New Haven–Springfield Shuttle
Train #470, a single-car train, sits at New Haven awaiting Train 170 from New York.
|Service type||Inter-city rail|
|Locale||Connecticut and Massachusetts|
|Annual ridership||270,353 (FY16)|
|Start||Union Station, New Haven, Connecticut|
|End||Union Station, Springfield, Massachusetts|
|Distance travelled||62 miles (100 km)|
|Average journey time||1 hour 20 minutes|
|Service frequency||Eight weekday round trips|
Six–seven weekend round trips
|Train number(s)||405, 409, 412, 416, 417, 432,|
450, 451, 460, 461, 463, 464,
465, 467, 470, 471, 473, 474,
475, 476, 478, 479, 488, 490,
494, 495, 497
|Rolling stock||GE P42DC & P40DC locomotives, Amfleet coach cars, and ex-Metroliner cab cars|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Operating speed||Up to 110 mph (180 km/h)|
New Haven–Springfield Shuttles are shuttle trains run by Amtrak between Springfield, Massachusetts, and New Haven, Connecticut, along Amtrak's New Haven–Springfield Line. These shuttles connect with Northeast Regional and Metro-North New Haven Line service at New Haven's Union Station, using usually a cross-platform or same platform transfer.
During fiscal year (FY) 2016, the Shuttle service carried 270,353 passengers, a decrease of 23.0% from FY2015. The service had a total revenue of $9,504,113 in FY2016, an 18.0% decrease from FY2015. The drop in both ridership and revenue was primarily due to bus substitutions of trains to accommodate track work for the new Hartford Line commuter rail service.
The Shuttle service as well as the Northeast Regional through trains that terminate in Springfield are state-supported routes within Amtrak's system. Amtrak receives funding from the Connecticut Department of Transportation and Massachusetts Department of Transportation to operate these trains.
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As inherited from Penn Central in 1971, most service on the Springfield Line consisted of unnamed Budd Rail Diesel Car shuttles that connected with Northeast Corridor trains at New Haven, with limited through service to New York City. In 1980, Connecticut invested $12 million to improve service on the line. North Haven station was opened on October 25, 1980, and other stations were renovated. A new fleet of 12 Budd SPV-2000 diesel railcars allowed an increase to 12 daily round trips under the Connecticut Valley Service name (plus two through trips) at that time. However, service was cut in half in 1981 after ridership failed to increase.
On January 12, 1986, Amtrak pulled the unreliable SPVs from the line and replaced them with Amfleet coaches pulled by diesel locomotives. North Haven and Enfield stations were closed on October 25, 1986 due to low ridership. As New Haven was the northern limit of electrification on the Northeast Corridor, New York–Boston trains changed between electric and diesel locomotives at the station. The passenger coaches of Springfield shuttle trains were attached to southbound trains during the engine change, and detached from northbound trains; this eliminated the need for passengers to change trains. The Connecticut Valley Service name was soon dropped, and shuttle trains were named in timetables as sections of their connecting trains. The elimination of the second track on the line beginning in 1990 sharply reduced capacity, limiting frequencies to four daily shuttle round trips plus several through trips.
On October 28, 1995, most Northeast Corridor service including the shuttle trains were consolidated under the NortheastDirect brand. Electrification was extended to Boston in 2000, and engine changes were eliminated over the next two years. The cumbersome split/merge procedure was abandoned in favor of dedicated shuttle trains with cross-platform connections to through trains. The shuttle trains began to use Former Metroliner cab cars, which had become available when replaced by new equipment on West Coast routes. This allowed them to operate in push–pull format, eliminating the need to wye or loop the trainsets at New Haven and Springfield. The NortheastDirect name was dropped in September 2001; Northeast Corridor trains became the Acela Regional (later Regional then Northeast Regional), while the shuttle trains became unnamed.
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.
Until August 2015, daily service in each direction on the Springfield Line consisted of four Shuttles, the Vermonter, and one or two Northeast Regional trains. Between August 3, 2015 and December 31, 2017, several round trips on weekdays were replaced by buses to accommodate double track construction for the Hartford Line commuter service.
On June 9, 2018, the service began offering three additional round trips on weekdays and some other smaller schedule changes were made as part of expanded service on the line. The changes also now allow some connections with Amtrak's premium Acela Express service in New Haven. Two southbound trains on weekdays and one northbound train on Mondays through Thursdays and Sundays can connect with Acela trains. On June 12, 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced that two round trips would be extended to Greenfield in 2019 as a pilot program.
