The new route for passenger rail through the Pioneer Valley is exceeding expectations. That’s according to numbers from Amtrak. But it’s hard to tell if its had much of an effect on local businesses.
Right now there’s one train, each way, between Boston and Springfield: Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited, which also stops in Framingham, Worcester and Pittsfield on its way to Chicago.
The change was spurred by federal stimulus money to update Amtrak’s Vermonter line. The trip is now slightly shorter, but the trains aren’t coming through the area any more often.
A long-awaited upgrade to the north-south Amtrak line through the Pioneer Valley starts running next week, but work on the tracks is not complete.
Amtrak’s Vermonter is serving Amherst for the last time this weekend. Train service shifts to Northampton and Greenfield starting Monday