Right now the Commonwealth is working to develop a long-term funding mechanism to finance transit needs in Boston. The MBTA presently gets 20% of the funds generated by the state sales tax but it needs more. The Governor and the legislature are working to find a new long-term funding source for the MBTA. One way [...]
The estimated cost to restore passenger service to the Berkshires is $200 million. The funds will enable the railroad to rehabilitate the 90 mile rail line between Danbury and Pittsfield to passenger standards, recondition passenger locomotives, refurbish/purchase passenger coaches, and build some stations. When the work is completed the railroad anticipates operating 8 trains per [...]
There are two issues: time for construction (or reconstruction) of the train system and time to secure funding to build it. The actual time to complete the reconstruction of the rail line, purchase and fit rail cars and locomotives, and build stations between Danbury, Connecticut, and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, is three years. Service could be extended [...]
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission has completed a study about station locations. In today’s world stations need to provide easy access to trains using high-level platforms and good parking. Each town has its own views of where stations should be and each town may have a different approach. Some of those approaches could involve using an [...]
At this point the proposed service has had broad support by local town governments, although more detailed planning is necessary to reflect local input. The primary issue that must be resolved is securing funding to upgrade the tracks so they can accommodate passenger trains at passenger speeds. The upgrade work includes upgrading the tracks and [...]
There will be connections available in both Danbury and Southeast to Metro-North trains to New York City and other destinations along the New Haven and Harlem Lines. Metro-North service is financially supported by Connecticut and New York. In order for the Housatonic service to operate the trains must travel over Metro-North tracks. Coordination between railroads [...]
While a detailed fare structure has not been developed, the railroad in its financial projections has assumed a per-mile rate that is consistent with the fare structure on Metro North, which generally is in the range of 24 cents per mile. A one-way ticket from Pittsfield to New York City might be in the range [...]
The service will offer seating and services consistent with longer haul passenger coaches, not commuter rail. Some coaches will be equipped for bicycles and skis, and attractive food services will also appeal to today’s passengers.
Housatonic Railroad plans to provide wifi on all trains. Ticket kiosks will be available at stations and other ticketing points. Mobile ticketing like that of Metro-North will also be available.
The current plans envisage some trains operating through to Grand Central and others stopping in Southeast where passengers will transfer from Housatonic trains to Metro North trains. The plans also provide for a transportation hub in New Milford, Connecticut where passengers can transfer from Housatonic trains to Metro North trains for service to South Norwalk [...]