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 General Electric P40DC locomotive pulling an Amfleet coach and a 9600-series ex-Metroliner cab car. Normally the ex-Budd Metroliner leads northbound trains, while the GE Genesis usually leads most southbound trains. Crew bases are at Springfield and New Haven, with diesel locomotive servicing taking place at New Haven.
The New Haven–Springfield corridor is served by all Northeast Regional trains in the 140 series (except trains 145 and 149) as well as trains 136 and 157. These trains run from Springfield to Washington, D.C. or Virginia without the need to change trains. The corridor is also served by Amtrak's Vermonter.
New commuter rail service on the line began on June 16, 2018. Expanded Amtrak Shuttle service on the line launched one week earlier on June 9, 2018. Connecticut DOT provides eight round trip commuter trains on weekdays under its new CTrail branding that are operated by its new contractor, a joint venture between TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts Inc. Half of these trains operate between New Haven and Hartford, with the other four running the whole line between New Haven and Springfield. Amtrak has also added three new Shuttle round trips on top of its previous service. This brings the total round trips on the line to sixteen between New Haven and Hartford, with twelve of them operating along the full line to Springfield. On weekends and holidays, CTrail operates six New Haven–Hartford round trips and three New Haven–Springfield round trips. Amtrak continues to offer its existing weekend service with some minor schedule changes. Together, twelve–thirteen round trips are offered on weekends. Amtrak accepts CTrail commuter tickets aboard the trains in the Shuttle series and has adjusted its own fares to match CTrail for trips between New Haven and Springfield.
- "Amtrak FY16 Ridership and Revenue Fact Sheet" (PDF). Amtrak. April 17, 2017. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
- "AMTRAK RUNS TEST TRAINS OF UP TO 110 MPH IN PREPARATION FOR THE LAUNCH OF THE HARTFORD LINE ON JUNE 16" (Press release). Connecticut Department of Transportation. June 6, 2018. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
- "Nationwide Schedules of Intercity Passenger Service". National Railroad Passenger Corporation. May 1, 1971. p. 9 – via The Museum of Railway Timetables.
- Madden, Richard L. (October 20, 1982). "SENATOR BAKER APPEARS IN HARTFORD FOR WEICKER AND STATE REPUBLICANS". New York Times.
- Belletzkie, Bob. "Stations: NI-NO". Tyler City Station.
- "Connecticut Valley Schedule". Amtrak. October 28, 1980.
- Amtrak National Train Timetables. Amtrak. April 27, 1986. p. 13 – via Museum of Railway Timetables.
- "Section 1: Introduction". NEW HAVEN-HARTFORD-SPRINGFIELD LINE HIGH SPEED INTERCITY PASSENGER RAIL PROJECT: ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT/ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT EVALUATION (PDF). Federal Railroad Administration. May 2012. p. 1.
- Karr, Ronald Dale (2017). The Rail Lines of Southern New England (2 ed.). Branch Line Press. p. 86. ISBN 9780942147124.
- "NRPC Form W4–200M–1/12/15: Northeast Corridor Boston / Springfield and Washington, D.C." (PDF). National Railroad Passenger Corporation. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 3, 2015.
- "Amtrak Begins Substitute Bus Operation to Facilitate Construction on Hartford Line" (Press release). Connecticut Department of Transportation. July 31, 2015. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
- Tuthill, Paul (June 12, 2018). "Commuter Trains To Run North Of Springfield Starting In 2019". WAMC. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
- "CTDOT Announces Hartford Line Service Changes for Weekend of September 7-10, 2018 and a New Schedule Effective September 10, to Accommodate Track Work" (Press release). Connecticut Department of Transportation. September 4, 2018. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
Effective September 10, 2018, a new Hartford Line train schedule will take effect through September 30th to accommodate continuing track work. Along with this new schedule, all Hartford Line trains will now stop at New Haven State Street Station.
- "Northeast Corridor Boston/Springfield–Washington, D.C. Schedule" (PDF). Amtrak. March 10, 2018. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
- Porter, Mikaela; Owens, David (June 17, 2018). "Thousands Take A Free Ride On Hartford Line's Inaugural Run". Hartford Courant. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
- "Connecticut DOT gears up for Hartford Line testing". June 6, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
- "Gov. Malloy Announces TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts Selected as Service Provider for the Hartford Line". The Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy (Press release). Retrieved July 24, 2017.
- "CTrail Hartford Line Schedules: Effective November 12, 2018" (PDF). Hartford Line. November 12, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
- "Tickets & Fares". Retrieved June 13, 2018.
- "Executive Summary" (PDF). Connecticut Department of Transportation. p. 4. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
- "CTrail Hartford Line Schedules: Effective September 10, 2018" (PDF). Hartford Line. September 10, 2018. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
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