Posts Tagged ‘Boston section of Lake Shore Limited’

LSL Boston Section Canceled by Track Work

July 3, 2020

Track work being undertaken by MBTA in Massachusetts will result in the cancellation of the Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited between Boston and Albany-Rensselaer, New York, next week.

Between July 5 and July 11, passengers about Train No. 448 traveling to the intermediate stations in Massachusetts of Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester and Boston (South Station) will get off the train at Albany and ride a bus to their destination.

No alternative transportation is being provided to Framingham or Boston Back Bay station.

Passengers for Train 449 at the same intermediate stations will board a bus between July 6 and 12 to travel to Albany-Rensselaer, where they will board the train to continue their journey.

No alternate transportation will be provided from Boston Back Bay station or Framingham.

Passengers boarding at Boston South Station should go to the Amtrak Information Desk for instructions on boarding the buses.

Worcester passengers will board their bus at the main entrance in front of the station and not at the bus terminal.

No business class or sleeper class service will be provided for passengers traveling on Nos. 448 and 449 will be offered between Boston and Albany-Rensselaer.

Track Work to Disrupt Boston LSL Section

February 26, 2020

Track work being performed by host railroad MBTA will affect operations of the Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited on weekends between Feb. 29 and May 17.

Nos. 448 and 449 will not operate between Boston and Albany-Rensselaer, New York, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the period.

The service disruption will affect passengers traveling to and from the Massachusetts stations of Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester and Boston (South Station).

Alternative bus service will be provided between Boston and Albany.

However, no alternate transportation is being provided to the missed stop of Framingham. Passengers traveling to Boston Back Bay station will taken by bus to South Station or riding an MBTA or Amtrak train between those points.

Passengers at South Station should go to the Amtrak Information Desk for instructions on boarding the buses.

Worcester passengers will board the bus at the main entrance in front of the station. Boarding will not occur at the bus terminal.

During the service disruptions there will be no business class or sleeping car service on Nos. 448 and 449.

Mass. Rail Expansion Plan Has Costly Numbers

February 8, 2020

A study by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation estimates that expanding rail passenger service between Boston and the western region of the state could cost upwards of $25 billion.

However, the study drew fire from rail passenger advocates who questioned its methodology.

The study laid out six proposals. The lowest cost plan would be to increase service between Boston and Springfield and creating bus connections to Pittsfield.

That plan will cost an estimated $2 billion.

The high end proposal of $25 billion would create 150-mph high-speed service.

MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack described the cost estimates as “sobering” and said federal funding will be needed to “get this done.”

However, former Secretary of Transportation Jim Aloisi criticized the study as containing “questionable modeling” that he said is “unreliable and deliberately negative.”

The only Amtrak service currently linking Boston and the western region of the state is the Lake Shore Limited between Boston and Chicago.

New York LSL Passengers Have Limited Cafe Car Service

August 12, 2019

With the restoration of the Boston section of Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited coach passengers riding between New York and Albany, New York, no longer can buy food and beverages between those points.

The cafe car is part of the Boston section, which separates and combines with the New York section at the Albany-Rensselaer station.

The Boston section was suspended for six weeks earlier this year due to CSX track work.

That work was completed in mid July and the Boston section was reinstated. In the interim, passengers bound for points between Boston and Albany-Rensselaer traveled on a bus.

During the suspension of the Boston section, the cafe car, which also accommodates business class passengers, operated between New York and Chicago.

The Rail Passengers Association noted that during the Boston section suspension Amtrak assigned a full table cafe car to Nos. 48 and 49.

But now the cafe car has reverted to a split car with six tables of which at least two are often taken by the crew for their use.

RPA said it is pressing Amtrak to increase the number of tables available for use by coach passengers as well as providing food and beverage service to and from New York.

Boston LSL Section Resumes Ahead of Schedule

August 7, 2019

In case you missed it, Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited has resumed operating between Chicago and Boston.

The Boston section was suspended on May 20 due to CSX track work and reinstated on July 17.

During that time passengers were taken by bus between Boston and Albany-Rensselaer, New York.

The reinstatement was made two weeks earlier than planned, Amtrak said in a statement reported by the Boston Globe.

“The temporary suspension of train service was due to scheduled trackwork by our host railroad, CSX. This project did not have onboard components,” Amtrak said.

Amtrak Resumes Serving Springfield Union Station

June 13, 2019

Amtrak has resumed using the Union Station in Springfield, Massachusetts, following the completion of a station renovation project.

In a news release, Amtrak said that features of the station include passenger information display boards, train announcements and a customer service desk that is staffed from 5 a.m. to noon daily.

