Regional New England Rail (Amtrak & State DOT)

F-Line to Dudley

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I'm not really sure about the best place to post this, but I came across the Transit Forward RI 2040 Master Plan that was released this August, and saw the following:

This is listed as a "Short-Term Improvement", "close to launching", and in the "1 to 4 years" project list. I'm assuming "select" will mean Northeast Regional only, not Acela, but that's still a massive improvement. Combined with the recent MBTA CR service changes, this means BOS/PVD train headways slightly better than 1hr all day. As a frequent commuter on that section, it was always frustrating to watch an empty NER pull away towards Boston while having to wait for a delayed and overcrowded MBTA car.
I'll believe it when I see it. RIDOT has basically been reduced to nonfunctioning by the Raimondo Admin. They make wet-noodle ovatures to things like needing an express train because [*bitch-bitch-bitch* can't get a seat from the Massholes], but then long after even the cross-border media has run with the story in Section A of the papers about how this is a Thing Decreed Important™ for Our Region™ that first courtesy phone call to the T or Amtrak to hash something/anything out never gets placed at all. They have a wholly mature--and quite good at full-build!--statewide regional rail implementation plan scoped out to the nines, with every micro-increment's breakout measured for keeping something perpetually on the funding hot stove regardless of budget-famine or budget-prosper years. Zero ever gets advanced to next step. Highlights of their grand unified implementation plan like that utmost-importance Pawtucket station just leak x2.5 of their scheduled build timetables from pure unadulterated inertia.

Like, seriously...Chaffee's crew was some pretty doddering weak sauce in its own right when it came to coasting on Carcieri's tailpipe. But that was nothing like the malaise that's ground all progress on regional rail to a complete halt over the last 6 years down in Ocean World.
 

Riverside

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I dont understand why not just cancel it and call it a regional for now?
Because then it would be another service that's been canceled during the Pandemic. I think Amtrak has managed to nominally keep most of its services active, but, as we know, many of the daily long-distance trains got dropped to tri-weekly, and plenty of other services have been curtailed. At one point, the Adirondack was short-turning at Albany -- basically just turning it into another Empire Service run. But, like the Vermonter, by keeping it in service they can avoid clickbaity news stories about "upstate rail service CANCELED".
 

Arlington

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Maybe we need a New England regional and commuter services thread? (Amtrak state supported in CT RI ME (NH) and VT and then CTrail/SLE? That'd cover "New England People's Rail" ? (We do have something like that but we probably need better names)
 

Riverworks

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Or just rename this thread to "Intercity Rail - Amtrak, Regional Rail, etc.". That covers it.

Bottom line - We need faster, more frequent, more reliable intercity rail service from Boston to other key cities in New England (Providence, Worcester/Springfield, Hartford, Portland), and creation of new routes (to Manchester/Concord, Albany - not the Lakeshore, Cape, Vermont). We live in such a dense region, with seven states within a one to two hour reach of Boston. We should not be relying on automobiles 100% of the time to take us to/from these places.
 

millerm277

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Because then it would be another service that's been canceled during the Pandemic. I think Amtrak has managed to nominally keep most of its services active, but, as we know, many of the daily long-distance trains got dropped to tri-weekly, and plenty of other services have been curtailed. At one point, the Adirondack was short-turning at Albany -- basically just turning it into another Empire Service run. But, like the Vermonter, by keeping it in service they can avoid clickbaity news stories about "upstate rail service CANCELED".
I believe the reason is because unlike the LD network trains, the reason it's not running into VT at the moment is because VT doesn't want it running there right now. When VT calls Amtrak and wants it to start running again, it will. (and the subsidy money is still in the VT state budget for it).
 

Riverside

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I believe the reason is because unlike the LD network trains, the reason it's not running into VT at the moment is because VT doesn't want it running there right now. When VT calls Amtrak and wants it to start running again, it will. (and the subsidy money is still in the VT state budget for it).
Actually that totally makes more sense. I mean, you might hope that they'd still continue to run to Springfield or Greenfield, but it's not like those don't have other services. But yes -- Vermont is taking its travel restrictions very seriously (and appropriately so), so I could totally see that.

This is also a situation where both theories could easily be simultaneously true.
 

The EGE

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Truncating to New Haven (or New York, depending on ridership) for the time being has several advantages versus running to SPG or GFD. It allows use of only a single trainset, versus the regular two. Under normal ops, NB and SB meet near Springfield, so New Haven is the northernmost spot where you can turn the train in a single day. Greenfield is not equipped for overnight storage at all, and Springfield has limited overnight capacity as well. Plus, terminating at New Haven or south means no need for the diesel switch at NHV.
 

Riverworks

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I believe the reason is because unlike the LD network trains, the reason it's not running into VT at the moment is because VT doesn't want it running there right now. When VT calls Amtrak and wants it to start running again, it will. (and the subsidy money is still in the VT state budget for it).
This makes total sense. Amtrak has three types of services - Northeast Corridor (Amtrak funded), State-Supported (Amtrak/State funded), and Long Distance (Amtrak funded). Adirondack is a Long-Distance service, so makes sense for them to cut service on this line, when they are not getting any additional state support. Vermonter is a State-Supported service, as well as the New Haven to Springfield route, and the new Valley Flyer. Empire/Ethan Allen services are too. Interesting to see Vermont being proactive with suspending/limiting service, and conserving resources. I wonder if there are any others. The Downeaster is still in full swing.
 

Arlington

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Covid seems to have stimulated a lot of "work from the hinterlands". The Downeaster serves that well for Boston hinterlands, but I guess that Vermont is both too "students" and slightly too far?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Covid seems to have stimulated a lot of "work from the hinterlands". The Downeaster serves that well for Boston hinterlands, but I guess that Vermont is both too "students" and slightly too far?
It's also the "Escape From New York" route...moreso the Ethan Allen than the Vermonter...so when Greater NYC infection rates were tipping the scales VT was a solid "No!" to the swells who wanted to camp out upstate and across the border.
 

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