Plans for Berkshire Amtrak service progressing
Feb 07, 2019 12:00 pm
Eric Anderson is reporting for the Times Union the plans for seasonal weekend train service to western Massachusetts are progressing, with a pilot program expected to launch by Memorial Day 2020. Under the proposal, Massachusetts would pay Amtrak to extend one of its Empire Corridor trains to Pittsfield, Mass. Trains would depart Penn Station in New York City on Fridays at 2:20 p.m., arriving at 6:10 p.m. in Pittsfield. Upon arrival in Pittsfield, travelers would rely on one of a number of options to cover the final part of the journey, from car-hailing services and rental cars to taxis and local buses. Return trips would leave Pittsfield on Sundays at 2:45 p.m., and arrive at Penn Station at 6:45 p.m. With 2,600 one-way trips over a 20-week pilot program, the service would require a subsidy of about $237,000 to cover Amtrak's estimated operating cost of $422,000. Marketing efforts for the new service would target young couples ages 27 to 47 who live in the New York City metro area and do not own cars, and with household incomes exceeding $100,000. The Empire Corridor trains typically stop at Croton-Harmon, Poughkeepsie, Rhinecliff and Hudson, as well as Albany-Rensselaer. Read the full story in the Times Union.