The investment of nearly $125 million from the Federal Railroad Administration beginning in 2010 has led to the upgrade of the Connecticut River Main Line railroads tracks (roughly paralleling Interstate 91), the construction of three new passenger rail stops in Greenfield, Northampton, and Holyoke, and the relocation of Amtrak service back to those communities with the new stops.
Amtrak currently operates the “Vermonter” service, one round trip per day between St. Albans, VT and Washington D.C., on the new tracks. The southbound train arrives in Greenfield (at the home of the FRTA and FRCOG offices at the John W. Olver Transit Center) at approximately 1:45 p.m., returning northbound at 4:30 pm. An expansion of this service which will increase the number of trains per day is planned to start in the late summer of 2019.
The FRCOG has created a flyer with general information about the and public overnight parking. The FRCOG also completed a study in September 2017 that explored how to attract more visitors to the region by passenger rail. The FRCOG will be working with tourism organizations to implement the recommendations of the study.
The FRCOG is also participating in work to expand Amtrak service from Boston to New Haven, and Boston to Montreal, both via Springfield. Known as the Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative, this service will utilize the new Knowledge Corridor tracks for the north-south aspects of these trips, while the Inland Route tracks between Boston and Springfield will support the east-west leg. Final recommendations have been compiled, and work continues to solidify details and secure funding for equipment and operation start-ups.