When I came to work on the NH RR as a clerk in 1966, there were approximately 12 round trips per day between Springfield and New York. The best schedule was the "Bankers" which made the trip from Springfield to NYC in 2 hours and 50 minutes! They highballed to Hartford and highballed from New Haven to GCT! Then the heavy hand of PC reduced it to 3 round trips per day with a single Budd car to Hartford, change at Hartford for a 2-car American Flyer consist to New Haven with a GP-9, change again at New Haven to a Boston to Washington job for the trip to New York!!! Good way to kill business which is what PC wanted!!! Amtrak came in 1971 and used mostly dilapidated RDC cars and "Roger Williams" cars for about 6 round trips plus the 3-car "Bankers" Springfield to Washington train, the short-lived "Bay State" Inland Route train between New York and Boston via Springfield both with old PC equipment, and the "Montrealer" for a few years, which was a very nice train to ride. In 1982 the.best thing since sliced bread was supposed to be the new SPV-2000 usually used in pairs and restoring 12 round trips north and south on the Hartford line.
Compatability with Amfleet equipment enabled them to be attached or detached with shoreline trains without passengers having to change trains at New Haven. Numerous and serious mechanical
problems gave them a short life span. Amtrak reverted to about 5 round trip push/pull round trips per day to hold down the Springfield line plus the "Vermonter" replaced the "Montrealer." The line was then single tracked with passing sidings. Enter the new commuter rail service and back to 12 round trips to Springfield, putting some but not all of the double track back. Startup date this month! I wish them well but I have some doubts. Time will tell. I have seen lots of ups and downs and false starts on this once vital piece of the NH RR. Unfortunately, while Amtrak will still have a modest ticket/baggage counter in the refurbished Springfield Union Station, the commuter service will not even have a live body there, just ticket machines!!! Maybe artificial intelligence will run the trains too. You can always count on CT/DOT to do its best for rail passengers!!!