Meeting in Springfield, MA regarding possible Massachusetts East-West Corridor

Discussion in 'Rail Advocacy Forum' started by lordsigma, Mar 7, 2019.

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  1. Mar 7, 2019 #1

    lordsigma

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    lordsigma

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    For those interested there is a public meeting on Tuesday March 12 next week in Springfield, MA for a study on a possible new rail corridor between Pittsfield and Boston, MA with stops in Springfield and Palmer.
     
    The meeting is at 6 pm at the Umass Center room 014 at Tower Square in downtown Springfield for anyone interested.
     
    It has yet to be decided whether this will be an Amtrak corridor or an MBTA service or otherwise. Amtrak does have a rep on the study committee.
     
    (Moderator note: I was unsure which discussion group to place this in - please relocate if I was in error placing this here. I placed it here is it could end up being an Amtrak corridor but could also be operated by MBTA.)
     
  2. Mar 7, 2019 #2

    daybeers

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    There is more info here and here. I would like to go and was going to take Shuttle #474 north from Hartford, but I don't really want to spend an hour and 50 minutes waiting around in Springfield for CTrail #4415. I have a UPass, meaning it's free, but it's not important enough for me that I'd drive there. If anyone will be driving through the Hartford area on their way to this please let me know!
     
  3. Mar 7, 2019 #3

    Just-Thinking-51

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    Why do these groups not include Albany in there plans?  Good Connection to NYC, West, and North. Seem a good match even if the MBTA runs it.
     
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  4. Mar 7, 2019 #4

    daybeers

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    There are steep mountains between Springfield/Pittsfield and ALB, so the car or bus will always be faster than the train. Plus, it would be a huge amount of money either way. Nobody lives there anyway :giggle: On the other hand, there is a lot of demand between BOS, WOR, & SPG, and the infrastructure is in much better shape for passenger rail.
     
  5. Mar 7, 2019 #5

    lordsigma

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    Going to Albany hasn’t been ruled out in fact Amtrak’s rep on the advisory committee has recommended they consider making it an Albany - Boston corridor. This study will come up with six alternatives and an advisory committee of stakeholders will make recommendations to MassDOT on which direction to go. MassDOT and the governor’s administration will ultimately make the final decision as to the conclusions of the study ( one of the alternatives or no-build.) some assume this is just an exercise and that a no build recommendation is inevitable due to the State government’s historical tendency to neglect the western-most part of the state and prioritizing infrastructure improvements in the more affluent eastern most areas of the state and Metro Boston but maybe this will be different I am cautiously optimistic as there seems to be a major desire on the committee to come up with an alternative that works.
     
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  6. Mar 7, 2019 #6

    Just-Thinking-51

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    If your train is going to Pittsfield, then you need to keep going to Albany.  If Massachusetts runs the new service from Boston to Springfield that would make sense.  Would not make sense to stop at Pittsfield and not keep going to Albany.  The connection of different trains make the system work.  Running a spur just so you can cover the western portion of the state is transparent politics.
     
  7. Mar 7, 2019 #7

    lordsigma

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    I agree. 8 round trips between SPG and BOS is what they’d like to see. I was going to write a suggestion to have half the trains be ALB-BOS and half be full inland route trains from new haven timed to maximize SPG-BOS service.
     
  8. Mar 7, 2019 #8

    lordsigma

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    Also to correct my original post, stops planned are Pittsfield, Springfield, Palmer, Worcester, and Framingham
     
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  9. Mar 7, 2019 #9

    lordsigma

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    Downtown Springfield doesn’t get a fair rap. There are some great restaurants in Springfield where you could kill the hour and 50 waiting for your ctrail. Let me know if you’d like suggestions.
     
  10. Mar 7, 2019 #10

    Just-Thinking-51

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    Casino should be open.  Long walk with baggage, easy without.
     
  11. Mar 7, 2019 #11

    Just-Thinking-51

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    Glad to see there aim for 8.  However the rule of 10 is still in effect.  Not sure about the split part.  Sound good, but is it really need? Ten trains a day is the tip over point for a real transit option.  California proved that.  Give me 5 each direction ever day between Albany and Boston, see ridership grow.

    Split to New Haven seem redundant with the CT rail option.   Mix feelings with the problem CT-Rail is having. Could be done, but should it?
     
  12. Mar 8, 2019 #12

    neroden

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    In addition to the connectivity, which adds a lot of passengers, it makes servicing and handling a lot easier if the end of the run is a serious station like Albany and not a middle-of-nowhere stop like Pittsfield.

    FYI, I'd probably end up using some of these trains if they made it to Albany and if any of them connected with any of the upstate Empire Service trains.  I have to travel to western Mass. intermittently, and right now the LSL is my only option.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2019
  13. Mar 8, 2019 #13

    Anderson

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    There seem to be a series of tip-over points as you go along (for example, the third Charlotte-Raleigh frequency led to a major spike in ridership on the route above and beyond what you might expect), but I can see 10/day being a key point.

    I agree that simply running through to Albany makes sense, if only from being able to share facilities with New York (even if they need expansion) rather than having to build something new at Pittsfield.  It won't make or break the service, but there's probably at least some market to be had from adding a few stops along that line on some of the frequency.
     
  14. Mar 8, 2019 #14

    cpotisch

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    Not to mention the fact that Pittsfield station consists of just one side platform and track. Even if PIT wasn't in the middle of nowhere, that is pretty much the worst possible layout for any sort of terminus.
     
  15. Mar 9, 2019 #15

    Skyline

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    Frequent ALB>BOS service would make elimination of 448/449 a logical step.  So long as the "frequent" schedule includes two reasonable connection options east and west -- one within an hour, the other perhaps a couple hours later -- this would probably work logistically. It would also free up equipment and eliminate delays when 448/449 fail to connect in a timely manner to 48/49 at ALB.  However ... it would force pax to change trains, and ride on less desirable equipment BOS>ALB, which might depress certain ridership (but would the increased frequency more than make up for that?). It would also end sleeper service BOS>ALB, which is sometimes cancelled abruptly now anyway.

    There are definitely pro's and con's to this.
     
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  16. Mar 9, 2019 #16

    Mystic River Dragon

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    I can't get up there for this meeting, but I would be very interested in what you learn from it, since I am often in central CT, and it would be nice to have expanded travel options up there.
     
  17. Mar 11, 2019 #17

    Skyline

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    If whatever is decided upon doesn't include Albany, it will fail. Albany is a good termination point in and of itself, but more importantly it's a gateway to the rest of the national system. 

    So what route BOS>ALB makes the most sense? The one with most potential pax. Requires studies.
     
  18. Mar 20, 2019 at 6:58 PM #18

    neroden

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    Any reports from the meeting?
     

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