Amtrak adds Holyoke to its national network

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The southbound 'Vermonter' rolls in to Holyoke on Thursday.
Scott A. Hartley
HOLYOKE, Mass. – The large round sign proudly proclaimed “An Amtrak Served Community” Thursday afternoon, as residents of Holyoke awaited the first intercity passenger train to stop in their city since 1966.

Amtrak’s St. Albans, Vt.-Washington Vermonter train will serve the onetime industrial city, 8 miles north of Springfield, as part of its “Knowledge Corridor,” named for the many colleges and universities along the route.

The Vermonter shifted its route through Massachusetts from New England Central to the former Boston & Maine Connecticut River main line in December 2014, following major upgrading, but initially made stops only at Greenfield and Northampton. Holyoke service was postponed until completion of a $4.3 million platform, located slightly south of the still-standing 1885 stone passenger station.

State, local, and railroad officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony prior to the southbound Vermonter’s arrival, 10 minutes late at 1:55 p.m. Speakers included Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Secretary Stephanie Pollack, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, and Amtrak Deputy General Manager for Northeast Corridor Services Fred Fournier.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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