- Springfield, Massachusetts (Amtrak station)
Amtrakplatforms at Springfield Union Station in showing two New Haven-Springfield Shuttle trains waiting to depart, one headed by Metrolinercab car #9640.
address=66 Lyman Street
line=Amtrak:rail color box|system=Amtrak|line=Lake Shore Limitedrail color box|system=Amtrak|line=Regionalrail color box|system=Amtrak|line=Vermonterrail color box|system=Amtrak|line=New Haven-Springfield Shuttlerail color box|system=CDOT|line=New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Commuter Rail
Springfield Union Station is an
Amtraktrain station in Springfield, Massachusetts. The station was built in 1926 by the Boston and Albany Railroadto serve the many rail lines feeding into the city. It was the third such station to occupy the area.facts|date=December 2007 The station sits on the former Boston and Albany main line at a point midway between those respective cities. It also forms the terminus for the former New Haven RailroadSpringfield Main Line between New Haven and Springfield. The union station complex was huge, incorporating at least 8 through and terminating tracks, a large passenger waiting area and concourse, a fully equipped express freightfacility and even an integrated interlocking towerto control the switches and signals.
As the financial situation took its toll on railroads in the 1970s, the main building was allowed to decay and was eventually condemned facts|date=December 2007 and in response Amtrak, having recently taken over service, constructed its own modest facility on track level adjacent to track 6. Today most of the Union Station complex sits unused, although in relatively good condition. There exists a currently stalled plan to renovate the building and bring
busservice to the station has been in the works for several years.facts|date=December 2007 As Connecticut is considering plans to create the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Commuter Rail Linefrom New Haven to Springfield. [http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2006/07/30/conn_looks_into_building_rail_line_from_springfield_to_new_haven/] money and political will may materialize to restore the station in conjunction with the new service.
The Union Station complex is situated on a large grade elevated plot of land 1 block wide and about 4 blocks long. The main passenger entrance was on the north side of the station and located right east to the express freight facility. The 8 former station tracks were accessed via an underground
concoursethat 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 6 tracks, 3 (Tracks 1, 2 and 2a) serving the B&A Main Line and another 3 (Tracks 4, 5 and 6) serving the Amtrak Springfield Line. The Amtrak tracks are independent from the main like tracks which are maintained by
CSXas part of its Boston Line. The Amtrak tracks connect with the Boston Line track 2A via a hand operated switch at the east end of the station. 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 6 and trains are reached by crossing the tracks at designated walkways. Just west of the station platforms the Amtrak Springfield line immediately curves to the south while the CSX Boston Line continues on to cross the Connecticut Riveron a twin truss bridge.
The primary service at Springfield Station are the New Haven-Springfield Shuttle trains connecting Springfield to the
Northeast Corridortrains at New Haven. Complementing the 5 or so Shuttle round trips are an additional 1-2 Northeast Regionalround trips that start or terminate their service at Springfield as opposed to Boston. Long distance services comprise Amtrak's Vermonterand the Lake Shore LimitedBoston section. The Vermonter uses the connection to the Boston Line to travel east to Palmer, MA, while the Lake Shore makes use of the Main Line platforms as it continues to/from Albany.
Previously, a single Northeast Regional round trip (usually Trains 142 and 145) would travel between New Haven and Boston via Springfield and the Boston Line, as opposed to the faster, electrified
Shore Line. In 2003 a problem pulled the Acela Expresstrainsets out of service and in an effort to find substitute rolling stockAmtrak 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 begin or terminate at Springfield, however, in the event of a service disruption on the Shore Line 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.
* [http://www.trainweb.org/usarail/springfieldma.htm Springfield Amtrak Station (USA Rail Guide -- Train Web)]
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