SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – Amtrak, in conjunction with MassDOT, launched a new State Supported daily passenger train on Friday, August 30, 2019. Called the Valley Flyer, the service, part of a two-year pilot program, travels along the Connecticut River, a region referred to as the Knowledge Corridor for its many universities and colleges. Trains make station stops in Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield and connect with Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor at New Haven while also serving stations between New Haven and Springfield.
“The new Valley Flyer service highlights the continuing growing demand of train travel throughout this country,” said Amtrak President & CEO Richard Anderson. “We are proud to launch this service with our partners at MassDOT and offer Massachusetts residents and visitors the ability to see all the state has to offer through rail travel.”
“Our administration continues to prioritize efforts to improve and expand transit opportunities in all corners of the Commonwealth, and the new Valley Flyerpassenger rail pilot is an important step forward as we seek to meet the needs of residents and communities in Western Massachusetts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We look forward to this opportunity to partner with Amtrak and other stakeholders to bring this important new rail service to support communities from Springfield to Greenfield.”
“We’ve appreciated the enthusiasm and support of municipal officials, members of the Massachusetts Legislature, the Massachusetts Congressional delegation, railroad companies and the business community in helping to launch the service and believe this new transportation option will be an economic boost to the region, a convenient travel option and a step toward reaching our greenhouse gas reductions goals,” added Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack.
The new trains allow residents of western Massachusetts to make same day roundtrips to destinations including New York City. Trains 461, 471 and 495 now originate in Greenfield traveling to Springfield and New Haven, while Trains 478, 488, and 494 originate in New Haven traveling to Springfield and Greenfield. Train 400 originates in Springfield and terminates in Greenfield, while train 499 originates in Greenfield and terminates in Springfield. Trains 471, 478, 494 and 495 will run Monday through Friday, and Trains 400, 461, 488 and 499 will run on weekends.
In preparation for the start of the new service, Amtrak officials and the Amtrak Police Department hosted several school presentations and positive enforcement grade crossing awareness events in the area, sharing messages to improve education on rail safety. Outreach efforts utilized material and rail safety information from Operation Lifesaver, a national non-profit organization dedicated to reducing railroad-related deaths and injuries.
The augmentation of train service to the Knowledge Corridor is a project of MassDOT. This rail corridor is also served by the daily Vermonter, which connects St. Albans, Vt., to Washington, D.C. 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.