Posts Tagged ‘Springfield Massachusetts’

Elevator at Springfield Station Awaits Amtrak Inspection

January 11, 2020

A new elevator at Union Station in Springfield, Massachusetts, is expected to open to the public after it passes an Amtrak inspection.

The elevator will provide access to Platform C, which was recently rebuilt.

Christopher Moskal, executive director of the Springfield Redevelopment Authority, said it is not clear when the inspection will occur.

He said his agency, which owns the station, is in contact with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation about the matter.

Platform C is higher than the older platforms at the station. It was rebuilt as part of an $11 million state-funded project to renovate the station.

The cost of the overall project has been $103 million and included sprucing up the station head house, and installing new stairs, benches and garbage receptacles.

Most of the station renovation work was completed in June 2017 but Platform C didn’t reopen at that time because it was too narrow to ADA handicapped-accessibility standards.

The station was unsuccessful in getting an exemption from the federal rule while rebuilding the platform was being planned.

The elevator is needed because the passenger waiting room, ticket areas and other amenities are at ground level but the platform are elevated above them.

Trains currently use Platform D. Platforms C and B do not have their own stairways and elevator.

Springfield Station Work to Be Completed Soon

November 23, 2019

A platform construction project at Springfield Union Station in Massachusetts is expected to be completed soon, perhaps in time for the Thanksgiving and Christmas travel periods.

The Springfield Redevelopment Authority, which owns and manages the depot, said the last work to be completed includes installation of an elevator to take passengers to the boarding platforms and completion of work on a pedestrian tunnel to the platforms.

The $11 million state-funded project includes a new ADA compliant high-level platform.

Although the new Platform C has been ready to use for some time, but stairs and elevator have not.

Most of the work on the station was completed in June 2017, but Platform C and the rest of the $103 million refurbishment of the station was not.

An inspection found the original platform was too narrow to meet ADA standards and replacing it was a lengthy process involving coordination among the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the railroads and the redevelopment authority.

Amtrak moved its ticket office last summer to the main concourse where it is near Greyhound, Peter Pan Bus Lines, a Subway sandwich shop, Dunkin’ Donuts, an auto rental counter and a convenience store.

In an unrelated development, Amtrak released ridership figures showing an increase in patronage on routes serving Springfield.

The New Haven-Springfield route — which operates in tandem with the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s CTrail Hartford Line — had a 26.5 percent increase from 286,477 in fiscal 2018 to 362,442 in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

Ridership of the Vermonter up 1.4 percent from 97,909 to 99,280.

The Lake Shore Limited saw patronage rise 5.9 percent from 337,882 to 357,682.

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.

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.

Maine Rail Expansion Study Shelved

April 5, 2017

A proposed study of expanding intercity rail passenger from Brunswick to Bangor, Maine, has been shelved.

The study drew little support from Maine lawmakers other than representatives from Bangor.

Bangor officials were willing to provide $25,000 for the study, but many state lawmakers said they wanted to wait until a study is completed of expanding service from Brunswick to Lewiston-Auburn.

The cost of a study of expanding service to Bangor also hindered support for the study.

In an unrelated development, Amtrak said track work being performed on select weekends through April 23 will result in some trains being canceled between New Haven, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts.

Stations affected include Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford, Windsor, Windsor Locks and Springfield.

On April 7 and 21, Northeast Regional Trains 136 and 148 will serve all stations from Washington to New Haven but bus service will be provided at all stations from New Haven to Springfield.

On April 8 and 22, Northeast Regional Trains 140, 143, 146 and 147 will serve all stations between Washington and New Haven. Bus service will be provided at all stations between New Haven and Springfield.

The Vermonter, will operate normally from Washington to New Haven with passengers riding a bus from New Haven that will stop at Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford, Windsor Locks and Springfield. At Springfield, customers will board the train to their destination.

The Vermonter will operate normally from St. Albans, Vermont, to Springfield where passengers will ride a bus stopping at Windsor Locks, Hartford, Berlin, Meriden, Wallingford and New Haven. At New Haven, customers will board the train to their destination.

On April 9 and 23, Northeast Regional Trains 143 and 157 will serve all stations from New Haven to Washington. Bus service will be provided at all stations from Springfield to New Haven.

Springfield Union Station to Reopen in June

March 27, 2017

Springfield (Massachusetts) Union Station will reopen on June 24 to serve Amtrak and offer restaurant and shops.

The depot was closed in 1974 but restored as part of a $95 million project that left many of its original features intact.

The station opened in 1926 and hosts the Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited, the Vermonter and several Northeast Regional trains.

Congressman Richard E. Neal, who help lead the restoration effort, said during a news media tour that the revitalized station should help increase Amtrak ridership and spur further commercial development.

During the restoration, the station’s terrazzo floors were restored, a new roof was installed, period light fixtures were put into place and eight murals depicting Springfield’s history were hung. A clock was placed in the grand concourse.

“I kicked off my political career here 40 years ago, so [the station] still has great meaning to me and the people of Springfield,” said Neal. “Restoring this station can make Springfield a transportation and commercial center, as well as do a lot of good.”