The Berkshire Flyer

The Berkshire Flyer was conceived as a seasonal weekend passenger service between Pittsfield, MA and New York City. It was modeled after the successful CapeFLYER service, which was designed to bring summer weekend tourists from Boston to Cape Cod.

Like Cape Cod, Berkshire County’s tourist market comprises a significant portion of its economy. The Berkshire Flyer aims to replicate the success of the CapeFLYER by providing a means for tourists and second-homeowners to visit the county without using a car.

The proposed Berkshire Flyer Service will:

  • Provide a one-seat ride from New York to Pittsfield

  • Run from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends, with potential to extend service to weekends in the fall through Columbus Day weekend

  • Have service schedules designed to bring New York travelers to Berkshire County. Travel from the Berkshires to New York City is “an objective to keep in mind” but not the main goal of the service.

  • Ideally, be scheduled so that passengers will arrive in Pittsfield by 4 PM on Friday and depart late Sunday afternoon

A working group was assembled to identify potential routes, benefits, and challenges of such a service. On March 26, 2018, the Working Group published its final report, stating that the Berkshire Flyer would be worth testing with a 1-2 year pilot that would be funded and managed by a local sponsor.

The Pilot

The Working Group identified two possible routes and three service alternatives for the Berkshire Flyer, but for the pilot they recommended using “Option 1A”, or the “Empire Corridor Extension”. This is the simplest and least expensive service alternative, as it uses Empire Service trains that pass by Pittsfield on their way to and from storage.

Proposed Schedule:

Friday: At 2:20 PM passengers will depart Penn Station on Amtrak train #255 to Albany-Rensselaer Station. From Albany-Rensselaer, the train will head to storage for the night, and will make its final stop in Pittsfield at around 6:10 PM.

Sunday: At 2:45 PM passengers will depart Pittsfield Station on a train that will become #244. The train will stop at Albany-Rensselaer Station and will continue on as train #244, arriving at Penn Station at 6:45 PM.

Estimated Travel Time: 3.8-4 hrs

Berkshire Flyer News and Documents

We pride ourselves on providing a thorough and comprehensive resource for anyone who would like to learn more about the Berkshire Flyer. Here we provide a collection of all official publications that are available to use.