Springfield Union Station (Massachusetts)

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Springfield
Amt SPG 9640+Amtrak-Stand.jpg
Amtrak platforms at Springfield Union Station in showing two New Haven – Springfield Shuttle trains waiting to depart, one headed by Metroliner cab car #9640.
Station statistics
Address 66 Lyman Street
Springfield, MA 01103
Coordinates 42°06′22″N 72°35′35″W / 42.106047°N 72.592936°W / 42.106047; -72.592936Coordinates: 42°06′22″N 72°35′35″W / 42.106047°N 72.592936°W / 42.106047; -72.592936
Line(s) Amtrak:
Platforms 2 side platforms, 2 island platforms
Tracks 6
Other information
Opened 1926
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access
Station code SPG
Owned by Springfield Redevelopment Authority
Traffic
Passengers (2013) 141,907[1] Decrease 1.2%
Services
Preceding station   BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak   Following station
toward Chicago
Lake Shore Limited
Northeast Regional Terminus
toward New Haven
New Haven – Springfield Shuttle
Vermonter
toward St. Albans
Vermonter
Planned
toward St. Albans
  Proposed  
ConnDOT
New Haven – Hartford – Springfield Rail Terminus
  Former services  
New York Central Railroad
toward Albany
Boston and Albany Railroad
Main Line
toward Boston

Springfield Union Station is an Amtrak train station in Springfield, Massachusetts. Constructed in 1926, as of 2010, Springfield Union Station was the fifth busiest Amtrak station in Massachusetts, boarding or detraining an average of approximately 360 passengers daily. Each of the top four busiest stations was in Boston; however, Springfield's Amtrak station (at number five) featured nearly 5 times the amount of rail traffic of Massachusetts' number six Amtrak station at Haverhill.

History[edit]

Originally, Springfield's grand Union Station was constructed in 1926 by 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).

Renovation[edit]

Springfield's original, grand 1926 Union Station will receive a $75 million renovation from 2010 to 2016.[2][3] Upon its upgrade, Springfield's Union Station—which has been mostly dormant since the early 1970s, when the riverfront-blocking Interstate 91 was constructed—will become an intermodal transportation center, housing the headquarters of Peter Pan Bus, the PVTA, and a regional headquarters for Greyhound Bus. Springfield's renovated Union Station will also become the northern terminus for the Springfield – New Haven High-Speed Commuter Rail Line, which will be functional in 2015.[4] HDR Architects have been hired to oversee the 2012 renovation. In addition to a rebuilt train platform and extra tracks, Union Station is slated to receive a 23-bay bus terminal and a 400-space parking garage along with retail and office space.[4] In March 2014, MassDOT allocated $16.5 million to fully fund the first phase of the renovation.[5]

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 Connecticut River. Intercity stops in Massachusetts will be made in Springfield, Northampton, and Greenfield before reaching Brattleboro, Vermont.

Station layout[edit]

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 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, 3 (tracks 1, 2 and 2a) serving the B&A Main Line and another 3 (tracks 4, 6 and 8) serving the Amtrak Springfield Line. The Amtrak tracks are independent from the main line tracks which are maintained by CSX as part of its Boston Line. The Amtrak tracks connect with the 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 Springfield line immediately curves to the south while the CSX Boston Line continues on to cross the Connecticut River on a twin truss bridge.

Services[edit]

The primary service at Springfield Station are the New Haven – Springfield Shuttle trains connecting Springfield to the Northeast Corridor trains at 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 uses the connection to the Boston Line to travel east to Palmer, Massachusetts (where it reverses and heads north), while the Lake Shore makes use of the Main Line platforms as it continues to/from Albany.

Previously, a single Northeast Regional round trip (usually trains 142 and 145) would travel between New Haven and Boston 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.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

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