly they are going to reconsider the matter once a new Windsor Locks station is built - if they did it would be a second shuttle and not affect the current service.

I imagine they charge for that shuttle to Hartford.  If they ran one to Windsor Locks, it is short enough to be a complimentary ride.  Maybe.

Do they also run a shuttle to Springfield from Bradley?   I haven't been to Bradley in about 20 years...and that was on a diverted flight, that remained on the ramp, until it was cleared to JFK...

 

I do not know of a Shuttle from Springfield to Bradley unless the local Springfield bus authority, PVTA, operates one. It's also possible Peter Pan Bus Lines might run something but I do not know of anything. The Hartford Shuttle which I think they call the Bradley Flyer is the only one I know of.



#22 lordsigma

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 08:17 AM

Oops--when I said Windsor Locks is away from everything, I was being very self-centered and just thinking it is away from where my relatives live--Windsor is much closer to them. I forgot all about the airport and Hartford. :blush:

 

One more question--and I'm sure a foolish one, but I just don't remember--you can still only board Windsor on one side, right? There is no track on the other side going north? So when I want to go north to Springfield for the RUN meeting, I should be on the same platform as when I go south?

You may be boarding on either side. If they're running both the tracks when you go to Springfield it will probably be on the new track 2 platform. If they have one track closed at the time it could be either one.

 

One thing to be aware also that I forgot about - I haven't heard if the WIndsor and WIndsor Locks CTrail ticket machines are installed yet (last I knew they were not.) If they still have not yet been installed then you need to take special attention to which operator you are boarding at Windsor - if it is a CTrail train then you'll simply board and buy the ticket from the conductor (you will not be surcharged since you are boarding at a TVM-less station) if it's Amtrak you need to pre-purchase a normal Amtrak ticket to avoid an onboard surcharge - although Amtrak accepts them, the Amtrak conductors cannot sell CTrail tickets - unless you are using a CTrail discount the Amtrak fare will be the exact same as a CTrail fare as long as you pre-purchase it using any of Amtrak's purchasing methods - NOTE THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO VERMONTER - VERMONTER DOES NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE COMMUTER RAIL. You can even do it at the last minute on the platform using Amtrak.com, the Amtrak app, or by dialing a phone agent - or you may pre-purchase those legs at a staffed station/Quik Trak machine if you prefer (New Haven Union, Hartford, and Springfield are the staffed Amtrak stations on the line.) The fares for the Shuttles and the Regional through trains to Springfield between New Haven and Springfield are flat and the same as the commuter rail and there are no buckets so you can buy at the last minute before you board.

 

As mentioned, the Vermonter is excluded from the program - if you are going to ride it at any point during your travels it is heavily recommended you pre-purchase that leg ASAP since it is still subject to increasing fare buckets between New Haven and Springfield and it also does not make all the stops on the line (It does not stop at Windsor.)


Edited by lordsigma, 07 October 2018 - 08:32 AM.

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#23 cpotisch

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 01:35 PM

 

 

It is the closest station, however CTDOT decided against a shuttle from the Windsor Locks station and instead decided that shuttle service between Hartford station, the Hartford convention center, and Bradley airport was a better option - the extreme limitations of the present Windsor Locks station is one of the reasons for the decision if I recall correctly (although there are others as well - namely an additional desire was having a convention center shuttle.) This decision was criticized by many although CTDOT has defended it saying their research stated that a Hartford shuttle was the way to go. Supposedly they are going to reconsider the matter once a new Windsor Locks station is built - if they did it would be a second shuttle and not affect the current service.

I imagine they charge for that shuttle to Hartford.  If they ran one to Windsor Locks, it is short enough to be a complimentary ride.  Maybe.

Do they also run a shuttle to Springfield from Bradley?   I haven't been to Bradley in about 20 years...and that was on a diverted flight, that remained on the ramp, until it was cleared to JFK...

 

I do not know of a Shuttle from Springfield to Bradley unless the local Springfield bus authority, PVTA, operates one. It's also possible Peter Pan Bus Lines might run something but I do not know of anything. The Hartford Shuttle which I think they call the Bradley Flyer is the only one I know of.

 

Yeah, I did some looking and haven't been able to find any. 


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome


#24 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 11:43 AM

Thanks for the information, everyone. :)

 

I arrived at Windsor on the shuttle--train 170 was running on time, and shuttle 470 was right there waiting for it across the platform.

