Amtrak NEC, Downeaster, Acela, & Long Distance

WormtownNative

Active Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2014
Messages
360
Reaction score
13
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the ROW goes well inside the fence for Seabrook? If that's the case, how do they plan on allowing a trail through, let alone reactivating the rails for the downeaster?
 

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
4,199
Reaction score
405
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the ROW goes well inside the fence for Seabrook? If that's the case, how do they plan on allowing a trail through, let alone reactivating the rails for the downeaster?
It is "behind" the vehicle checkpoint, but I'm not sure that's the same thing as being inside the fence.
https://goo.gl/maps/FHoA7hDWCqpSa1KK9


This article, on Calvert Cliffs in Maryland, stressed that the vehicle checkpoint ≠ visitor denial point. http://neinuclearnotes.blogspot.com/2014/09/why-daily-caller-is-wrong-about-nuclear.html

and that the "real" security fence is all within 1200' of the containment
https://images.app.goo.gl/CMTsA6PA2i6k6HkG7
taken from PDF page 16 of:
https://www.nhsec.nh.gov/projects/2018-02/petition/2018-02_2018-05-08_pet_declaratory_rule_seabrook_upgrade.pdf
 
Last edited:

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
5,677
Reaction score
557
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the ROW goes well inside the fence for Seabrook? If that's the case, how do they plan on allowing a trail through, let alone reactivating the rails for the downeaster?

Reactivation isn't a problem because the RR predates the plant and operated in Seabrook after the plant went online. The charter being intact protects the preemption. No way a trail is going through there, and they aren't planning on one there. There'll be a permanent break there.
 

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
4,199
Reaction score
405
^
Rail=Yes *
Trail=No? **

Or is there a comma or a negative missing, above?

In situations like this, if rail gets re-activated, the trail can run alongside it (but not until then?)

FWIW, Trail advocates think they'll have to go around.



*
Reactivation isn't a problem because the RR predates the plant and operated in Seabrook after the plant went online. The charter being intact protects the preemption.
**
No way a trail is going through there, and they aren't planning on one there. There'll be a permanent break there.
 
Last edited:

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
5,677
Reaction score
557
^ Rail=Yes and Trail=No?

Or is there a comma or a negative missing, above?
Rail = yes, Trail = no.

Rail traffic can run "sealed" because there's no risk of trespassing beyond the fence from a moving (or stopped + supervised-evacuation) train. Trailgoers left to their own devices are a different matter, so that will never be allowed. Not even rail-with-trail, and not even when the plant is decommisioned because of the dry-cask spent fuel storage that's likely to remain onsite decades after the plant is permanently shut down.

There's a lot of land in Seabrook to carve out a trail detour, but it won't happen soon because of the number of easements required.
 

cbrett

Active Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
148
Reaction score
0
I hate the usage of Flyer for things that aren't seasonal/ tourist focused, it would've been nice to maintain the same branding as the Cape Flyer for similar projects. Should have gone with the Shuttle branding or something else entirely
 

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
4,199
Reaction score
405
I hate the usage of Flyer for things that aren't seasonal/ tourist focused, it would've been nice to maintain the same branding as the Cape Flyer for similar projects. Should have gone with the Shuttle branding or something else entirely
I'm OK if Flyer is the brand for State city-to-hinterland trains (Cape, Valley, & Berkshire).

In this case, Amtrak's SPG-NHV meet-the-NEC service has long been known as Shuttle.

Clipper would have been a fun alternative for a daily, year round service.
 

