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#41 cpotisch

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 10:45 AM

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.

Yep. CTRail tickets can be used on the Springfield Shuttle and Regionals, and any Amtrak ticket (for travel between New Haven and Springfield, of course) can be used on CTRail.


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


#42 lordsigma

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 03:19 PM

 

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.

 

I would suspect the Amtrak move will be tied to the opening of the high level platform. An Amtrak VP was quoted in 2016 on that they would move when that platform opens - makes sense as the current setup is easier for the agents to help with the low level platforms.



#43 lordsigma

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 03:23 PM

 

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).

Springfield has Amtrak agents only that can sell only Amtrak tickets (as I said the price is the same but only the Amtrak discounts apply not CTrail.) CTrail does have a superior senior discount so you'll want to use the CTrail machines on the lower level.

 

CTrail uses only kiosks for ticketing. The only station they staff is New Haven Union and I don't know if the CTrail staff there sell tickets or if its just information/boarding help. The CTrail counter is in the same room as the Amtrak information desk.

 

Hartford and Springfield are staffed by Amtrak.


Edited by lordsigma, 10 October 2018 - 03:25 PM.


#44 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 06:15 PM

Can I use cash in the kiosks?

 

Also, for Shore Line East, can I get a ticket from New Haven to New London from a ticket agent, or do I have to use a kiosk again?

 

Sorry to switch the topic to Shore Line East, but I don't want to be stuck in New Haven without a way to get a ticket north!



#45 lordsigma

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 07:01 PM

Can I use cash in the kiosks?

 

Also, for Shore Line East, can I get a ticket from New Haven to New London from a ticket agent, or do I have to use a kiosk again?

 

Sorry to switch the topic to Shore Line East, but I don't want to be stuck in New Haven without a way to get a ticket north!

I think you can. if you ever couldn't Amtrak agent is the other option for cash. Given its commuter prices on the line the price difference due to the differing senior discounts is going to be tiny if you end up wanting to buy from the Amtrak agent.


Edited by lordsigma, 10 October 2018 - 07:02 PM.


#46 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 07:48 PM

Oh drat, I have messed up this Saturday completely. You are all absolutely right--there's practically nothing going north to Springfield. I can't take the Amtrak shuttle (the best choice) because I can't get into my email on the hotel computers so can't buy a ticket online, which leaves me just with a ridiculously early CTrail that gets there around 9:45. Then I can buy a ticket back on the Amtrak shuttle, but the only decent one is at 5:20.

 

I was hoping to just run up there for a few hours and sneak away again, but with that schedule, it looks like I will be there all day!

 

I am a bit concerned about being in Springfield on a weekend morning for a couple of hours before the meeting. Is it safe? Is there anywhere to get breakfast (I see a gazillion Dunkin Donuts on the map, but is there anything else?)

 

There's another possibility--get CTrail going south from Windsor to Hartford around 10:30, then buy a ticket for the northbound Amtrak shuttle, which gets to Springfield around 12:20, which would be perfect--I wouldn't have to hang around Springfield. However, Hartford is not great, either, and I don't know if it would be easy to find where the shuttle goes from--I don't want to be stuck in Hartford because I can't find the right track! What do you guys think? I don't really want to miss the meeting, not after promising everyone I would go and let them know what it's like!

 

Southbound in the evening, I don't see any choice except the 5:20.

 

Any and all advice will be welcome--thanks! :)


Edited by Mystic River Dragon, 11 October 2018 - 07:51 PM.


#47 jebr

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 08:03 PM

If you call in, you may be able to explain the situation to the conductor on board, and they could manually lift your ticket. I know sometimes they'll do that at quiet stations already (when I took the shuttle to New Haven from Wallingford, the conductor didn't even look at our ticket, just checked us off on her phone.) If you have ID, they should be able to look up your reservation on their phone even without a ticket (though if there's any way to get access to your email to print, that would be best.)



#48 daybeers

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 10:05 PM

I believe you can buy tickets for Shuttle trains from the CTrail ticket machines.

 

I'm taking the Shuttle #450 HFD–SPG 9:35–10:13 AM so I can get a look at the renovated Springfield station. I haven't been up there in about two years actually! I was originally going to take Shuttle #460, but that gets in at 12:18 PM, so I thought might as well be on time to the meeting and get to check out the station. I can't speak to the amenities or safety in and around SPG, but as far as HFD goes, it'll be during the day, so you should be fine. If you go down into the station or outside, there might be a couple people who ask for money, but that's really it. That may not even happen considering it would be a weekend morning.