 

The shuttle had engine 119, but I was extremely disappointed that the coach I was in (and the other one, too, I assume, although I did not get a good look) was the regular one with the new seats, not the cute one I was in last winter (the one that looked like the old Keystone ones with the facing seats in the middle). Nice conductor, as I've always found up here.

 

We came in on track 2, which was not there last winter, and waited for the gates to come up so we could cross to the station side. Same type of setup as Mystic, which I've done a lot, so it was familiar.

 

On the station side, there is construction going on at the parking lot end, but other than that, nothing that gets in the way of passengers boarding or detraining. No ticket machines yet.

 

I saw the CTrail engines up close (not the rest of the consist--I wasn't by the window, so didn't get a good look). I stick to my original impression--the engines, at least, do look spiffy :P. Now whether or not they can get me to Springfield and back will be a task for next weekend. :P


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#25 cpotisch

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 12:08 PM

The shuttle had engine 119, but I was extremely disappointed that the coach I was in (and the other one, too, I assume, although I did not get a good look) was the regular one with the new seats, not the cute one I was in last winter (the one that looked like the old Keystone ones with the facing seats in the middle). Nice conductor, as I've always found up here.

The Shuttle always runs with one ex-Metroliner cab car and in most cases a standard Amfleet I coach. These cab cars are also used on the Keystones. So it just sounds like this time you were seated in the standard coach and last winter you were in the cab car.


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome


#26 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 12:11 PM

Oh drat. I should have just kept walking through to the other car....thanks, cpotisch.


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#27 cpotisch

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 12:13 PM

Oh drat. I should have just kept walking through to the other car....thanks, cpotisch.

You're welcome. At least you'll know for next time! :)


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome


#28 daybeers

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 03:04 PM

Mystic, what do you mean about the seats facing each other? My assumption was both cars had half of the seats facing forwards and half facing backwards so the crew could do a quick turnaround if they needed to without having to flip the seats. Also, I believe all Amfleet I cars have been through the "refreshment" program, i.e. LED lighting, new seat cushions, new carpeting, new curtains in the BC cars, redesigned galleys, new bathroom floors, etc. by now, as the target completion date for all 450 cars was this past summer. It is an Amtrak project, though, so who knows... :unsure: :giggle: :help:

 

Also, thanks for the updates on the service and Windsor! I agree, the CTrail paint looks spiffy! I'm too young to remember the NH days, so I wasn't all that upset when I found out that was going away. I can see how some are nostalgic though.

 

I still haven't gotten around to taking one of the CTrail trains! I've taken the Shuttle numerous times and did one round trip in July, but just on the Shuttle. When I go to the RUN meeting this Saturday (yes, it's confirmed that I'm going!), I won't even take a CTrail train :(


Edited by daybeers, 08 October 2018 - 03:10 PM.

Amtrak travel so far: only 11,218 miles: Springfield Shuttle (13), Northeast Regional (28), Acela (1), Lake Shore Limited (2), Pennsylvanian (2), Capitol Limited (1)

Ambus mileage (3 trips): 108

Other rail transit: WMATA (~900 miles), Metro-North, MTA, MBTA (Subway and Commuter Rail), Metra, CTA, RTA


#29 lordsigma

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 03:55 PM

Amtrak carries 75% of the service north of Hartford and most of the travel times you’d ever want to ride. I’m a frequent rider originating at SPG and I’ve only been on the CTrail trains twice. Part of this is because Amtrak added 3 round trips as part of the program and they operate all theirs to SPG so CTrail only ended up doing 3 round trips to SPG.

I’m not complaining- the Amtrak trains are a much nicer ride and its nice to have the added Amtrak NEC connection options in New Haven.

Let us all know how the meeting in Springfield goes.

The one big thing CTrail has is the late departure out of Springfield so I guess they’d get all the casino goers (and I’m sure they had a decent showing from the Big E fair recently - the earlier Amtrak departure from SPG between 5-6 pm had a ton of passengers those Big E days.)

Edited by lordsigma, 08 October 2018 - 04:01 PM.

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#30 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 07:40 PM

daybeers--

 

There was a special type coach on the Keystones and on the CT shuttle that had a big space in the middle of the car, where the rows of backward and forward facing seats met, and it was the most spacious part of the train because there was so much legroom and open space.

 

lordsigma,

 

Yes, my cousin (who has no interest in trains at all) immediately said that the new commuter rail must be for the casino goers--she saw no other reason for it.


