Valley Flyer
Amtrak train 471, the Valley Flyer, waiting for departure at Springfield Union Station, January 24, 2020
Overview
Service typeInter-city rail
StatusOperating
LocaleConnecticut and Massachusetts
First serviceAugust 30, 2019
Current operator(s)Amtrak
Route
StartNew Haven, Connecticut
Stops12
EndGreenfield, Massachusetts
Distance travelled102 miles (164 km)
Average journey time2 hours, 42-48 minutes[1]
Service frequency2 daily round trips
Train number(s)400, 461, 471, 478, 488, 494, 495, 499
On-board services
Class(es)Coach
Technical
Rolling stockGE Genesis locomotives, Amfleet coach cars and Ex-Metroliner cab cars
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Operating speedUp to 110 mph (180 km/h) (New Haven–Springfield)[2]
Up to 79 mph (127 km/h) (Springfield–Greenfield)
Track owner(s)Amtrak & MassDOT
Route map
36.0 mi
57.9 km
Greenfield
17.0 mi
27.4 km
Northampton
7.7 mi
12.4 km
Holyoke
0 mi
0 km
Springfield enlarge…
Hartford Line Springfield Union Station (Massachusetts)#Bus operations
14.6 mi
23.5 km
Windsor Locks
Hartford Line Bradley International Airport
19.1 mi
30.7 km
Windsor
Hartford Line Connecticut Transit Hartford
25.3 mi
40.7 km
Hartford
Hartford Line CTfastrak Hartford Union Station#Buses and shuttles
35.9 mi
57.8 km
Berlin
Hartford Line Connecticut Transit New Britain and Bristol
43.3 mi
69.7 km
Meriden
Hartford Line Meriden Transit Center#Connections
49.0 mi
78.9 km
Wallingford
Hartford Line Northeast Transportation Company#Wallingford
61.4 mi
98.8 km
New Haven
State Street
Shore Line East MTA NYC logo.svg Hartford Line Connecticut Transit New Haven
62 mi
100 km
New Haven
Union Station
Shore Line East MTA NYC logo.svg Hartford Line

The Valley Flyer is a train service run by Amtrak between New Haven, Connecticut and Greenfield, Massachusetts along Amtrak's New Haven–Springfield Line and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's Connecticut River Line.

Valley Flyer trains meet Acela and Northeast Regional services at New Haven Union Station where passengers can typically make a cross-platform transfer between trains. Departures on the Valley Flyer are timed to make day trips between the Connecticut River Valley and New York City possible.[3]

South of Springfield, the Valley Flyer complements the Hartford Line commuter rail service operated by the Connecticut Department of Transportation and Amtrak's Hartford Line service. North of Springfield, it complements Amtrak's Vermonter, offering travelers in the Valley three daily round trips on the Connecticut River Line.

History

On June 12, 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced that two daily round trip Hartford Line trains (then called New Haven–Springfield Shuttle) would be extended to Greenfield in 2019 as a pilot program.[4] By February 2019, the two-year pilot was expected to begin in June 2019; however, by that May it was delayed to later in the year.[5][6]

On August 30, 2019, the Valley Flyer program began with a 5:45 A.M. departure south from Greenfield.[7]

As a basis for continuing the Valley Flyer permanently, MassDOT set a goal of attracting at least 24,000 new riders per year during the pilot program. To this end, the 2020 Massachusetts state budget provided $250,000 to market the program. Thewatsons—a New York-based ad agency that has worked with Grand Central Terminal and CTrides—was contracted in fall 2019 to create the marketing campaign.[8]

From March 30, 2020, to July 26, 2021, one daily round trip was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[9]

Proposed extension

In the 2021 Vermont Rail Plan, VTrans modeled the potential extension of one daily Valley Flyer round-trip north from Greenfield to White River Junction, Vermont, and south from New Haven to Washington. This service would further supplement the Vermonter by doubling its frequency at four stations in Vermont and one in New Hampshire. VTrans forecast that this extension would attract an additional 30,500 to 50,200 riders per year by 2040.[10]

VTrans also considered extending a second daily Valley Flyer round-trip north to Brattleboro, but dropped this idea since the station lacks a turning mechanism.[11]

Service

Two New Haven-Greenfield round-trips are offered on weekdays, with southbound trains in the morning and northbound in the evening. On weekends, one similarly scheduled New Haven-Greenfield round-trip is offered, in addition to a reverse round trip between Springfield and Greenfield.[12][13] Valley Flyer trains meet Acela Express and Northeast Regional services at New Haven Union Station where passengers can typically make a cross-platform transfer between trains. Departures on the Valley Flyer are timed to make day trips between the Connecticut River Valley and New York City possible.[14]

