Rail News Roundup #7

 

Summary of Today’s Roundup of Rail News

• Proposed Fares for Hartford Line Service Released

• Knowledge Corridor Transportation Conference Recap

• Sen. Eric Lesser Continues Push for East-West Rail

• Planned Pioneer Valley Railroad Bridge Repairs

• New Turnout in East Northfield

• Northampton Underpass Status

 

Calendar

Joint Committee on Transportation Hearing
Tu. October 24, 2017 | 10 am to 12:30 pm
Hearing Room A-1 | State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA
(The agenda includes discussion of Sen. Lesser’s and Rep. Kocot’s proposed bills in support of East-West rail service)

CTrail Hartford Line Fare Hearing
We. November 15, 2017 | 5:30 to 8:30 pm
Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
60 Congress St, Springfield, MA

 

CTDOT Releases Proposed Fares for CTrail Hartford Line Rail Service;
Launches a 35-day Public Comment Period

Proposed fares for the new CTrail Hartford line service were released earlier today.

CTDOT Press Release | October 23, 2017
Source: http://www.ct.gov/dot/cwp/view.asp?a=1373&Q=597212&PM=1

We have not had much time to study the fare offering but it would appear that the proposed fares are basically in-line with fares on CTrail’s Shoreline East service and Metro-North’s intra-state (CT) service.

Public Hearings to review and discuss the new proposed fares will be held in New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield over the next few weeks.

The Springfield hearing will be held on Wed. November 15, 2017 between 5:30 to 8:30 pm at the offices of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, 60 Congress St, Springfield, MA

Further Reading

Hartford Line Fare Hearings
CTDOT Press Release | October 23, 2017

 


Knowledge Corridor Transportation Conference Recap

Link to Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2amvAPK9SpA

 

Here’s a quick recap of the Knowledge Corridor Transportation Conference that was held at Springfield Union Station last week.

The highlight of the event was the speech by Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy.

“Quite frankly, one of the things Massachusetts needs to do is get a rail line between Boston and Springfield to connect to the rail line we are building in Connecticut,” Malloy said to applause from the 300 or so people in the audience at the conference.

Malloy has long been a strong advocate in his state and our region for expanded and improved public transportation. One only has to look at the success of the CTFastrak bus rapid transit system and the coming CTrail Hartford Line rail service to know that Connecticut is focused on the future.

The video recording of the conference is just over three hours long so we’ve created a list of “start points” so that you can jump to sections that might interest you.

Anyone interested in the future of transportation in our region is encouraged to have a look at the video. Conferences like this, with speakers like this, are few and far between.

 

Video start points for key speakers:

5:30 | Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno

21:50 | Congressman Richard Neal (MA-1)
29:55 | Governor Dannel Malloy (CT)

1:04:00 | Robert Puentes (Eno Center of Transportation)

1:27:50 | Panel 1
Congressman Richard Neal (MA-1)
Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-2)
Congresswomen Elizabeth Esty (CT-5)

2:11:00 | Panel 2
Kevin Kennedy, Springfield Redevelopment Authority
Rep. Aaron Vaga (MA-5th Hamden)
Rep. Chris Perone (CT-137th District)
Kevin Dillon, Connecticut Airport Authority

Further Reading
“Malloy Calls For Boston-Springfield Rail Connection To Hartford Line”
By Paul Tuthil | WAMC | October 18, 2017

“Malloy: CTfastrak Proves Rail Service Will Transform ‘Knowledge Corridor’ “
By Dan Stacom | Hartford Courant | October 17, 2017

 


Sen. Eric Lesser Continues his Push for East-West Rail

On October 17th Sen. Eric Lesser launch a website highlighting stories that have been submitted to his office in support of passenger rail service between Springfield and Boston.

Rail Matters | Office of Senator Eric Lesser
Source: http://www.senatorlesser.com/RailMatters

::

On Tuesday morning at 7.30 am a chartered bus will be departing from Springfield for the Statehouse in Boston.

The bus, which is being sponsored by Sen. Lesser’s office, will be transporting people from our region who will offer testimony before a hearing of the Joint Legislative Committee on Transportation.

Rebecca Townsend, a founding member of Trains In The Valley, will be on Sen. Lesser’s bus and she will be offering testimony to the committee. (further news on this on Tuesday afternoon.)

If you are not planing to attend the hearing — but you wish to offer testimony in support of Springfield-Boston rail service — please send your testimony to Samantha.Kelly@MAsenate.gov. Samantha Kelly is Sen. Lesser’s legislative aide. She will see that it finds its way to the committee.

See Also

Get Involved > Rail Bills | Mass. Legislature

Further Reading

Joint Legislative Committee on Transportation

 


Planned Pioneer Valley Railroad Bridge Repairs

Curved open-deck bridge | Pioneer Valley Railroad
Near South Canal & Cabot streets | Holyoke, Ma | October 12, 2017

Earlier this month the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced that it had awarded the Pioneer Valley Railroad a grant of $495,000 to assist with the cost to repair of an out-of-service rail bridge in downtown Holyoke. The grant was one of eight recent grant awards made under MassDOT’s Industrial Rail Access Program.

The Pioneer Valley Railroad operates a network of rail lines in Holyoke and Westfield. The open deck bridge that will undergo repair, which is shown in the image above, will have both steel and masonry work performed on the structure.

The re-opening of this bridge, which was last used in 2013, will allow the Pioneer Valley Railroad to interchange freight rail cars with the Pan Am Southern railroad company which operates the north-south rail line through Holyoke.

The re-opening of the interchange with Pan Am Southern should allow some freight rail customers on Pioneer Valley’s rail network to improve the routing of certain rail cars to and from other rail networks, e.g., Norfolk Southern and railroads in Canada.

See also

Freight Rail > Industrial Rail Access Program

 


New Turnout in East Northfield

NECR connection with Conn River Line | East Northfield, Ma. | October 13, 2017
By Bruce Nelson | Source: http://photos.nerail.org/s/?p=240633

It has been reported that the turnout on the New England Central Railroad’s Main Line that allows rail traffic to diverge (to the right in the image above) onto the MassDOT owned Connecticut River Main Line has been replaced. The report, which appears in the caption attached in this image, indicates that a new #20 turnout was recently installed at this location.

Why does this matter? The short answer is that the turnout at this location has been in need of replacement for some time. Amtrak’s Vermonter all to often in recent years has had to crawl across this switch at speeds as low as 10 mph. The new turnout should allow the Vermonter to pass over this turnout at a speed of 40 mph.

 


Northampton Underpass Status

A view of the east entrance to the new bike/pedestrian underpass
Woodmont Road | Northampton, Ma. | October 18, 2017 / 6.49 pm

National Grid established electric service at the site of the bike/pedestrian work site a few days ago.

From the look of things at the site MassDOT should be ready to take down the temporary fencing and cut the ribbon on this long awaited project very soon.

See also

Infrastructure > Current Projects > Northampton Underpass

Rail News Roundup #6

 

Regional Rail news for the Pioneer Valley

Summary of Today’s Reports

• Updated Knowledge Corridor Conference Program

• CTrail Hartford Line Factsheet Released

• MassMoves Report Shows Strong Support for Rail Service

• Sixt Rent a Car opens office at Union Station

• Trash Cleared at the Station in Holyoke

• Vermont Rail Action Network Annual dinner

Calendar

Knowledge Corridor Transportation Conference
Springfield Union Station
We. October 18, 2017 | 7:30 am – 12 Noon | Free
Please note that this event is now Sold Out

Live Stream link
http://focusspringfield.com/2017StateOfTheRegion
(live stream starts at 9 am ET)

 

Updated Knowledge Corridor Conference Program

An updated program (shown below) for this week’s “State of the Region” Transportation Conference has been released.

The most notable update is that Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy will be be attending the conference and making a few brief opening remarks.

Note that this event will be Live Streamed on this link:
http://focusspringfield.com/2017StateOfTheRegion

Final Conference Program | October 17, 2017

 


CTrail Hartford Line Factsheet Released

CTrail Hartford Line Service Factsheet | October 2017
Source: http://www.nhhsrail.com/pdfs/hartfordline-factsheet-final.pdf

Of particular note:

  • Hartford Line fares will be similar to the current fares on CTrail’s Shore Line East service, which operates between New Haven and New London.
  • Parking at CTrail stations is expected to be $2/day and $20/month, with free parking on weekends and holidays.
  • The CTRail Hartford Line website is reported to be “coming soon.”

 


MassMoves Report Shows Strong Support for Rail Service

Recently released MassMoves report shows strong support for improved and expanded passenger rail service across the Commonwealth.

“Whatever region people came from, people saw regional rail as a top mobility priority,” said Jim Aloisi, a former state transportation secretary who worked on the Senate study.”¹

“Asked what effect the latest study will have on the Springfield to Boston rail proposal, State Senate President Stan Rosenberg replied, ‘We’ve got to do it. We’ve got to get rail going all over the state.’ “¹

MassMoves Report | October 2017 | Page 24

Nine regional MassMoves workshops were held as part of the State Senate’s Commonwealth Conversations listening tour between January and April 2017.

The Western Region meeting, which was held in Springfield on March 28th, attracted an overflow crowd of 104 participants and 14 state senators.

MassMoves Report | October 2017 | Page 40

Further Reading

2017 MassMoves Report

¹ “Study finds improving rail service is top transit priority for Western Mass. residents”
By Shira Schoenberg | MassLive.com | September 26, 2017

 


Sixt Rent a Car opens at Springfield Union Station

Sixt Rent a Car has opened a rental location at Springfield Union Station.

Springfield Union Station | October 12, 2017

The Sixt office is now open from 8 am – 5 pm Monday thru Friday.

Rental cars can be picked up or dropped of on the ground floor of the Union Station Parking Garage.

 


Trash Cleared at the Station in Holyoke

Full trash cans on the platform | Holyoke, Ma. | October 12, 2017

We received a report of full trash cans on the station platform in Holyoke — so we reported the issue using the City of Holyoke’s page on SeeClickFix.com. The problem was resolved the same day.

A minor point, yes — but details like this matter. Overflowing trash cans are unsightly and they have the potential of attracting rodents.

 


Vermont Rail Action Network Annual Dinner

The Vermont Rail Action Network’s (VRAN) annual dinner and award celebration will be held on Wednesday evening November 8th in Rutland.

This is an important rail advocacy event in Vermont and we will be attending the dinner to show our support for VRAN’s ongoing efforts to improve passenger rail service in Vermont — in particular the Vermonter.

Please contact us if you are interested in car pooling to this event from either the Whatley or Greenfield Park and Ride lots.

VRAN event registration link

 

 

Posting last updated: October 17, 2017