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The Lake Shore Limited from Boston bound for Chicago stops at Union Station in Springfield in December 2013. BOSTON — Just one train runs daily from Boston's South Station to Springfield's Union Station. As recently as 1960 the New York Central Railroad operated the New England States train five times daily along a track that's known as the Inland Route. Today, Amtrak runs the lone daily train, the Lake Shore Limited, from Boston to Chicago with four Massachusetts stops: Framingham, Worcester, Springfield and Pittsfield. Train travel declined significantly after World War II as car travel boomed with the creation of the Interstate Highway system, particularly the MassPike, and the emergence of the auto-oriented suburban America. In 1971, the New England States ceased functioning after the creation of Amtrak and was not replaced by the Lake Shore Limited until 1975. While it is possible to travel by train between Boston and Springfield through New Haven, the trip is far more expensive ($74 and up) and time consuming (at least 280 minutes) than the Lake Shore Limited (135 minutes) or the Peter Pan bus service (94 to 140 minutes) that runs nine times daily via the MassPike.
The current Boston to Chicago train numbered 449 was on time an average of 87.4 percent of the time in 2013 according to Amtrak. Springfield and Boston are, by a wide margin, the two busiest stops on the Lake Shore Limited route that runs between Boston and Chicago.
The scarcity of rail service between Boston and Springfield is an issue that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has acknowledged in recent years, and not only with white papers detailing a more transit-friendly future but with action. The purchase of the right of way was a major step, but the Patrick administration went further in early 2013 when they proposed, and eventually passed, an $362.4 million plan to upgrade the tracks along the Inland Route. Government officials think these improvements will lead to and aid future high-speed rail service between New York and Springfield, a long-term plan that has already been set in motion by efforts in Connecticut and Vermont to improve the tracks there that lead to Springfield and its soon-to-be renovated train station. MassDOT's plan for improving the state's infrastructure is, alas, just a plan until it completes its journey through a two-part legislative sausage making process on Beacon Hill.
The financing plan, scaled back from its original design, has been approved by the legislature. The five-year bond bill is currently making its way through the legislature in its newest form.
Transit advocates like former Governor Michael Dukakis see the plans for increased passenger rail service along the route as a no-brainer for transportation in the Commonwealth. Dukakis said there's huge potential for transit improvements in the western part of the state because of its proximity to New York City. View full sizeBoston area commuters wait inside South Station to see which track their train will depart on. The improvements being made to the line would enable lower-end high-speed trains that will travel around 110 to 125 mph.
Train Riders Northeast Chairman Wayne Davis welcomed the planned improvements because the current route, he says, is "a joke." In order for the route to appeal to daily users, Davis said it needs to travel at least 79 mph -- otherwise, it isn't worth it. Estimates by train aficionados of the average speed along the track between Boston and Springfield is 60 miles per hour, compared to some commuter rail lines that can reach speeds upwards of 80 miles per hour.
Davis said he could see the route becoming something similar to the Downeaster train that runs between Portland, Maine, and Boston five times daily with an average trip time of about 2 and half hours one way. Marc Scribner, a research fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, thinks investment by the state on a primarily private rail line is unnecessary because private rail companies are rolling in money.
O'Toole criticized not just the planned expansion of passenger rail service to Springfield but the entire concept of government subsidized passenger rail service, noting that the Lake Shore Limited loses about $30 million a year. On a recent round trip on the Lake Shore Limited between Boston and Springfield, I found the trip pleasant, though the outbound experience was better than the inbound one. The train includes three cars for passengers: one for long-distance travelers, one for those making a shorter haul and one sleeper car. Davis uses the train three or four times a year to travel around but still relies occasionally on the bus from Cape Cod, where there is limited train service. 34-year-old Jeremiah Smith of Holyoke and 32-year-old Kelly Burton of Boston both said they used the train about once a month to travel between Springfield and Boston. Smith said the biggest problem with the train is its reliability as you don't always know when it will leave or arrive. My return leg from Springfield left 2 hours and 40 minutes late due to problems in Chicago and Indiana and was clearly well-worn when it arrived in Springfield. As passenger rail travel continues to grow in popularity nationwide and, in particular, the northeast, Bostonians looking to take a train west to Springfield will have to continue to rely on the once daily Lake Shore Limited for some time.
You can follow Garrett Quinn on Twitter and read his latest reports on MassLive's Boston page. More commuter trains will start rolling between Boston and Worcester starting on Monday morning.


