New Haven–Springfield Shuttle
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Train #470, a single-car train, sits at New Haven
awaiting Train 170 from New York.
|Service type||Inter-city rail|
380,896 (total) (FY11)
|Distance travelled||63 miles (101 km)|
|Average journey time||1 hour 20 minutes|
|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 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
Amtrak runs Shuttles 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, 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. Crew bases are at Springfield and New Haven, with diesel locomotive servicing taking place at New Haven.
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 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.
|Massachusetts||Springfield||Springfield||Amtrak: Lake Shore Limited, Vermonter, Northeast Regional|
|Connecticut||Windsor Locks||Windsor Locks||Amtrak: Vermonter, Northeast Regional|
|Windsor||Windsor||Amtrak: Northeast Regional|
|Hartford||Hartford Union Station||Amtrak: Vermonter, Northeast Regional|
|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 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.