Springfield Union Station (Massachusetts)
Amtrak platforms at Springfield Union Station
|Location||66 Lyman Street
Springfield, MA 01103
|Owned by||Springfield Redevelopment Authority|
Hartford Line (Late 2016)
|Platforms||2 side platforms, 2 island platforms|
|Station code||Amtrak code: SPG|
|Passengers (FY2014)||135,243 1.2%|
The station property is currently undergoing a major renovation. The $75.6 million project, 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 complete the Amtrak ticketing and waiting area will move back into the main station building and the tunnel will once again connect the main building to the current Amtrak Lyman street entrance and to the station platforms allowing entry and passenger drop-offs on both Frank B. Murray and Lyman streets. The main level and concourse will contain Amtrak ticketing and waiting area, bus ticketing and waiting area, and likely a newsstand and coffee shop and a small food court. In addition to Amtrak the terminal will also serve the PVTA regional bus service. Intercity bus operators such as Peter Pan and Greyhound may also move into the building, and the Hartford Line commuter rail service, starting in 2016, would add passenger traffic to the station. The present station building owned by Amtrak and located trackside will be vacated and most likely be reused by Amtrak for support functions such as Amtrak Police and a crew base, replacing temporary trailers.
In December 2014 additional funding was announced for the station project allowing the full build-out of the station building including both transit and non transit oriented spaces. The addition would pay for renovation of the upper floors of the building, formerly used as office space by CSX. The build-out will renovate these areas to shell state with full utilities. Final customization and finishing of the spaces would be completed by tenants.
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 & Albany Railroad to replace a smaller Union Station, which had been adorned in unique Egyptian-style architecture. Springfield is exactly equidistant to both Boston and Albany—89 miles (143 km.). The New York, New Haven & Hartford (including the Central New England Railway) and Boston & Maine railroads also utilized the station.
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.
Union Station is situated on a grade elevated plot of land one block wide and approximately four blocks long. The main passenger entrance was on the north side of the station and located 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 six 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. Amtrak trackage is independent from CSX. Amtrak trackages connects 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. 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 Connecticut river line to Connecticut and Vermont, 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 Conn River Line in Western Massachusetts, and on December 29, 2014 the Vermonter was re-route onto the line. Intercity stops in Massachusetts are made in Springfield, Holyoke (starting in 2015), Northampton, and Greenfield before reaching Brattleboro, Vermont.
Possible future service
Commuter rail service has been proposed for the rail corridor running between Springfield and Greenfield with four daily round trips. A 2014 state transportation funding bill included $30 million for acquiring used MBTA Commuter Rail rolling stock and new locomotives for the service.
Additionally, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Vermont Agency of Transportation are conducting a study to examine the opportunities and impacts of more frequent and higher speed intercity passenger rail service between Boston and Montreal. The Boston to Montreal corridor runs from Boston to Springfield Union Station. From Springfield the rail corridor follows the route of the Vermonter northerly through Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield, Massachusetts, and Brattleboro, White River Junction, Essex Junction (Burlington), and St. Albans, Vermont. From St. Albans, the corridor continues to the Canadian border and onward to Montreal Central Station in Quebec. This study has been designated the Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative.
- "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, Massachusetts). 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.
- Fritz, Anita (February 4, 2014). "Train platform will have access from Olive Street, transportation center". The Recorder. Retrieved 2014-02-10.
- "Session Laws: Chapter 79 of the Acts of 2014". Commonwealth of Masschusetts. 18 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-18.
- "About this Project". Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative. Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2015-01-15.
- Pioneer Valley Transit Authority; Springfield Redevelopment Authority (Mass.) (October 7, 2008). Redevelopment Plan for the Union Station Intermodal Transportation Facility (PDF). Boston: HDR, Inc. Retrieved 2015-01-02.
- Brennan, Tim (February 7, 2015). "Springfield's Union Station renovation key to Pioneer Valley's future". The Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts). Retrieved 2015-02-11.
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