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Springfield, MA (SPG)


Station Facts

Springfield, MA Station Photo

Springfield, Massachusetts

66 Lyman Street Springfield, MA 01103

Station Hours

Annual Station Revenue (2013)
$5,601,468
Annual Station Ridership (2013)
141,947

Ownerships

Facility Ownership Springfield Redevelopment Authority, Amtrak
Parking Lot Ownership Springfield Redevelopment Authority
Platform Ownership Amtrak
Track Ownership Amtrak, CSXT

Features

Accessible Platform Accessible Restrooms Accessible Ticket Office
Accessible Waiting Room Accessible Water Fountain Baggage Storage
Bike Boxes Checked Baggage Dedicated Parking
Elevator Elevator Accessible Enclosed Waiting Area
Help With Luggage Pay Phones Quik Trak Kiosk
Restrooms Shipping Boxes Ski Bags
Ticket Office Wheelchair Wheelchair Lift

Routes Served

  • Lake Shore Limited
  • Northeast Regional
  • Vermonter

Contact

Bill Hollister
Regional Contact
governmentaffairsnyc@amtrak.com
(202) 906-3918 (ph)

Local Community Links:

Station History

The Springfield station, which sits on a railroad viaduct above street level and includes a waiting room and ticket desk, opened in November 1994 to replace a smaller street-level building. Across the tracks stands the former Springfield Union Station erected by the Boston and Albany Railroad (B&A) in 1926. Passengers entered Union Station from Frank B. Murray Street, and then had to move through the lobby and climb a set of stairs to an upper story in order to reach the platform.

Designed by the successors to the firm of Shelpley, Rutan and Coolidge, who had also designed Boston’s South and North stations as well as New York’s Albany Union Station, the Springfield Union Station is representative of their symmetrical Richardsonian Romanesque style, constructed in decorative brick and stone. It was the third such station to serve the city. When it was built, it served the many rail lines that passed through this industrial city including the Hartford and Springfield Railroad; New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad; and the Boston and Maine Railroad. The original complex incorporated at least eight through and terminating tracks, large passenger waiting area, concourse, fully equipped freight and express facility, and integrated interlocking control tower for signals and switches. The present-day station sits close to this tower on Track 8.

The renovation of Springfield Union Station and its baggage house, together with the adjacent site of the former Charles Hotel (now a vacant lot) is a project that has been in the works for more than three decades. The station was shuttered in 1973 and subsequently boarded up, as was the three-story baggage house across the rail yard. In 1989, the Springfield Redevelopment Authority (SRA) acquired the station for $1.00 from private owner David Buntzman by means of eminent domain. A revitalization project was initiated by then-Mayor Richard Neal. However, early efforts to remodel were halted when the neighboring Charles Hotel burnt down.

In 2007, the state Executive Office of Transportation (EOT) awarded the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) and the city a $350,000 grant to create a new development plan for Union Station; $37 million in federal funds were already earmarked for the project, $7 million of which had been spent to stabilize the building, including asbestos removal and a new roof. The city leadership had long envisioned Union Station as a focal point for both transportation and urban redevelopment, integrating intra- and inter-city bus lines along with rail service and retail and office components—an ambitious plan that would have cost $115 million to complete. The EOT grant provided the means to restart the project, and by October 2008, local, state and federal officials had unveiled a $65 million redevelopment plan to create a realistic, sustainable and state-of-the-art intermodal transportation center. The redesign included space in the station building for retail, Amtrak, PVTA offices, ticketing and a food court.

In June 2009, PVTA and SRA drew up an agreement to create a new entity to manage the project, with the latter serving as the supervising agency. A temporary freeze on the federal funding for the Union Station project was lifted in July 2010, and the plans for the (now) $78 million intermodal center will move forward. In spring 2011, HDR Architecture Inc. of Boston was chosen as the lead architect for the rehabilitation, while Skanska USA Building Inc. will oversee construction. The project was also divided into two phases to take advantage of funding availability.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick joined U.S. Representative Richard Neal and Mayor Domenic Sarno and other local officials to kick-off Phase I in November 2012. Funded at $48.7 million, it includes the restoration of the station’s first floor and its central concourse; removal of the adjacent baggage building to allow for the construction of a 24-bay bus terminal and garage; restoration of the passenger tunnel between Union Station and the platforms; and the creation of new vertical access points—stairs and elevators—between the tunnel and the platforms. Phase I will be operational by 2015. The unfunded Phase II will encompass additional parking and the development of transit-related commercial space on the building’s upper floors.