The depot also serves the CTrail New Haven-Hartford-Springfield line and various bus routes.’

Springfield is served by Amtrak’s Northeast Regional trains, the Lake Shore Limited and the Vermonter.

Amtrak had been using a temporary facility during the station upgrade project.

CSX Track Work Leads to Boston LSL Suspension

May 18, 2019

Track work being performed by CSX will result in the Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited being replaced with a charter bus on select dates between May 19 and Aug. 1.

The track work is being done between Sundays and Thursdays. On the affected dates, passengers will be transported by bus between Boston and Albany-Rensselaer, New York.

The dates involved are May 19-23, 27-30; June 2-6, 9-13, 16-20, 23-27, 30; July 1-3, 7-11, 14-18, 21-25, 28; and Aug. 1.

Passengers holding tickets on Train 448 for travel beyond Albany, will disembark at the Albany-Rensselaer station and board a bus for stations in Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester and Boston (South Station), Massachusetts on the above dates.

Boarding passengers at these stations will board a bus at the station for Trains 448 and 449.

No alternative transportation is being provided to Framingham, Massachusetts, or to Boston Back Bay Station, both scheduled stops for Nos. 448 and 449.

In a service advisory Amtrak said passengers traveling to or from Back Bay station should take an MBTA or Amtrak commuter train between Boston South Station and Back Bay.

Trains 448 and 449 will operate normally on May 26 (Memorial Day) and July 4 (Independence Day) when the track work will be on a holiday hiatus.

Passengers ticketed for No. 449 from Boston South Station should go to the Amtrak Information Desk for instructions on boarding the buses.

Passengers at Worcester will board the bus at the main entrance in front of the station and not at the bus terminal.

Amtrak said the Boston section will not have business class or sleeping car service during this time.

Boston-Springfield Proposal Gets Boost in Boston

May 9, 2019

A proposal to launch rail passenger service between Boston and Springfield, Massachusetts, got a boost when the Boston City Council approved a resolution in support of the service.

It was the first time the council had expressed support for the service, which would be operated by MBTA.

Council member Matt O’Malley, who offered the resolution, described the proposed service as having the potential to be transformative for both cities.

O’Malley said rail service to Springfield could directly address housing and environmental issues.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is currently studying the proposed service as part of its East-West Passenger Rail Study.

Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited currently operates between the two cities, but does not have a commuter friendly schedule.

LSL Cafe Car Tables Removed for Bike Racks

April 13, 2019

Amtrak has removed two of the six café car tables from the Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited in order to accommodate bicycles.

The space where the tables had been located in the Amfleet I café cars has been replaced by four bike racks.

Bicycles on the train had been stored in baggage car, but that car was removed earlier this year.

The café car operates between Chicago and Boston. The New York section of the Lake Shore continues to have a baggage car.

A report on the website of the Rail Passengers Association reported that one table was being used for a condiment display while another was reserved for the operating crew.

That left just eight seats for the six coach car passengers.

Berkshire Flyer Eyes May 2020 Launch

February 10, 2019

An effort to build another generation of visitors to the Berkshire mountains is behind an effort by Massachusetts officials to launch a pilot Amtrak service to western Massachusetts in 2020.

The plan is to have one of Amtrak’s Empire Service trains that now terminates at the Albany-Rensselaer, New York, station continue operating to Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

The target market for the service is primarily young couples ages 27 to 47 who live in the New York City metro area who don’t own cars and have a household income of more than $100,000.

“We’d love to see rail as an option for the next generation of Berkshire visitors,” said Jonathan Butler, co-chair of the Berkshire Flyer subcommittee and president and CEO of 1Berkshire, the economic development and tourism agency of Berkshire County.

Butler said another market for the train is older people who might already have a second home in the Berkshires.

The train would operate seasonally on weekends and officials hope to launch it by Memorial Day 2020.

The service would be funded by the State of Massachusetts.

A key to making the project work will be offering transportation for the “last mile” from the train to Berkshires resorts.

That could be anything from car-hailing services to rental cars to taxis and local buses.

The Berkshire Flyer is expected to leave New York City on Fridays at 2:20 p.m., arriving at 6:10 p.m. in Pittsfield.

Return trips would leave Pittsfield on Sundays at 2:45 p.m., arriving at Penn Station at 6:45 p.m.

The pilot program is projected to last 20 weeks and cost the state about $237,000.

Pittsfield is already a stop for Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited between Chicago and Boston.

Another task force is looking at adding passenger rail service to Pittsfield from Boston. It is expected to meet in the spring to consider six possible alternatives for that service.