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 Union Station, Springfield, and the Windsor Locks, Connecticut, rail platform which is conveniently adjacent to Exit 42 on I-91. Union Station has fee-based parking and Windsor Locks has free parking.
The Valley Flyer is a rail service that started in September 2019 as a pilot program. In October 2022, MassDOT and Amtrak announced that the Valley Flyer would become a permanent service. Service runs seven days a week from Greenfield to New Haven, Connecticut, with stops in Northampton, Holyoke, and Springfield. Please visit Amtrak for more information on this service including schedules, arrival times, departures, and fares.
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, Vermont; through Northampton, Holyoke, and Springfield, Massachusetts; and Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut, and all points along the east coast ending in Washington, D.C. The southbound Vermonter stops in Northampton sometime between 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. while the northbound arrives in Northampton sometime between 3:50 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. These times are only offered in order to give one an approximate time range. Please visit Amtrak for more accurate and current information.
In September 2023, Massachusetts was awarded a $108 million Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements funding grant. This funding will pay for a majority of a $135 million corridor infrastructure project to facilitate two new Amtrak Inland Route daily round trips.
A study commissioned by Capitol Region Council of Governments and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission projects a nearly 10 to 1 return on investment in Regional GDP over 30 years due to restored service along the Inland Route – connecting Boston to New York via the Valley. Such an increase in regional GDP – in the ballpark of $47 to $84 billion – would represent between 20 and 40,000 jobs in information technology, finance, and professional services, as well as extensive transit-oriented development. This real opportunity exists as many are choosing to live in smaller, well-connected cities in the wake of the pandemic.
The Hartford Line is a convenient and affordable rail service operating between Springfield and New Haven, Connecticut, with connections to New York. Hartford Line trains operate seven days a week, including holidays. Information on Hartford Line train schedules and fares can be found here.
Studies and Plans
- Northern Tier Passenger Rail Study is being conducted by MassDOT investigating the feasibility of restoring passenger rail service between North Adams, Greenfield, and Boston North Station. On February 23, 2023, the Western Mass Rail Coalition submitted a set of written comments to MassDOT as a follow-up to the January 11, 2023, workshop.
- The 2018 Draft Massachusetts State Rail Plan reports on North-South rail and ranks this service as a "Tier 1 Priority Project".
- For more information on the Connecticut River Rail Improvement Project access the Knowledge Corridor Rail Study (PDF).
"Trains In The Valley" Rail Advocacy
The Trains in the Valley represents the efforts of residents to promote the expansion of rail service through their website which not only advocates for expanded rail passenger service but offers useful and current information on rail and transit issues and positive events.