 

It's pretty difficult to get on the wrong platform considering there is only one track and one platform in service. :giggle: However, has anyone noticed that at HFD the stairs to the old track 2 platform (now chained off so someone can't walk onto the viaduct) are still open? On the south end of the station next to Asylum Avenue, it looks like they were even renovated with a coat of paint and new LED lighting!?! But all the stairs do is take you to the wrong track, so you have to go back down, into the station, and back up the stairs on the other side to get to the track 1 platform.

 

I'm also taking #467 back to HFD.


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)

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#49 lordsigma

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 06:25 AM

Oh drat, I have messed up this Saturday completely. You are all absolutely right--there's practically nothing going north to Springfield. I can't take the Amtrak shuttle (the best choice) because I can't get into my email on the hotel computers so can't buy a ticket online, which leaves me just with a ridiculously early CTrail that gets there around 9:45. Then I can buy a ticket back on the Amtrak shuttle, but the only decent one is at 5:20.

 

I was hoping to just run up there for a few hours and sneak away again, but with that schedule, it looks like I will be there all day!

 

I am a bit concerned about being in Springfield on a weekend morning for a couple of hours before the meeting. Is it safe? Is there anywhere to get breakfast (I see a gazillion Dunkin Donuts on the map, but is there anything else?)

 

There's another possibility--get CTrail going south from Windsor to Hartford around 10:30, then buy a ticket for the northbound Amtrak shuttle, which gets to Springfield around 12:20, which would be perfect--I wouldn't have to hang around Springfield. However, Hartford is not great, either, and I don't know if it would be easy to find where the shuttle goes from--I don't want to be stuck in Hartford because I can't find the right track! What do you guys think? I don't really want to miss the meeting, not after promising everyone I would go and let them know what it's like!

 

Southbound in the evening, I don't see any choice except the 5:20.

 

Any and all advice will be welcome--thanks! :)

Either call Amtrak or book online and then just have the conductor look you up if you can't get to your email - I've seen this done several times. If all else fails and you can't pre-book it dont bother going back to Hartford or take a crazy early train just board the one you want in Windsor and buy from the Amtrak conductor. While it will be a little bit higher fare, Windsor to Springfield is normally only $4.75 so it shouldn't be bad. If you ever did want to spend the day in Springfield there is the new casino where you can kill time and some good restaurants. 

 

Some excellent pretty well known choices:
- Red Rose Pizzeria (Italian)

- Theodore's Tavern (BBQ/Pub)

- Chef Wayne' Big Mamou (Cajun)

- Student Prince (German)

 

Additionally the casino has some choices as well. The casino also has a movie theatre that would also help with killing time.


Edited by lordsigma, 12 October 2018 - 06:39 AM.


#50 lordsigma

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 06:36 AM

I believe you can buy tickets for Shuttle trains from the CTrail ticket machines.

 
You can but Windsor/Windsor Locks still don't have the machines which I'm guessing is the root of her problem. The procedure there is you buy on the train if its CTrail (no penalty) and you prebuy using online or phone for Amtrak (or buy on board for a surcharge.)

Edited by lordsigma, 12 October 2018 - 12:02 PM.

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#51 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 07:20 AM

Thanks to all of you!

 

I will either get the early CTrail up and walk around Springfield a bit or get the later one down to Hartford and the shuttle back up. I have to change trains in Trenton, NJ, every time I commute, and Hartford can't be worse than that, so I should be ok.

 

Is there a real person to buy a shuttle ticket back from at Springfield? If not, then I will definitely go to Hartford and get both tickets. (They still have real live agents there, right?)

 

I asked the Amtrak conductor on the shuttle on the way here the other day, and he said you can't buy a ticket on the shuttle. But maybe he thought I meant CTrail, and not Amtrak.

 

(P.S.--lordsigma, it may just have been a typo above, or you might not know, but I am a "her" not "his"--I'm a lady in my mid-60s, and my real name is Patty. :))


Edited by Mystic River Dragon, 12 October 2018 - 07:23 AM.

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#52 cpotisch

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 11:05 AM

I could be misunderstanding the issue, but why can't you just book your ticket on your phone or whatever device you're using to post? Or just buy a Hartford Line ticket and use it on the Shuttle, since they are cross honored?


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


#53 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 11:39 AM

cpotisch--

 

When I travel, I use the hotel computers to get into AU, and that is fine.

 

However, I used to be able to get into my Google email, too, from hotel computers, especially ones in places I've stayed before, but Google won't let you in now unless you post a number to your phone (and I do not have a smartphone) or answer a security question (and I certainly can't remember the answers that I came up with years ago, assuming I'd never need them). So I can't get into my email to have Amtrak send me a ticket, which I didn't think of before I left home, and the Amtrak conductor told me I couldn't buy one on the shuttle.