Since 2000, the city has won more than $46 million for the project through the Federal Transit Administration’s Bus and Bus Facilities and Bus Livability grant programs. With the addition of $4 million from the state’s 2012 Transportation Bond Bill, the fully funded project could proceed.

As envisioned by city planners and local officials, Union Station will ultimately become the centerpiece of a high-density, transit oriented district located within walking distance of downtown. Known as the Union Station Regional Intermodal Transportation Center (ITC), it will provide connections for Pioneer Valley Transit Authority local and regional buses, intercity bus services, Amtrak passenger rail, future commuter rail between Springfield and New Haven and other ground transportation services.

The city’s origins are based upon its location at a crossroads. William Pynchon of the Massachusetts Bay Colony led a company of explorers to the confluence of the Connecticut and Agawam Rivers, establishing their settlement in 1636, and incorporated it as Springfield, in honor of Pynchon’s English birthplace, in 1641. Springfield prospered as the Connecticut River provided a means of transportation north and south, as well as power; the east-west road between New York and Canada also ran through Springfield.

The area’s industries excelled in metal craft, given proximity to the New York State iron mines and easy transportation. The U.S. Army Armory was thus established in Springfield in 1794, the site selected by General George Washington, because the town was located at the intersection of major highways and the Connecticut River but far enough upstream to be safe from enemy attack. Supplies, skilled manpower and adequate waterpower for manufacturing were all close at hand. The Armory quickly became a center for invention and industrial development. The storied “Springfield rifle” came about thusly, as well as the Garand semi-automatic rifle. In 1968, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara closed the Springfield Armory in a controversial move. The site is now a museum run by the National Park Service, as the Springfield Armory National Historic Site. Some of the Armory buildings house Springfield Technical Community College.

West Springfield, across the Connecticut River, became an industrial and rail transport hub, beginning with the coming of the Western Railroad in 1841; it became the Boston and Albany in 1870. Rail repair shops were also built in West Springfield in 1896. At the peak of its operations, there were two large rail yards. The plentiful rivers and streams in the area also led to founding a number of paper companies in West Springfield, including Strathmore Paper (originally the Mittineague Paper Company, 1892), and Southworth Paper Company.

West Springfield was also an agricultural center. The first Morgan Horse was bred in West Springfield in 1790. By 1860, this sister-city was a center of greenhouse production, exporting fresh produce to Boston, a practice which continued into the 1940s.

From 1901 to 1953, Springfield’s factories also manufactured another American favorite, the Indian Motorcycle. During the 1910s, Indian became the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world. Indian's most popular models were the Scout, made from 1920 to 1946, and the Chief, made from 1922 to 1953. The Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company went bankrupt in 1953. A number of successor organizations have perpetuated the name in subsequent years, as Indian Motorcycles remain sought-after collectors’ items.

Springfield today is a major economic center in New England, with the greatest concentration of retail establishments in the area. The city is home to the largest Fortune 500 company in Massachusetts, Bay State Health, with over 10,000 employees. The city also presents a concentration of institutions of higher learning—three four-year colleges, and in the greater Springfield area, 11 additional universities, including Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The combination of hospitals and schools has attracted a number of biotech firms. The city is also home to the western campus of Tufts University School of Medicine, at Bay State Medical Center.

In December of 1891, James Naismith introduced a new game to his class of 18 young men in an otherwise unremarkable gymnasium at the YMCA International Training School in Springfield: basketball. The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame has honored the game’s greatest players and moments since 1959; however it had no physical home until 1968. Since then, the hall has been reinvigorated three times, and in September 2002, the third Hall of Fame saw its much-celebrated grand opening.

Another equally famous American icon comes from this city: in 1904, the German-American Theodor Seuss Geisel was born in Springfield. As he was first a political cartoonist during both World War I and World War II, Geisel began using his mother’s maiden name professionally, signing his work simply as “Seuss.” History was made for children everywhere when his first illustrated book, And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street was published by Vanguard Press in 1937. The unforgettable The Cat in the Hat began as a project to illustrate a children’s primer using only 255 “new reader” vocabulary words; it was published in 1957, and established Geisel as the definitive children’s book author and illustrator. At the time of his death in 1991, Geisel had written and illustrated 44 children’s books, which have been translated into 15 languages, and provided the inspiration for television specials, a Broadway musical and feature-length motion pictures.

Amtrak provides both ticketing and baggage services at its staffed Springfield station, which is served by 14 daily trains.

Springfield Shuttle service between Springfield and New Haven is financed primarily through funds made available by the Connecticut Department of Transportation and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The Vermonter is financed primarily through funds made available by the Vermont Agency of Transportation, the Connecticut Department of Transportation and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.