WORCESTER — More commuter trains will start rolling between Boston and Worcester on Monday morning. The expanded commuter rail schedule between Boston and Worcester has been delayed several times as the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority completed work on its Yawkey station (located near Fenway Park). In February, MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott thanked the public for its patience as the authority finished the work on the Yawkey station. The expanded schedule will add 20 weekday and nine weekend trips between eastern and central Massachusetts.
The DHS has installed sensors in the MBTA system to detect biological agents and they’ve been testing to see how the air moves.
Edit: I just remembered that about a year ago there were reports of Military Special Operations forces buzzing around the city. If this plan of DHS goes forward, I hope that they will give the public the exact dates so they can avoid the system on and around those times. The last video I posted in this thread,states how the gov has been conducting tests on Americans for a long time. Coincidentally today Ray Bradbury died, but this whole location of the T and the bacteria and the schools reminds me of Fahrenheit 451. Hit the link button, type the visible word you want in the box first(like link), hit enter, than paste the link in the box and press enter again. The Above Top Secret Web site is a wholly owned social content community of The Above Network, LLC. This item will be sent through the Global Shipping Programme and includes international tracking. Will usually dispatch within 1 working day of receiving cleared payment - opens in a new window or tab.
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The Inland Route runs between Boston and Albany, making stops in Newtonville, Framingham, Worcester, Palmer, Springfield and Pittsfield.
Densely populated cities in the industrial Northeast saw residents flee steadily after the war.
Another Amtrak train that ran from Boston to New York City through Springfield operated until about 2004. The prices for the Peter Pan bus and Lake Shore Limited are roughly the same, depending on when you purchase your ticket. In 2012, MassDOT closed on a $100 million deal with freight company CSX to purchase the right of way on the rails between Worcester and Boston.
For travelers coming from Boston, the quality of the track declines west of Worcester, moving from two generally straight rails to one curvy rail that lacks spaces for slower trains to pull off to allow faster trains to pass.
The area around the tracks between New Haven, Springfield and the Vermont border has been dubbed the Knowledge Corridor by officials. Patrick vetoed the bill after it was passed the first time, calling the plan insufficient, but the legislature overrode him.
It includes $5 million in funding for the early planning and permitting stages of the $364.5 million Inland Route project. The Downeaster averaged roughly 46,000 passengers per month in 2012, an increase of 22,000 from when the train started running in 2002.
Based on the research out there, spending on transit is not a cost-effective way to deal with congestion. O'Toole said he would like to see the privatization of not just passenger rail and public transportation but all transportation services, pointing to MegaBus as an example of what can happen when private businesses compete in the transit market place. Why are they talking about expanding service when they can'?t afford to maintain what they got?" added O'Toole. Many of the riders on the Springfield-bound train said they take the train because they prefer the experience over the bus.


53-year-old Andrew Davis, who is disabled, said the train was a far more comfortable and accessible mode of transportation for him. Davis would like to see improved rail service to Cape Cod before expanded access to the western part of the state. The other problem is the lack of service; both said they would like to see more trains between Boston and Springfield.
It will be years before daily passenger rail service between Boston and Springfield takes off again on a regular basis. Deval Patrick will join other state and transit officials to celebrate the opening of the Yawkey station, thus opening the expanded service between eastern and central Massachusetts, according to the governor's public schedule. They want to see how long a "virus" or "bacteria" will survive and the best way to deploy it. The opinions of our members are not those of site ownership who maintains strict editorial agnosticism and simply provides a collaborative venue for free expression.
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Only in recent years have many of these cities stemmed the tide of decline or even started to rebuild their populations. Sleeper-car service along the Boston-Chicago route was restored in 2009 after being discontinued.
Some of these numbers are skewed, however, as many are connecting to other trains in Boston and Springfield.
Then-Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray said the deal was made with expanded passenger rail service to Springfield in mind. The MassDOT plan, known as "The Way Forward - A 21st Century Transportation Plan," ? calls for the installation of a second set of rails, an improvement of the signals along the route, a widening of several bridges, new passenger train equipment and constructing or renovation of stations.
The proposed plan includes rerouting the trains that run from Vermont to New Haven to an older and refurbished line known as the Pan Am Southern Railroad.
An additional $25 million is devoted to improve rail service in and around the Springfield area, including Union Station.
You're talking about taking the existing rail and improving it," said Dukakis during a phone interview.
The cost of a ticket on the train, with advanced purchase, is $20-25 depending on the time of day. The ride was hassle-free and comfortable, though the Wi-Fi was not as reliable as I've found it to be on the Acela and Northeast Regional trains from Boston to New York and Washington, D.C.
Conductors place place color-coded slips in the overhead compartments that indicate your destination with acronyms like SPG for Springfield or PIT for Pittsfield. Plans, feasibility studies, environmental studies of the additional rail, budgeting and bidding all need to be completed before trains, likely operated by Amtrak, start making daily trips between Springfield and Boston. The MBTA intends to expand the number of runs between Worcester and Boston's South Station. If you reside in an EU member state besides UK, import VAT on this purchase is not recoverable. Import charges previously quoted are subject to change if you increase you maximum bid amount. The changes all come together as part of a broader plan for a regional high-speed rail network throughout New England. The train provided me the opportunity to be more productive with my time than if I were driving, and the setting was more relaxing than a bus.
It was originally scheduled for completion in the spring of 2012 at a cost of $13.5 million. Like most Amtrak routes, the train loses money and relies on subsidies from Maine and the federal government to continue operating as Massachusetts and New Hampshire do not contribute to its operational costs.



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