Springfield Union Station (Massachusetts)
Amtrak platforms at Springfield Union Station
|Address||66 Lyman Street
Springfield, MA 01103
Hartford Line (planned)
|Platforms||2 side platforms, 2 island platforms|
|Station code||Amtrak code: SPG|
|Owned by||Springfield Redevelopment Authority|
|Passengers (FY2014)||135,243 1.2%|
The station property is currently undergoing a $75.6 million major renovation. The renovation, which is scheduled for completion in 2016, includes the restoration of the original terminal building and its central concourse, construction of a 26-bay integrated open-air regional and intercity bus terminal, renovation and reactivation of the passenger tunnel linking the terminal building to train platforms, and construction of a four-level 377-space on-site parking garage for transit users.
When the renovation is complete the property will be known as the Union Station Regional Intermodal Transportation Center.
Springfield's grand Union Station was constructed in 1926 by the Boston and Albany Railroad to replace a smaller Union Station, which had been adorned in unique Egyptian-style architecture. Appropriately, Springfield is exactly equidistant to both Boston and Albany—89 miles (143 km.) Rail lines that fed into Union Station included the Hartford and Springfield Railroad, the Springfield and New London Railroad, the Central New England Railway (all of which were acquired by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad), and the Connecticut River Railroad (which was later acquired by the Boston and Maine Railroad).
Springfield's grand 1926 Union Station will receive a $75.6 million renovation from 2010 to 2016. When the renovation is complete the station will become a regional intermodal transportation center, housing the headquarters of Peter Pan Bus Lines, the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, and a regional headquarters for Greyhound Bus. In addition to a rebuilt train platforms, Union Station is slated to receive a 23-bay bus terminal and a 400-space parking garage along with retail and office space. In March 2014, MassDOT allocated $16.5 million to fully fund the first phase of the renovation.
Demolition of the baggage building began on December 1, 2014.
The Union Station complex is situated on a large grade elevated plot of land one block wide and about four blocks long. The main passenger entrance was on the north side of the station and located right east to the former express freight facility. The eight former station tracks were accessed via an underground concourse that utilized stairs and elevators to connect to the platforms. The former elevator headhouses remain an important visual element to the station as they have been adorned with large Amtrak logos.
Today the station consists of 6 tracks; tracks 1, 2 and 2a serve CSX's Boston Line and tracks 4, 6 and 8 serve the Amtrak's New Haven–Springfield Line. The Amtrak tracks are independent from the CSX's tracks. The Amtrak tracks connect with Boston Line track 2A via dispatcher controlled switches at either end of the track. Each of the low level platforms retain the stairs and elevators which connect to the now closed concourse/street level. The current Amtrak station building is at track level adjacent to Track 8 and trains are reached by crossing the tracks at designated walkways. Just west of the station platforms the Amtrak New Haven-Springfield line immediately curves to the south while the CSX Boston Line continues on to cross the Connecticut River on a twin truss bridge.
The primary service at Springfield Union Station are the New Haven – Springfield Shuttle trains connecting Springfield to the Amtrak's Northeast Corridor trains in New Haven. Moreover, an additional 1-2 Northeast Regional round trips start or terminate their service at Springfield as opposed to Boston.
Long distance services comprise Amtrak's Vermonter and the Lake Shore Limited "Boston section." The Vermonter currently uses the connection to the Boston Line to travel east to Palmer, Massachusetts (where it reverses direction and heads north), while the Lake Shore makes use of the Boston Line platforms as it continues to/from Albany.
In the past a single Northeast Regional round trip (usually trains 142 and 145) would travel between New Haven and Boston via the so-called "Inland Route" via Springfield and the Boston Line, as opposed to the faster, electrified Northeast Corridor. In 2003, a problem pulled the Acela Express trainsets out of service and in an effort to find substitute rolling stock, Amtrak first curtailed the inland round trip to a 3 car shuttle between Boston and New Haven before canceling it completely. Today, all normally scheduled Regional trains using the Inland Route only use the portion between Springfield and New Haven; in the event of a service disruption on the Northeast Corridor trains may be scheduled to run via the "complete Inland Route." One such occasion was the replacement of the Thames River Bridge movable span in June 2008, when Amtrak scheduled 3 round trips per day over the Inland Route to substitute for the complete suspension of regular Northeast Corridor service.
In 2011, construction began on renovations to Western Massachusetts' portion of the Vermonter line, which will re-route the train to the old Montrealer route along the Conn River Line on December 29, 2014. Intercity stops in Massachusetts will be made in Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton, and Greenfield before reaching Brattleboro, Vermont.
- "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2014, Commonwealth of Massachusetts" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- "Springfield Redevelopment Authority: Union Station". About the Project. Springfield Redevelopment Authority. December 3, 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-16.
- Kinney, Jim (December 12, 2014). "Springfield Union Station to get full build out, 122 more parking spaces for a total of 377". The Republican (Springfield, Massachussets). Retrieved 2014-12-16.
- Springfield Union Station to get $75 million upgrade (Massachusetts Common Ground News; May 31, 2011)
- "Springfield Union Station to get $75 million upgrade," by Matt Caron and Nicolas LaBonte(WWLP 22 News May 29, 2011)
- Republican File Photo. "Springfield Union Station work on track for summer 2012". masslive.com. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
- Jessen, Klark (13 March 2014). "Springfield Union Station Funding Boost". MassDOT Blog. Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- Kinney, Jim (26 November 2014). "Springfield Union Station baggage building demolition to begin Monday, Dec. 1.". MassLive. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
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