New Haven–Springfield Line
|New Haven–Springfield Line|
An Amtrak Shuttle at New Haven
|Line length||60.5 mi (97.4 km)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
The New Haven–Springfield Line is a railroad line owned by Amtrak from New Haven, Connecticut, north to Springfield, Massachusetts. As a branch of the Northeast Corridor at New Haven, it is served by approximately seven daily Regional round trips, some continuing from New Haven to Washington, D.C. along the Corridor and others terminating at New Haven as shuttles. On weekends, there is one train daily to Lynchburg, Virginia. It is also served by the daily Washington–St. Albans, Vermont Vermonter, which heads North from Springfield towards St. Albans Vermont. In 2004, Congress added the New Haven–Springfield Line onto the Northern New England Corridor, one of ten federally designated corridors for potential high-speed rail service.
The New Haven–Springfield Line was built by the Hartford and New Haven Railroad (H&NH) and began operations in 1844, forming the first all-rail route between Boston and New Haven, with steamship service on Long Island Sound completing service to New York. The Shore Line, today's Northeast Corridor, was completed in 1858, but the Springfield route continued to carry most traffic until the bridge at New London, Connecticut over the Thames River opened in 1889.
The H&NH was merged into the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (NYNH&H) in 1872, and the NYNH&H continued to operate regular service between New York City and Springfield over the line. Various services were also operated over the Inland Route, starting July 1, 1911 by agreement of the NYNH&H and the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad (lessee of the Boston and Albany Railroad). By the startup of Amtrak on May 1, 1971, the Inland Route was no longer in use, but frequent trains continued to serve the New Haven–Springfield Line.
On May 17, 1971, Amtrak added a train between Philadelphia and Boston via the Inland Route. With the November 14, 1971 timetable, this was assigned the name Bay State, and extended south from Philadelphia to Washington, DC. The train was discontinued March 1, 1975, though on October 31 of that year, the Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited began, restoring Springfield–Boston service.
The final iteration of Inland Route service began with the November 10, 1996 timetable, with the extension of the daily Virginia Service train 85/86 to Boston via Springfield. That train was later truncated, and the former Washington–Boston Bay State was reinstated via the Inland Route. By the October 28, 2002 schedule, trains 140 (weekend) and 142 (weekday) provided northbound Inland Route service, while only weekend service was provided southbound via the 147. 142 was dropped October 27, 2003, and the November 1, 2004 timetable dropped 140 and 147, ending the use of the Inland Route.
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. New Haven–Springfield Shuttle trains, and Northeast Regional trains stop at all stations on the line.
Amtrak runs Shuttles between Springfield, Massachusetts and New Haven, Connecticut. These shuttles connect with Regional service at the New Haven station, usually a cross-platform or same platform transfer. Shuttles are in the 400 series, with the last two digits denoting the number of the train it is connecting to.
Commuter rail plans
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation studied adding a dedicated New Haven–Hartford–Springfield Commuter Rail Line between New Haven and Springfield to create a more accessible commuter connection to the Metro North commuter lines between New York City and Southwestern Connecticut, and also give more transit options to people commuting within the Knowledge Corridor region surrounding Hartford and Springfield. As part of this, extending or adding stations and right of way and new rail options were investigated. The study culminated in a final report in 2005, which was presented for a grant application to the Federal Transit Administration New Starts program. As of December 3, 2008, it is estimated that the line will begin operation in 2015 or 2016.
As part of grant money from the federal government to high-speed rail projects throughout America, the State of Connecticut was awarded $440 million to add a second track to 10.5 miles (16.9 km) of the route between Berlin and Newington, Connecticut, eliminating one of the four single-track sections of the route.
In October 2010 the state received an additional $121 million from the federal government (around $100 million less than requested), which is planned to be used to reconstruct additional second main-line trackage and install new signalling and rebuilding infrastructure along the route.
Massachusetts has already received $70 million in Federal funds to complete track renovations, and an additional $70 million to renovate the grand 1926 Union Station at Springfield, which was last used in 1973.
- Wicker, Tom (February 28, 1975). "Editorial". New York Times.
- Kush, Bronislaus B (December 28, 1996). "Amtrak says: Riders wanted; Lack of support may derail trains". Telegram & Gazette. p. A1.
- "LaHood visits New England to discuss expanded service". Trains Magazine. 26 April 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
- "State Receives $121M Federal Grant For Rail Line". Hartford Courant. 26 October 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
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