Posts Tagged ‘Greenfield Massachusetts’

Trial Service to Greenfield to Launch Aug. 30

August 27, 2019

A two-year pilot program begins Aug. 30 in which Amtrak will extend shuttle service to Greenfield, Massachusetts.

The shuttles currently operate between New Haven, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts.

The test will examine demand for expanded rush-hour service in the Knowledge Corridor connecting with Northeast Corridor trains. It will add 40 miles to the route of the shuttles.

The pilot program will have two weekday round trips going south in the morning and north in the evening.

This service will be addition to the daily Vermonter that operates between Washington and St. Albans, Vermont.

Trains will depart Greenfield at 5:45 a.m. and 7:35 a.m., and return at 10:23 p.m. and 12:38 a.m.

All trains will connect in New Haven with other Northeast Corridor trains.

On weekends, northbound train No. 400 departs the newly refurbished Springfield Union Station at 7:50 a.m. without a connection from New Haven, then turns back south as an extension to train 461.

In the evening, northbound No. 488 from New Haven heads to Greenfield at 6:45 p.m., but returns only as far as Springfield as train No. 499, departing at 8:10 p.m.

The State of Massachusetts is not underwriting the fare being charged for the new service. Instead, Amtrak is using its “saver” and “value” yield management fare system dictate pricing.

It is not certain how the program will be evaluated to determine its success.

Greenfield Still Awaits Date for New Service

May 5, 2019

Officials in Greenfield, Massachusetts, are still awaiting a date for when expanded Amtrak service to that community will begin.

They are hoping that it will get underway by the end of summer.

“We don’t have a firm date yet, but it is going to happen,” said Franklin Regional Council of Governments Transportation Planning and GIS Program Manager Maureen Mullaney.

The new service has already been delayed, having once been planned to start in June and then in July.

But now, Mullaney said, Amtrak and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation have told the city it needs more time.

The new service will link Greenfield with New York City and include two extra trips on weekdays and one extra trip on weekends and holidays.

The trains will depart the John W. Olver Transit Center at 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. and returning in the evening.

The existing service to Greenfield by the Vermonter leave Greenfield southbound at 1:30 p.m., and returns at 4:30 p.m.

“People have to make plans to stay overnight if they want to go into the city,” Mullaney said.

The additional service was made possible by an agreement with Connecticut and Amtrak to for a pilot program to provide the two extended daily CTrail trains from Springfield with stops in Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield.

This service would be in addition to the existing Vermonter schedules, which are not expected to change.

The pilot program is expected to cost about $1 million a year to operate.

Greenfield has seen rising Amtrak ridership of late. It has increased from 5,315 in 2015 to 6,497 last year.

Ridership has also been rising at stations in Amherst, Northampton, Holyoke and Springfield.

Western Mass. Service Expansion Set

February 5, 2019

Amtrak plans to increase service this summer in western Massachusetts.

Pioneer Valley Planning Commissioner Timothy W. Brennan told local news media that he has been told by Massachusetts Department Officials that the added service might start as early June, pending completion of high-level Platform C at Springfield Union Station and tie replacement and bridge repairs on the route.

Although no schedules have been finalized, Brennan said there is expected to be morning and afternoon round trips that will operate between Springfield and Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Intermediate stops in the “Knowledge Corridor” include Holyoke and Northampton.

The route is already used by Amtrak’s Vermonter. The additional service was made possible in part by a $73 million rebuilding of the route, which is former Boston & Maine trackage but now owned by the state and used by Pan Am Railways.

The Vermonter has been using this route since August 2015. Before then, the train between Washington and St. Albans, Vermont, ran via a more circuitous route through Palmer and Amherst, Massachusetts.

The service expansion to Greenfield is a two-year pilot project and officials have yet said what criteria they will use to evaluate the success of the trains.