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.
Service type Inter-city rail
Ridership 1,044 daily
380,896 (total) (FY11)[1]
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
Rolling stock P42DC, P40DC, Amfleets,
Metroliner cab car
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Track owner(s) Amtrak
Route map
New Haven–Springfield Shuttle
0 mi
0 km
MA/CT border
15 mi
24 km
Windsor Locks
20 mi
32 km
26 mi
42 km
37 mi
60 km
44 mi
71 km
50 mi
80 km
63 mi
101 km
New Haven

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 service at the New Haven station, using 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. 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.

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]

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 MassDOT to operate these trains.


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.

Until August 2015, daily service in each direction on the Springfield Line consisted of 4 Shuttles, the Vermonter, and one to two Northeast Regional trains.[2] Beginning on August 3, 2015, three of the Shuttle round trips on weekdays were replaced by buses to accommodate double track construction for the Hartford Line commuter service. The busing will last for approximately one year, shortly after which the start of Hartford Line service will supplement Amtrak service with an additional eleven daily round trips south of Hartford and six additional trips north of Hartford. Weekend service remains as normal. The new service is expected to begin in spring of 2018. In October of 2017, it was revealed that three of the six new New Haven - Springfield round trips will be additional Amtrak Shuttles. The remaining three New Haven - Springfield trips and the five New Haven - Hartford trips will be operated as a new commuter rail service by a separate operator and will be designed to connect to Metro-North Railroad service at New Haven.[3]

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
PVTA Bus: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, 17, 20, 21, 92
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 all Northeast Regional trains in the 140 series (except train 145) as well as trains 136 and 157. These trains run from Springfield all the way to or beyond Washington, DC, without the need to change trains. The corridor is also served by Amtrak's Vermonter.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Amtrak Ridership Rolls Up Best-Ever Records" (PDF). Amtrak. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "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 3 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "Amtrak Begins Substitute Bus Operation to Facilitate Construction on Hartford Line" (Press release). Connecticut Department of Transportation. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2015.