Baker-Polito Administration, Federal & Local Officials Celebrate Improvements at Springfield’s Union Station
Governor Charlie Baker, Congressman Richard Neal, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, MassDOT officials, legislators and other local officials celebrated recently-completed improvements at Springfield’s Historic Union Station to Platform C. The $10 million project built a fully ADA-accessible 328-foot long high-level platform accessing two tracks, and also included the installation of an elevator, new stairway, canopy roof, new lighting and other amenities. The Platform C project was part of the larger $81 million project to restore and revitalize Springfield’s Union Station, a major transportation hub for the city and region.
“Our Administration is pleased to celebrate the completion of Platform C, which will significantly improve customers’ experience at Union Station,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Union Station is important to the economic vitality of downtown Springfield and these improvements are an investment in both the City of Springfield and the entire region.”
“The Commonwealth’s investments in Platform C build on the previous restoration work done at the Terminal Building and the central concourse,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This station is an important transportation hub and providing this safe, accessible and improved platform will help the Commonwealth move toward a better transportation system for all.”
“The opening of Platform C today represents the final piece of what has been a decades long project of completing the restoration of Springfield Union Station,” said Chairman Richard E. Neal. “In the late 70s, I announced my run for Springfield City Council in the shuttered concourse with a vow to reawaken this sleeping beauty of a building. While it took quite some time, today’s celebration shows what can be done with perseverance, a strong federal, state, and local partnership, and a positive attitude. I am thankful to Governor Baker, Mayor Sarno, and MassDOT for their continued support of this project that has already transformed the neighborhood, the economy, and the region.”
The Platform C project has included adding the following features:
A new, fully ADA-accessible 328-foot long high-level platform accessing two tracks.
Space for platform-level boarding for up to four passenger coaches.
A new ADA-accessible elevator with an enclosed vestibule at the platform level.
A newly reconstructed enclosed stairway, which provides direct platform access from the station concourse near the new Amtrak ticketing facility.
A new canopy roof covering Platform C which was constructed with some of the original canopy steel structure to maintain the historical character of the station.
New platform lighting, signage, public address system, and platform message board monitors to display train departure / arrival information and other passenger information.
Improved platform security through CCTV cameras.
Passengers waiting for trains in Union Station’s main concourse can now access Platform C through a new elevator or by using the newly rebuilt enclosed stairway. Passengers then can move directly from the new high-level platform onto the floor level of the awaiting passenger train coaches.
“Again, it’s been a fantastic public/private partnership with Chairman Neal, Governor Baker, our city and our business sector to advance and enhance this unique transportation and economic development project,” said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. “I am hopeful that if and when a federal infrastructure initiative comes forth, Union Station can be a catalyst to spur more public/private investment opportunities.”
“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to improving public transportation infrastructure state-wide,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “These renovations will customer access, enhance the customer experience and allow individuals of all abilities to have easy and full access to the platforms, the station building and to the trains.”
The several-year Springfield Union Station restoration project included previously completed renovation of the Terminal Building and its central concourse to support ticketing, waiting and support areas for Amtrak, intercity and state-supported regional rail service as well as regional PVTA and intercity bus operations. The cost of the full project was close to $99 million. MassDOT has contributed $65 million, including funding for the work to complete Platform C.
The Commonwealth’s total contribution for the Union Station project was approximately $81 million. This $81 million consists of approximately $65 million in funding from MassDOT and $16 million in funding from other state agencies. Other agency contributions include Brownfield grants ($2.1 million) and MassWorks ($6.6 million).
Weekday Amtrak passenger rail service from Springfield currently includes eight (8) southbound Hartford Line trains to New Haven with connecting service to the North East Corridor including New York, Philadelphia, and points south to Washington DC. Amtrak also operates two (2) northbound and two (2) southbound MassDOT-sponsored Valley Flyer Pilot Service trains between Springfield and Greenfield, with intermediate station stops at Holyoke and Northampton. Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) operates three (3) additional local CTrail Hartford Line round trip trains daily between Springfield, MA and New Haven, CT. In addition, Springfield is served by Amtrak’s Vermonter round trip service between Washington, DC and St Albans, VT and Amtrak’s Lakeshore Limited round trip service between Boston, MA and Chicago, IL. Weekend train service is similar, with some schedule and frequency differences.
Written By: Klark Jessen, MassDOT Blog