Passenger Rail Service
This page is divided into 4 sections:
- Background on the current Amtrak Vermonter that serves Northampton
- Information on the Hartford Line with service between Springfield and New Haven
- Transit services at the Springfield Union Station
- Advocacy for North- South rail from Greenfield south to Northampton, Holyoke and into Springfield
Amtrak Vermonter Northampton Service
Vermonter Service Background
In early 2014, the Amtrak Vermonter began serving Northampton as a part of the Vermonter's service route change moving service from Amherst ( east side of the Connecticut River) over to Northampton (west side of the river). The Vermonter operates from St. Albans, Vt. through Northampton, Holyoke, Springfield, Hartford, New Haven and all points along the eastern coast ending in Washington, D.C. The southbound Vermonter stops in Northampton at 2:01 pm and the northbound arrives in Northampton at 3:57 pm.
History of Connecticut River Passenger Rail
Prior to 2012, the Federal Railroad Administration provided $70 million in stimulus funds to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to improve the Connecticut River Rail Line to reestablish passenger rail service on the west side of the Connecticut River from the Connecticut border to the Vermont border. Additional funds were provided for track improvements in Connecticut and in Vermont.
Hartford Line Service
Rail Service from Springfield to Hartford, New Haven
The State of Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) will be expanding rail service on June 16, 2018 between Springfield south to Hartford, Berlin, Meriden, Wallingford and New Haven with connections to the Northeast Corridor. Information on Hartford Line train schedules and fares can be found here. There will now be 12 trains daily running north and south between Springfield, Hartford and New Haven. Amtrak will continue their service of 6 trains daily and the Hartford Line will be operating 6 trains daily as well.
Springfield Union Station Transit Center
Springfield Union Station has opened for operations and offers travelers a new 300 car parking garage as well as a bus depot to accommodate Peter Pan, Greyhound and PVTA which offers frequent bus service to Northampton, Holyoke and Amherst.. The Springfield Amtrak Station currently houses "Shuttle" service between Springfield to Hartford and New Haven with 6 Amtrak "Shuttle" trains in each direction daily. This service is in addition to the Hartford Line service between Springfield and New Haven. .
North-South Rail Advocacy
Since the start of Northampton Vermonter service in December, 2014, ridership at Northampton for the Vermonter has grown each year and is more than 19,000 riders annually. This level of ridership has been well above the prior Vermonter service to and from Amherst. Northampton is currently the busiest stop on the Vermonter Line. This positive level of ridership has generated calls for increased "North-South rail service between Northampton, Springfield and points south. The increased ridership on the Vermonter and the upcoming expansion of rail service from Springfield to New Haven has generated positive local interest in establishing a modest schedule of "North-South" rail service from Greenfield south to Northampton, Holyoke and into Springfield.
2018 Massachusetts State Rail Plan
The 2018 Draft Massachusetts State Rail Plan reports on North-South rail and ranks this service it as a "Tier 1 Priority Project" .
"Trains In The Valley" Rail Advocacy
The Trains in the Valley web site represents the efforts of local residents to promote the expansion of rail service through their web site which not only advocates for expanded rail passenger service but offers useful and current information on rail and transit issues and positive events.
For more information on the Connecticut River Rail Improvement Project access the Knowledge Corridor Rail Study.