New Haven–Springfield Shuttle

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New Haven–Springfield Shuttle
NHS Shuttle at New Haven.jpg
Train #470, a single-car train, sits at New Haven
awaiting Train 170 from New York.
Overview
Service type Inter-city rail
Ridership 1,044 daily
380,896 (total) (FY11)[1]
Route
Start New Haven
Stops 6
End Springfield
Distance travelled 63 miles (101 km)
Average journey time 1 hour 20 minutes
Service frequency
  • Four weekday roundtrips
  • Five weekend roundtrips
Train number(s) 401, 405, 432, 450, 460, 463, 464,
465, 467, 470, 475, 476, 479,
488, 490, 493, 494, 495, 497
Technical
Rolling stock P42DC, P40DC, Amfleets,
Metroliner cab car
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Track owner(s) Amtrak
Route map
Dist.
Station
Vermonter to St. Albans
0 mi 
0 km 
Springfield
Lake Shore Limited to Boston and Chicago
MA/CT border
15 mi 
24 km 
Windsor Locks
20 mi 
32 km 
Windsor
26 mi 
42 km 
Hartford
37 mi 
60 km 
Berlin
44 mi 
71 km 
Meriden
60 mi 
97 km 
Wallingford
Northeast Corridor to Boston
63 mi 
101 km 
New Haven
Northeast Corridor to Washington

Amtrak runs Shuttles between Springfield, Massachusetts and New Haven, Connecticut along Amtrak's New Haven–Springfield Line. These shuttles connect with Northeast Regional service at the New Haven station, usually a cross-platform or same platform transfer.

The Shuttles are numbered in the 400 series, usually denoting by the last two digits which Regional train the train is connecting with. Typical consists run in push-pull configuration with a GE Genesis locomotive pulling an Amfleet coach and a 9600 series Metroliner cab car. Crew bases are at Springfield and New Haven, with diesel locomotive servicing taking place at New Haven.

During fiscal year 2011, the Shuttle service carried over 380,000 passengers, an increase of 4.8% over FY2010. The service had a total revenue of $11,204,575 in FY2011, a 9% increase over FY2010.[1]

History[edit]

Until electrification was extended to Boston along the Shore Line portion of the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in 2000, Springfield Shuttle trains operated as "sections" of regular NortheastDirect trains. New Haven marked the end of electrification which required an engine change for all Amtrak trains passing through. On trains going to Boston, one or two cars would be uncoupled from the rear, containing the passengers wishing to travel through to points between New Haven and Springfield. After the Boston portion of the train continued along its way, a diesel engine would attach to the left-behind cars and pull them to Springfield. Trains from Springfield would platform, then pull forward to a relay track, leaving the passenger cars to wait for the train to arrive from Boston. An electric locomotive would then couple to the Springfield cars and push them onto the front of the arriving southbound train.

When the power change was eliminated at New Haven, this cumbersome splitting and re-combination procedure was abandoned in favor of a dedicated shuttle train that would meet each through train at the same platform. Former Metroliner cab cars were obtained from other parts of the system, and the Shuttles began to operate in push-pull format, eliminating the need to wye or loop the trainsets at New Haven and Springfield. The new Amtrak president, David L. Gunn then re-launched the Springfield Shuttle service with increased number of round trips and much-lower "commuter" level fares, turning the shuttle into a service in its own right, instead of just a connection for through travelers along the Northeast Corridor.

Mail cars on Shuttle Train 490 at Meriden in 2002.

Mail service[edit]

Until Amtrak discontinued all mail-hauling operations in 2005, the postal distribution center in Springfield, MA, was a significant customer. Up until about the year 2000, Springfield was served by a dedicated mail train which would run overnight up the Inland Route to Springfield. After this train was canceled, mail cars were instead added to the early morning Train 190, to make pickups at large cities along the Northeast Corridor. At New Haven these mail cars would be removed from the rear of Train 190 and added to Shuttle Train 490, sometimes sandwiching the locomotive in the middle of the train.

Station stops[edit]

State Town/City Station Connections
Massachusetts Springfield Springfield Amtrak: Lake Shore Limited, Vermonter, Northeast Regional
Connecticut Windsor Locks Windsor Locks Amtrak: Vermonter, Northeast Regional
Windsor Windsor Amtrak: Northeast Regional
Hartford Hartford Union Station Amtrak: Vermonter, Northeast Regional
Berlin Berlin
Meriden Meriden
Wallingford Wallingford Amtrak: Northeast Regional, Vermonter
New Haven New Haven-Union Station Amtrak: Acela Express, Northeast Regional, Vermonter
ConnDOT: Shore Line East
CT Transit New Haven: J, Commuter Connection Downtown and Sargent Drive, Temple Street Garage Shuttle
Metro-North Railroad: New Haven Line

The Springfield–New Haven corridor is also served by some Northeast Regional trains in the 136 and 140 series. These trains run from Springfield all the way to Washington, DC, without the need to change trains. The corridor is also served by Amtrak's Vermonter.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Amtrak Ridership Rolls Up Best-Ever Records" (PDF). Amtrak. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2012.