Amtrak Getting Better in Valley

Trains are better for the environment than cars. They are much less likely to get in accidents. Trains can be faster and cheaper than cars. Starting in early 2015, Amtrak will be much faster than it is now between Brattleboro and Springfield. It will stop in Holyoke, Northampton, and Greenfield rather than its current stop in Amherst. “The trip from Brattleboro to Springfield will take about an hour on Amtrak,” Tim Brennan told the Valley Post earlier this month. He is the director of www.pvpc.org. Now it takes about two hours to get from Brattleboro to Springfield on Amtrak; the trip takes about an hour by car.

In 2016, Amtrak will start traveling significantly faster than it does now between Springfield and New Haven, Connecticut, Brennan said. That train trip will take about as long as the same trip by car. Trains already travel much faster than cars between New Haven and New York City.

One group that lobbies to make Amtrak tickets cheaper has a web site at www.narprail.org.

Dan Delabruere works for the Vermont Agency of Transportation. On September 27, he told the Valley Post that his agency is working on getting Amtrak to go from Brattleboro to Montreal, via Burlington, Vermont. He did not know when that will happen, but said it will happen eventually. Passports will be checked by U.S. and Canadian officials at the train station in downtown Montreal, rather than at the border, he said. This will eliminate the problem of the train having to wait at the border for hours because one passenger doesn't have a passport.

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