Riverside

Active Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
358
Reaction score
35
I hate the usage of Flyer for things that aren't seasonal/ tourist focused, it would've been nice to maintain the same branding as the Cape Flyer for similar projects. Should have gone with the Shuttle branding or something else entirely
Yeah, but if you look at the schedule, I think the service is intended for day trips to NYC. Definitely does not seem commuter-friendly to me, nor particularly friendly to tourists looking to visit Northampton.
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
5,677
Reaction score
557
Yeah, but if you look at the schedule, I think the service is intended for day trips to NYC. Definitely does not seem commuter-friendly to me, nor particularly friendly to tourists looking to visit Northampton.
All this is the re-branding and extension of the Springfield Shuttles to give it a new placeholder role now that the Hartford Line is running. It's still needed because expansion of Hartford Line schedules north of Hartford to Springfield to full-blast is contingent on additional staggered-out construction work and MassDOT getting off its ass to help build a new layover yard in Springfield (one of their few HFD Line monetary commitments, which they are ducking). As these are still the Shuttles, they're subject to the same ConnDOT-subsidized quasi- commuter fares carried over to the new stops. Those will be very useful to people who go from Holyoke and Northampton to Central CT on an otherwise hellish I-91 commute (Greenfield a tad out-of-range for Greater Hartford commutes), especially as more office park shuttle buses scale-up. From Day 1 it may end up being the most reliable way to fly, since Windsor Locks has a Bradley Airport shuttle and will get substantially upgraded facilities for airport transferees when the relocated Windsor Locks station gets constructed up the street.

Ultimately this is supposed to be a temporary assignment, only designed to keep their "use it or lose it" rights on the Shuttles as the Hartford Line fills out. One, if we would just get on with it as a state and greenlight the sure-as-sure-can-be Inland Route plan, the Springfield Shuttle/Valley Flyer gets recast once more as the Boston-New Haven shuttle with substantially increased schedule. Second, this Greenfield experiment makes for a low-risk test for commuter rail demand on the Conn River Line, since it's able to leverage ConnDOT's existing fare agreement with Amtrak without modification. This can inform whether and how soon to go for it on Conn River commuter rail. Surveying the hell out of riders on this route can establish pecking order for infill stops--Chicopee, Hatfield, Deerfield, etc.--and most-demanded bus service expansions. And, if the prevailing travel pattern is more through Springfield than to Springfield (likely...HFD-SPG is a unified job market, but there's more density in that market on the CT side of the border) it can inform whether MassDOT tries to go it alone as a Springfield-terminating service or opts to pool operations with ConnDOT to run a Greenfield-Hartford thru run flavor of Hartford Line schedule. The Valley Flyer placeholder arrangement for the Shuttles can be extremely useful for planning if they use the live trial to mine the right data and don't shy away from making big commitments if the signs point to big commitments needing to be made (already there on the Inlands...TBD but promising on commuter rail if they apportion it right).
 

Norval Elliot

New member
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Messages
31
Reaction score
11
From Day 1 it may end up being the most reliable way to fly, since Windsor Locks has a Bradley Airport shuttle and will get substantially upgraded facilities for airport transferees when the relocated Windsor Locks station gets constructed up the street.
When was the Windsor Locks-to-Bradley shuttle launched? The FAQ section of the Hartford Line website still reports that "There is no transit service available at Windsor Locks Station, but it is served by transportation network companies (Uber/Lyft) and local taxis."
 

bakgwailo

Active Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
950
Reaction score
51
Do we have a dedicated Acela thread?

The next generation of Amtrak Acela trains will hit the rails for testing in less than eight months with the first ones going in service in 2021.

Are the interiors of America’s only high speed train as posh as the train is fast?

Amtrak officials provided a sneak peak of what the inside of next generation of Acela trains will look like on Tuesday in Wilmington, Delaware.
Video:

A posh new ride is coming on Amtrak’s Acela trains and we got a sneak peak inside

Look at Acela 2 interior mock-ups, also looks like things are on track for a prototype test train on the NEC in March. Also hopefully figured out quoting.
 

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
4,199
Reaction score
405
Is the Valley Flyer running today (I know they have been running training runs at night) but I also heard they've been slightly tentative on advertising and starting due to unknowns (like platforms at SPG)
 

Norval Elliot

New member
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Messages
31
Reaction score
11
Is the Valley Flyer running today (I know they have been running training runs at night) but I also heard they've been slightly tentative on advertising and starting due to unknowns (like platforms at SPG)
Revenue service begins tomorrow—with ticket prices commensurate with those of the Vermonter.(n)
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
5,677
Reaction score
557
In fact, set this as a goal: that a two-seat ride from Pittsfield (PIT) or Amherst (AMM) -- western leg by bus, connection at SPG, and SPG-BOS by rail -- should be faster than and preferred to a single seat bus ride from either city/
That should be easily doable from Amherst if they build the Palmer intermediate stop on the Inlands. Extremely convenient to the U's of the "Valley Full o' Pioneer". 18 miles from Amherst Center, which you can can cover in a pooled shuttle bus from all the area colleges.