 

By the way, I finally arrived in the 20th century after a lot of kicking and screaming. And I am darned if I am going to go all smartphony and millennially and join the 21st! :giggle: I also don't have a computer or Ipad or any of that stuff--just a lot of extra clutter to have to carry around--I travel very light. But it sure does lead to some inconvenience sometimes. :)

 

I'll probably just get the early CTrail up and then just ask them at the station in Springfield what to do for the way back.

 

A lot depends on the weather, too--it's supposed to rain, but not sure when. Didn't bring an umbrella, either, but that's easy enough to pick up at the CVS near the station if it's bad enough to need one. :)

 

Just as an aside, I'm glad to see the Student Prince is still there--my cousins took me to that about 40 years ago! It was good then--hope it still is and is doing a good business!


Edited by Mystic River Dragon, 12 October 2018 - 11:42 AM.


#54 cpotisch

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 11:42 AM

I'll probably just get the early CTrail up and then just ask them at the station in Springfield what to do for the way back.

Sorry, but why can't you just get a CTrail ticket, which doesn't require email, and then take a Shuttle?


Edited by cpotisch, 12 October 2018 - 11:43 AM.

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


#55 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 11:46 AM

I think our posts crossed. :)

 

The station I'm boarding at (Windsor, CT) does not yet have a ticket machine, and the Amtrak conductor on the shuttle up said I cannot buy a CTrail ticket on the shuttle, so there's no way to get one from where I am. Which means to get a CTrail ticket on a train, I have to take CTrail, not the Amtrak shuttle.

 

Of course I'm hoping I can do that at Springfield and use it on the way back to Windsor.

 

Right now, I'd better go see if the hotel shuttle is available to take me to and from Windsor tomorrow, or the whole thing is off anyway!


Edited by Mystic River Dragon, 12 October 2018 - 11:52 AM.

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#56 cpotisch

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 11:50 AM

I think our posts crossed. :)

 

The station I'm boarding at (Windsor, CT) does not yet have a ticket machine, and the Amtrak conductor on the shuttle up said I cannot buy a CTrail ticket on the shuttle, so there's no way to get one from where I am. Which means to get a CTrail ticket on a train, I have to take CTrail, not the Amtrak shuttle.

 

Of course I'm hoping I can do that at Springfield and use it on the way back to Windsor.

Ohhhhhhhhh. Well in that case I'm completely out of ideas. :(


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


#57 lordsigma

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 11:58 AM

Mystic River Dragon I was not aware many apologies and I will correct my post, sorry for assuming!

You can buy Amtrak tickets on the shuttle but not for the normal fare. Springfield and Hartford are staffed stations and also both have the CTrail kiosk - so there you can buy from either the kiosk or the Amtrak agent. Note that as some have said you can use a ctrail ticket in on any Amtrak on the line except Vermonter and can use an Amtrak ticket on CTrail. Only difference is the Amtrak tickets are still technically reserved on a single train so if you want to ride a different train with that ticket you are supposed to change it as you would any other Amtrak ticket (there is no charge.)

Note that at Springfield the CTrail kiosk is in the new station ground level. The Amtrak ticket counter is in the old Amtrak station next track 8.

I am a high tech IT guy but I can relate! I prefer doing business with live people despite working In technology - I purchase 90% of my tickets at the counter in Springfield (except when I’m using AGR points which you still cannot redeem in station.)

It’s probably too late now but the surcharge you would have paid to the Amtrak conductor is probably the same or less than what you had to pay to go back down to Hartford.

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


#58 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 12:12 PM

That's okay, lordsigma--apologies accepted! :) Also, thanks for the information about buying tickets on the shuttle--perhaps that was what the conductor was trying to tell me, and I misunderstood.

 

The hotel said of course their shuttle will take me and pick me up, so I've booked it to take me to Windsor at 8:30 tomorrow morning. I'll either get the CTrail or have breakfast in Windsor and get the Amtrak shuttle that comes half an hour or so later.

 

Thank you all--that was the last series of questions, I promise! My head is spinning from all the information! :P

 

Thank goodness there are more trains to New Haven--I've been figuring out Sunday's trip to Mystic, and there seem to be a number of options for that, including decent connections to Shore Line East. (Only problem with Mystic is that it is supposed to rain all day Monday! I will be visiting very happy sea lions and seals at the aquarium! :P)



#59 lordsigma

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 05:33 PM

The weekday schedule for the Hartford Line is superior all around to the weekend schedule.
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#60 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 05:40 PM

Yes, definitely! That's why I was surprised to find a few choices for Sunday!


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