Posts Tagged ‘Boston’

3 Options Laid Out for Mass. East-West Service

January 25, 2021

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has listed three options for creating a rail passenger service between Boston and Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

The options have price tags of between $2.4 billion and $4.6 billion.

MassDOT’s report concluded that all three alternatives face obstacles in qualifying for federal funding.

In an executive summary, the report said the project would likely require “a combination of many different funding sources and strategies, but that, under current federal methodology, the project would “likely not qualify for federal funding.”

Aside from cost, the variables among the three options are how much track work would be needed, the travel time of the service and projected ridership. The latter would be affected by the projected travel time.

The least expensive option of $2.4 billion would have a travel times of 1 hour, 57 minutes between Boston and Springfield, and 3 hours, nine minutes between Boston and Pittsfield.

Projected ridership would be 922 to 1,188 passengers on weekdays by 2040.

The $3.9 billion, would take 1:47 between Springfield and Boston and 2:59 between Pittsfield and Boston, with projected ridership of 1,157 to 1,379 passengers.

The $4.6 billion option would result in travel times of 1:37 between Springfield and Boston and 2:49 between Pittsfield and Boston, and would be used by 1,296 to 1,557 passengers per weekday.

Boston and Pittsfield are currently linked by the Boston section of Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited.

Mass. Study Find Higher Ridership Projections

June 12, 2020

A study of expanded rail service between Boston and Springfield, Massachusetts, has concluded that the service would attract more passengers than previous estimates.

However, the study said there still would not be enough riders for the service to qualify for federal funding.

The latest study projects ridership could be as high as 1,200 per day. Earlier studies had projected ridership ranging from 36 to 800 per day depending on the route chosen, speed of service and how often trains ran.

Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said her agency still believes the service would could cost $2 billion to $25 billion to build, depending on the scope of the project.

At the higher ridership estimate levels the project would fall short of federal requirements balancing costs and benefits.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is reviewing six options for the service and plans to narrow those to three.

It will issue a final report on the project in the fall.

Construction Disrupts Boston South Station Doorways

February 14, 2020

Construction at Boston South Station that began last month will affect some of the station’s entrances and exits.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said the South Station Air Rights Project will result in some entrances and exits being closed or reconfigured.

Trains also may arrive and depart on a different track than expected.

Amtrak urged passengers using the station to check their train’s track assignment before boarding and to allow extra time to become familiar with the new construction zones.

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.

Lounge Rehabbed at Boston South Station

December 21, 2018

Amtrak has refurbished its Metropolitan Lounge at Boston South Station.

The facility has been renamed from ClubAcela but remains in its previous location.

In a news release, Amtrak said the lounge received new furniture designed to charge personal electronic devices.

Also new are touchless washbars in the restrooms, the restoration of historical lighting, and a change in the complimentary snack and beverage service.

Passengers will have Internet access, fax and photocopy services, conference room access, and access to newspapers, periodicals and television

Attendants are available to assist with reservations, ticketing and local information.

The lounge is open between 5:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. daily and to serve Acela First Class or sleeping car customers, Single-Day Pass holders, Amtrak Guest Rewards Select Plus and Select Executive members.

Amtrak Business Class customers can purchase daily access passes for $20 per day.

Amtrak said renovation of the ClubAcela lounge into a Metropolitan Lounge is nearly complete at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, and new furnishings have been installed in Washington with a new Metropolitan Lounge expected open in 2020 as part of a larger station renovation.

A new Metropolitan Lounge is planned for 2021, for the new Moynihan Station in New York.

Money Might Fund Boston North-South Link Study

June 15, 2018

Building a rail link between North Station and South Station in Boston may be studied after the Massachusetts state legislature approved a bond bill that includes $10 million for the study.

The link would be built in an underground tunnel and Gov. Charlie Baker will determine if the money will be spent for the study. He has not always been receptive to the project.

Senator Jamie Eldridge, who pushed for the funding, said the long-proposed tunnel would “allow for easier movement across the region’s 138 stations and link lines north of Boston to Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor . . . with the potential to reduce the amount of cars driving into Boston by as much as 55,000 vehicles a day.”

Eldridge also said that the $10 million in the bond bill “sends a strong message to Governor Baker of the growing support the North-South Rail Link has in the legislature.”

Downeasters to Skip Woburn June 10-11

May 30, 2017

Amtrak Downeaster Service will not be serving Woburn, Massachusetts, on June 10 and 11 due to weekend track work being performed by Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said southbound trains will operate normally between Brunswick, Maine, and Haverhill, Massachusetts. At Haverhill, customers will transfer to a bus that will operate nonstop to Boston North Station.

Northbound trains will be replaced with buses operating nonstop from Boston North Station to Haverhill. At Haverhill, customers will transfer to Downeaster trains, serving all remaining stations on the route