Pittsfield is legitimately further reach. While the Pike up the mountains isn't slowed by as many big rig trucks anymore thanks to the perceptible shift towards intermodal rail cubes instead of trucking from Albany, the terrain still makes for challenging traffic if the weather is the least bit bad or if there is an uptick in trucks. But Pittsfield Intermodal Center thankfully is a multimodal diamond-in-the-rough. It gets bypassed by lots of Albany buses and is under-served by rubber-tire intercity transit. Which is too bad because BRTA local buses are actually pretty good out of there, outslugging the county's population density both on route coverage and service levels. As with any RTA you always wish for more frequency than the state funds, but it's not hard to spend a day in North Adams after getting off a coach bus at Pittsfield and boarding BRTA Route 1.

Throwing these various rail proposals out...Albany-Pittsfield, Boston-North Adams (on truly shitty track to boot)...just tap-dances around the question. It's a MULTImodal center out there...it's not going to work without an ample diet of discount buses that are currently bypassing the region on the Pike to the south. Maybe this is a job for more exits out there. MA 8 to the east in Beckett and the missing half of the MA 41 exit to the west in West Stockbridge can trap an ALB-SPR Peter Pan bus to Pittsfield without dragging it anywhere near as far off course as the US 7 due-north jog that only a handful of coaches make. That's a very small-dollar fix for the county that'll pay dividends, and the literal asphalt required to put shovels in ground may not cost as much as one of these novelty Berkshire rail studies. I'm all for eventually getting the hookup on rail, but let's start with a more readily exploitable asset and work the local-intercity bus pairings for getting in/out and around the county.
 

stick n move

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
6,648
Reaction score
866
Howabout woonsocket which is even closer than worcester, has the cheapest housing around, and lots of it that is good quality, and is already located on and not far down the forge park ROW.

Woonsocket is actually surprisingly getting a commuter rail to Providence in 2020 and then to Worcester in the near future so it could become a little up and coming transit gem.
 

millerm277

Active Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2013
Messages
231
Reaction score
45
Woonsocket is actually surprisingly getting a commuter rail to Providence in 2020 and then to Worcester in the near future
That is not happening anywhere but in a fever dream of the guy "running" BSRC before he files for bankruptcy again.
 

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
4,199
Reaction score
405
If you haven't read the 2015 Study on NEC Intercity travel (by all modes, car, bus, rail, air), give it a look.

Or this guy at newGeography has pulled out some nice charts.
Cars, Not Trains or Planes Dominate Northeast Corridor Travel

As of 2015, Amtrak's share of the "Air-Rail" market WAS-NYC was said to be 70%. I think it has since climbed to 73% (but can't find that source). Either way, Amtrak's share of WAS-NYC has climbed steadily in the Acela era (from something like 1/2 to 2/3 to pushing 3/4ths). But that's because WAS-NYC is a reliable 2:40 (ish) by train. BOS-NYC is too slow by train (I find that train only wins when I'm leaving directly from midtown)
 

George_Apley

Not a Brahmin
Staff member
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
4,266
Reaction score
616
Howabout woonsocket which is even closer than worcester, has the cheapest housing around, and lots of it that is good quality, and is already located on and not far down the forge park ROW.

Woonsocket is actually surprisingly getting a commuter rail to Providence in 2020 and then to Worcester in the near future so it could become a little up and coming transit gem.
Woonsocket is already a potential extension to the Franklin Line, so it's definitely possible. RI would have to pay for it.
 

stick n move

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
6,648
Reaction score
866
That is not happening anywhere but in a fever dream of the guy "running" BSRC before he files for bankruptcy again.
Who knows.Theyre running a Bus service on the route soon. Regardless that wasnt the main point though, woonsocket has the franklin line ROW running to it and its a close by city that has TONS of cheap housing. I think as far as actually making a dent in affordability I cant think of anywhere with more upside. Its in RI, though just barely, but that makes it much cheaper, but its still close and already has the rail ROW. Im sure RI has higher priorities, but as far as a good size city that can house tons of people cheap with a reasonable (shorter than worcester or prov) commute theres nowhere better.
 

Top