Passenger Rail Service
Passenger Rail Travel Options
There are now several passenger rail options to and from Northampton as well as more frequent rail options from the Springfield Union Station and the Windsor Locks, Ct. rail platform which is conveniently adjacent to Exit 42 on I-91. Windsor Locks has free parking while the Springfield Station has fee based parking.
Valley Flyer Rail Service
The Valley Flyer is a new rail service started in September, 2019 offering (2) morning southbound trains from Northampton and (1) afternoon and (1) evening northbound train to Northampton daily and additional service on weekends. This service will offer stops south of Northampton through Holyoke, Springfield, Hartford onto New Haven where one can then access Amtrak Northeast Corridor and Metro North service. Also, the Valley Flyer will offer northbound service to Greenfield. The best source for the most current and accurate information on this service including schedules, arrival times, departures, and fares is to access the Amtrak Web site.
It is recommended that use of the Amtrak site include enrollment so one can access discounts on ticket prices and for efficient billing and payment. There is also a Rewards program for booked travel. Booking tickets early will offer lower fares while last minute trips will incur far steeper prices. And in most circumstances, an early booking can be canceled, refunded or converted into a voucher for future travel.
Vermonter Service Background
Since 2014, the Amtrak Vermonter has been serving Northampton as a part of the Vermonter's change in its travel route moving service from Amherst ( east side of the Connecticut River) over to Northampton (west side of the river). The Vermonter operates from St. Albans, Vt. through Northampton, Holyoke, Springfield, Hartford, New Haven and all points along the eastern coast ending in Washington, D.C. The southbound Vermonter stops in Northampton sometime between 2:00 pm and 2:30 pm while the northbound arrives in Northampton sometime between 3:50 pm and 4:30pm. These times are only offered here in order to give one an approximate time range; please consult the Amtrak web site for more accurate and current information.
Rail Service from Springfield to Hartford, New Haven
The State of Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) has significantly expanded rail service which started in June, 2018 between Springfield south to Hartford, Berlin, Meriden, Wallingford and New Haven with connections to the Northeast Corridor. Information on Hartford Line train schedules and fares can be found here. There will now be 12 trains daily running north and south between Springfield, Hartford and New Haven. Amtrak will continue their service of 6 trains daily and the Hartford Line will be operating 6 trains daily as well.
2018 Massachusetts State Rail Plan
The 2018 Draft Massachusetts State Rail Plan reports on North-South rail and ranks this service it as a "Tier 1 Priority Project" .
"Trains In The Valley" Rail Advocacy
The Trains in the Valley web site represents the efforts of local residents to promote the expansion of rail service through their web site which not only advocates for expanded rail passenger service but offers useful and current information on rail and transit issues and positive events.
For more information on the Connecticut River Rail Improvement Project access the Knowledge Corridor Rail Study (PDF).