Stations

State Milepost (km)[15] Location Station[16] Connections[17][16][18][19]
MA 102 mi (164 km) Greenfield John W. Olver Transit Center Amtrak Amtrak: Vermonter
Bus interchange FRTA: 20, 21, 24, 31, 32, 41
Greyhound Lines Greyhound Lines
83 mi (134 km) Northampton Northampton Union Station Amtrak Amtrak: Vermonter
Bus interchange PVTA: B48, G73E, R41, R44
72 mi (116 km) Holyoke Holyoke Amtrak Amtrak: Vermonter
Bus interchange PVTA: R24, R29, T24, X90
62 mi (100 km) Springfield Springfield Union Station Amtrak Amtrak: Lake Shore Limited, Northeast Regional, Vermonter, Hartford Line
Hartford Line CTrail: Hartford Line
Bus interchange PVTA: B4, B6, B7, B7S, B12, B17, G1, G2, G2E, G3, P20, P20E, P21, P21E, R10, R14, X92, LOOP
Greyhound Lines Greyhound Lines, Bus interchange Peter Pan Bus Lines
CT 47.4 mi (76.3 km) Windsor Locks Windsor Locks Amtrak Amtrak: Northeast Regional, Vermonter, Hartford Line
Hartford Line CTrail: Hartford Line
42.9 mi (69.0 km) Windsor Windsor Amtrak Amtrak: Northeast Regional, Hartford Line
Hartford Line CTrail: Hartford Line
36.7 mi (59.1 km) Hartford Hartford Union Station Amtrak Amtrak: Northeast Regional, Vermonter, Hartford Line
Hartford Line CTrail: Hartford Line
CTfastrak CTfastrak
26.1 mi (42.0 km) Berlin Berlin Amtrak Amtrak: Northeast Regional, Hartford Line
Hartford Line CTrail: Hartford Line
18.7 mi (30.1 km) Meriden Meriden Transit Center Amtrak Amtrak: Northeast Regional, Vermonter, Hartford Line
Hartford Line CTrail: Hartford Line
13.0 mi (20.9 km) Wallingford Wallingford Amtrak Amtrak: Northeast Regional, Hartford Line
Hartford Line CTrail: Hartford Line
0.6 mi (0.97 km) New Haven New Haven State Street Amtrak Amtrak: Northeast Regional, Hartford Line
Hartford Line CTrail: Hartford Line, Shore Line East
MTA NYC logo.svg Metro-North Railroad:  New Haven Line
0 mi (0 km) New Haven Union Station Amtrak Amtrak: Acela, Hartford Line, Northeast Regional, Vermonter
Hartford Line CTrail: Hartford Line, Shore Line East
MTA NYC logo.svg Metro-North Railroad:  New Haven Line
Bus interchange Local bus: CTtransit New Haven
Bus interchange Intercity bus: Greyhound Lines Greyhound, Peter Pan

References

  1. ^ "Amtrak Timetable Results". www.amtrak.com. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  2. ^ "AMTRAK RUNS TEST TRAINS OF UP TO 110 MPH IN PREPARATION FOR THE LAUNCH OF THE HARTFORD LINE ON JUNE 16" (Press release). Connecticut Department of Transportation. June 6, 2018. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  3. ^ Kinney, Jim (August 24, 2019). "Amtrak announces Valley Flyer train schedule for Knowledge Corridor". masslive. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  4. ^ Tuthill, Paul (June 12, 2018). "Commuter Trains To Run North Of Springfield Starting In 2019". WAMC. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  5. ^ Kinney, Jim (February 1, 2019). "Springfield-Holyoke-Northampton-Greenfield passenger trains a go for summer". Mass Live.
  6. ^ Fritz, Anita (May 2, 2019). "Greenfield to see extended passenger rail service by end of summer". Greenfield Recorder.
  7. ^ Dunau, Bera (August 30, 2019). "A new dawn for rail? Valley Flyer pilot makes its debut". Daily Hampshire Gazette. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  8. ^ Fritz, Anita (December 1, 2019). "NYC firm to begin marketing Valley Flyer train service". Daily Hampshire Gazette. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  9. ^ "AMTRAK AND MASSDOT ANNOUNCE RE-START OF SECOND VALLEY FLYER ROUNDTRIP TRAIN SERVICE IN WESTERN AND NORTHERN MASSACHUSETTS" (Press release). Amtrak. June 22, 2021.
  10. ^ "Vermont Rail Plan: Passenger Rail Forecasting Scenarios" (PDF). Vermont Agency of Transportation. May 2021. p. 14-15. Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  11. ^ "Vermont Rail Plan: Passenger Rail Forecasting Scenarios" (PDF). Vermont Agency of Transportation. May 2021. p. 14. Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  12. ^ "AMTRAK AND MASSDOT ANNOUNCE START OF NEW VALLEY FLYER TRAIN SERVICE IN WESTERN AND NORTHERN MASSACHUSETTS" (Press release). Amtrak. August 27, 2019.
  13. ^ Valley Flyers debut Trains December 2019 page 19
  14. ^ "Valley Flyer". Trains In The Valley. March 11, 2016. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  15. ^ "Executive Summary" (PDF). Connecticut Department of Transportation. p. 4. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Stations". Hartford Line. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  17. ^ "Northeast Corridor Boston/Springfield-Washington Timetable" (PDF). Amtrak. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  18. ^ "Metro-North New Haven Line Timetable" (PDF). Metro-North Railroad. January 22, 2019. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  19. ^ "Shore Line East Rail Service Information" (PDF). Shore Line East. January 22, 2019. Retrieved February 25, 2019.