Amtrak, in conjunction with MassDOT, is re-launching the second round trip of the Valley Flyer on July 26, 2021, a state supported seven day a week passenger train. The train service was reduced on March 30, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic as members of the public were quarantining and traveling less frequently.
The Valley Flyer travels along the Connecticut River, a region referred to as the Knowledge Corridor, and Valley Flyer trains make station stops in Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield. The trains connect with Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor at New Haven and serve stations between New Haven and Springfield. Tickets are now available and can be purchased on Amtrak.com, the Amtrak app, Amtrak ticket desks and kiosks, and through 1-800-USA-RAIL.
“We are pleased to return additional Valley Flyer service in Western Massachusetts, as now residents and visitors can see friends and family they have missed over the past year and experience all the state has to offer,” said Amtrak Vice President, State Supported Services Ray Lang. “As people feel comfortable traveling again, we are honored that our customers trust us on their journey as we are excited to welcome them back onboard.”
“We are pleased to be collaborating with Amtrak to re-start the full Valley Flyer passenger rail service now that more than four million Massachusetts residents are vaccinated and State of Emergencies have been lifted in our state and other states,” said Acting Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler. “This pilot passenger train service is offering another transportation option along the Knowledge Corridor and we have appreciated the efforts of municipal officials, members of the Massachusetts Legislature, the Massachusetts Congressional delegation, railroad companies and the business community in getting the word out to the public that the service is an efficient alternative to driving.”
Valley Flyer customers can expect the same amenities onboard as they do on all other Amtrak trains including, free Wi-Fi, the freedom to use phones and electronic devices at all times (no “airplane mode”), the ability to travel with small pets on many trains, large spacious seats with ample leg room, no middle seat, and one of the most generous baggage policies in the travel industry, applicable for two personal items and two carry-on bags.
Restoration of full service means that Train 495 (departing Greenfield at 5:45 AM) will operate in addition to Train 471 (departing Greenfield at 7:35 AM) each weekday traveling southbound to New Haven. Northbound Train 478 (arriving at Greenfield at 12:38 AM) will be added to Train 494 (arriving at Greenfield at 10:23PM) to round out each weekday schedule.
In addition to the restoration of the 2nd Valley Flyer weekday train, three trains that were suspended in March 2020 that provide service between New Haven and Springfield will be restored. This will result in a full restoration of Amtrak service along the entire corridor between New Haven and Springfield to early 2020 service levels.
The augmentation of train service to the Knowledge Corridor is a project of MassDOT. Amtrak is also restoring its Vermonter train service along this rail corridor, which connects St. Albans, Vermont to Washington, D.C on July 19. This service is jointly funded by Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut.