Connecting the Southern Berkshires to major cities like Albany, Boston and New York City via rail has long been discussed at the state and local level.
With the start of the Berkshire Flyer, a seasonal weekend passenger line from Pittsfield to New York City’s Penn Station, next summer, commuters will be able to travel by rail without having to change trains en route to Manhattan.
The Berkshire Flyer was modeled after the CapeFLYER service, connecting summer weekend tourists from Boston to Cape Cod.
According to Amtrak, the line is projected to be in use for 20 weeks from Memorial Day weekend to Columbus Day weekend.
The weekend-only line has an estimated one-way travel time of up to four hours.
Eddie Sporn of West Stockbridge, a member of the Berkshire Flyer Working Group came up with the idea for the Berkshire Flyer two years ago while looking for alternatives to reviving the old Housatonic line that runs through Connecticut.
“The Berkshire Flyer avoids Connecticut and uses existing rail, meaning zero infrastructual work,” said Sporn. “The secret sauce is not having to come up with 200 to 300 million dollars to build a new rail line for 100 miles.”
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