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#31 lordsigma

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 08:46 PM

 

Yes, my cousin (who has no interest in trains at all) immediately said that the new commuter rail must be for the casino goers--she saw no other reason for it.

I think the late night option is aimed at that - they actually should run it even later on weekends. CTrail does operate five additional round trips between New Haven and Hartford only, so if you are a south of Hartford commuter you are more likely to ride a Ctrail train than a north of Hartford commuter. 


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#32 lordsigma

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 08:52 PM

daybeers--

 

There was a special type coach on the Keystones and on the CT shuttle that had a big space in the middle of the car, where the rows of backward and forward facing seats met, and it was the most spacious part of the train because there was so much legroom and open space.

All the Shuttle cars have seats facing both ways because they all operate push-pull. I believe only some of them have that super leg room spot in the middle I saw it on one of my trains today - if Im remembering right some of the cars have the front and rear facing sections facing away from each other rather than towards each other (and as a result no super leg room spot at the transition point.) I think there might be a broken cab car in the Shuttle fleet right now as I've been seeing one of the trainsets operate with a second Genesis loco in front of the cab car a couple times recently including today.


Edited by lordsigma, 08 October 2018 - 09:05 PM.

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#33 cpotisch

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 09:29 PM

 

daybeers--

 

There was a special type coach on the Keystones and on the CT shuttle that had a big space in the middle of the car, where the rows of backward and forward facing seats met, and it was the most spacious part of the train because there was so much legroom and open space.

All the Shuttle cars have seats facing both ways because they all operate push-pull. I believe only some of them have that super leg room spot in the middle I saw it on one of my trains today - if Im remembering right some of the cars have the front and rear facing sections facing away from each other rather than towards each other (and as a result no super leg room spot at the transition point.) I think there might be a broken cab car in the Shuttle fleet right now as I've been seeing one of the trainsets operate with a second Genesis loco in front of the cab car a couple times recently including today.

So two 4,250 hp locomotives on a two car train? Life is funny.  ^_^


Edited by cpotisch, 09 October 2018 - 01:42 AM.

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Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome


#34 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 08:34 AM

I will have a chance to see both ends of the CTrail route. When I take it to the RUN meeting, I'll see it from Windsor to Springfield.

 

Then, when I go to Mystic, I will take it from Windsor to New Haven and switch to Shore Line East, so I will see the southern part of the route.

 

Both days will be on the weekend, though, so might not be truly representative.


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#35 lordsigma

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 08:04 PM

I’m sure you saw the new signs at Windsor station. ( I saw them
Yesterday) when you head to SPG you’ll get on at track 2.

Did you notice the high speed 110 mph on your way up on the Shuttle?

When you ride your CTrail to SPG you’ll buy from the conductor (no surcharge.) On your way back from Springfield I’m assuming it’s a Shuttle? If so you can either buy from the CTrail kiosk or the Amtrak window (it’ll be the same price either way unless using a CTrail discount.)

Edited by lordsigma, 09 October 2018 - 08:12 PM.


#36 bratkinson

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 08:23 PM

I rode #141 from WNL this AM and am presently on shuttle #412 coming into Meriden.  I didn't check using the GPS on my cell phone, but from looking out the window, I think the fastest we went in either direction is the usual 79mph. 

 

But I just now turned on the GPS app on my cell phone 5-6 mins after leaving Meriden.  We are now 'flying along' (per my cell phone GPS) at blazing 97mph!  For all of 1-2 minutes.  It's down to 75 as I am typing this as we're slowing for Berlin.  So this route must be like the Acela hitting 150mph...only in a few short stretches..

 

 

***FLASH***

 

Now presently slowing for a slow order 5 mins out of Berlin...my GPS shows highest speed hit since turned on...110MPH!!!!  Way to go Amtrak!!!


Edited by bratkinson, 09 October 2018 - 08:32 PM.

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#37 lordsigma

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 08:37 PM

 

 

Now presently slowing for a slow order 5 mins out of Berlin...my GPS shows highest speed hit since turned on...110MPH!!!!  Way to go Amtrak!!!

Don't think that's a slow order I think that's the Oakwood interlocking where they are shifting you over to the other track. I inquired about this the other day and that appears to be the current limit of the double track before Hartford. The stretch from Berlin to there is the 110 MPH section. Berlin to Meriden they can also hit 100. Meriden to Wallingford and Wallingford to North Haven also have 90 stretches. There are four total segments where there a sections with greater than 79 MPH speeds.


Edited by lordsigma, 09 October 2018 - 08:42 PM.

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#38 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 09:01 AM

Well, we did seem to be going fast--just a few minutes between those small stations! :)

 

Thanks for the ticket advice, and the track 2 advice, lordsigma. I will get the CTrail ticket on the train (senior discount, too! :)). I thought I would get a CTrail ticket from an agent in the station at Springfield--I'm assuming there is one there? Or do they use the Amtrak agent? Then I will have a choice of the CTrail train or the Amtrak shuttle back, depending on when I leave the RUN meeting (probably won't stay til the end, because I don't want to take a chance on the last train not running for some reason).

 

My other cousin who I saw yesterday (she's more into environmental stuff and preservation than her sister) drove me over to the original Windsor Locks station, which they do seem to have started restoring, at least cosmetically--plants outside, along with environmentally correct rainbarrels. Now whether that translates into working on the actual station and keeping it, who knows. :unsure: I took a few pictures of it (on my flip phone--please do not laugh) so I have them to look at or show in person but of course cannot post them.


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#39 bratkinson

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 10:19 AM

 

 

 

Now presently slowing for a slow order 5 mins out of Berlin...my GPS shows highest speed hit since turned on...110MPH!!!!  Way to go Amtrak!!!

Don't think that's a slow order I think that's the Oakwood interlocking where they are shifting you over to the other track. I inquired about this the other day and that appears to be the current limit of the double track before Hartford. The stretch from Berlin to there is the 110 MPH section. Berlin to Meriden they can also hit 100. Meriden to Wallingford and Wallingford to North Haven also have 90 stretches. There are four total segments where there a sections with greater than 79 MPH speeds.

 

 

I do recall taking a crossover somewhere on the shuttle last night, and it may well have been Oakwood.  Frankly, I'm surprised they could do it.  This past spring and into the summer, even the new track felt rough,  most likely from frost heave.  That's why I've been skeptical of hitting 110...that speed and higher on the NEC south of Philly will have you shaking, rattling, and rolling in an Amfleet car, especially business class at the end of the train.  Over the past 2 months or so, I did make a mental that things have smoothed down on that route, perhaps they ran a 'final' surfacing/leveling sometime in August or September.  About 2 months ago, I did see a Sperry car parked in Springfield near the former bulk mail to train transfer building.  But they're only looking for rail defects, not 'bounce', I think.    



#40 bratkinson

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 10:26 AM

Well, we did seem to be going fast--just a few minutes between those small stations! :)

 

Thanks for the ticket advice, and the track 2 advice, lordsigma. I will get the CTrail ticket on the train (senior discount, too! :)). I thought I would get a CTrail ticket from an agent in the station at Springfield--I'm assuming there is one there? Or do they use the Amtrak agent? Then I will have a choice of the CTrail train or the Amtrak shuttle back, depending on when I leave the RUN meeting (probably won't stay til the end, because I don't want to take a chance on the last train not running for some reason).

 

My other cousin who I saw yesterday (she's more into environmental stuff and preservation than her sister) drove me over to the original Windsor Locks station, which they do seem to have started restoring, at least cosmetically--plants outside, along with environmentally correct rainbarrels. Now whether that translates into working on the actual station and keeping it, who knows. :unsure: I took a few pictures of it (on my flip phone--please do not laugh) so I have them to look at or show in person but of course cannot post them.

 

A bit over a month ago, I had a couple hours to kill in the Springfield station having arrived on shuttle 470 and waiting for 449 to Chicago.  I park at WNL because it's free, and only a mile or so further than the Springfield station from my house.

 

It's much more interesting to kill time in the newly refurbished station area.  Lots of people walking by, etc.  I vaguely recall seeing 2 CTRail ticket machines along the west wall at the beginning of the tunnel, just past what will become the Amtrak ticket window.  I suspect Amtrak doesn't want to have those machines in the existing Amshack station as it will soon be vacated.   But then, I've been hearing/reading that for about a year already.

 

Edit:  I almost forgot...Amtrak will honor CTRail tickets on all trains except the Vermonter.  I think CTRail honors Amtrak tix between SPG  & NHV as well.  I know Amtrak dropped their ticket prices to match CTRail prices.  So, in all likelihood, Connecticut makes up the difference between the $5 or $10 ticket price and the 'regular' Amtrak cost when necessary.


Edited by bratkinson, 10 October 2018 - 10:30 AM.





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