Project Name: New England High Speed Rail and Intercity Passenger Rail Network Location: The project area consists of the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield (NHHS) Rail Corridor from the Massachusetts/Connecticut state border at Longmeadow, MA, to just east of Springfield Union Station in Springfield. The project area also includes an area approximately 3000 feet northeast of the station, along the former Armory Branch, which is proposed for a layover and maintenance facility. The NHHS Rail Corridor mainl line is owned and operated by Amtrak; the layover site is owned by four separate property owners. It is traversed north-south by I-91 and the Connecticut River. At Springfield, it connects with the CSX mail line to the Springfield Union Station. Approximately 3000 feet north/east of the station is a site called the Armory Street branch, which is proposed for a layover and maintenance facility site. Major communities in Massachusetts include Longmeadow and Springfield. Project activity will occur within the Amtrak and CSX rights-of-way.
City/Town: Portions of Longmeadow and Springfield MA
Project Proponent Massachusetts Department of Transportation Connecticut Department of Transportation
Timothy Doherty John Bernick
Director of Rail Programs Project Manager
10 Park Plaza 2800 Berlin Turnpike
Boston, MA 02116 Newington, CT 06111
(617) 973-7840 (860) 594-3304 Agency License Or Funding For The Project Agency NameType of License or Funding Federal Railroad Administration Amerian Recovery & Reinvestment Act
High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program
Massachusetts Historical Commission Concurrence regarding no effect on historic resources
and a deminimis use of a 4(f) resources
Project Description NHHS Rail Program: The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), in conjunction with MassDOT, Amtrak and the FRA, is planning to implement improvements to the 62-mile Amtrak-owned NHHS rail corridor extending from New Haven, CT to Springfield, MA. Once fully implemented, the improvements will support a quadrupling of passenger rail service on the rail line from the current six daily roundtrip trains to as many as 25 daily roundtrip trains, providing some of the best regional passenger rail service in the nation and facilitating an increase in the train service to Vermont and Massachusetts over the Vermoneter, Knowledge and Inland Corridors. FRA has awarded three grants totaling $190.9 million to Connecticut under the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program toward the cost of designing and constructing the NHHS Rail Program improvements. CTDOT intends to apply for the additional HSIPR funding required to implement the entire program as federal funding becomes available in the future. In 2010, Connecticut authorized matching state funds up to a total of $280 million, using state bond proceeds.
The NHHS rail corridor begins at Union Station in New Haven, Connecticut, and continues north to just east of Union Station in Springfield, Massachusetts, where a layover yard and maintenance facility would be constructed along the former Armory Street rail branch. The proposed corridor-wide improvements include restoration of double track removed by Amtrak in the 1980s, resulting in a two-track main line railroad between New Haven and Springfield; construction of new passing sidings, bridge and drainage improvements, at-grade crossing improvements, high-level platforms at Amtrak’s intercity passenger stations, construction of a layover yard and 2-bay light maintenance facility along the Armory Street Bbranch just east of Springfield Union Station, and related communication and signal improvements, including replacement of existing fiber-optic cable and installation of Amtrak’s Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System (ACSES) positive-train-control system.
As detailed below, work in Massachusetts is limited to construction of the layover and light maintenance yard and a track that connects the yard to Springfield Union Station. The improvements will be funded by the FRA, the State of Connecticut and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and will be contracted out, with Amtrak and CSX possibly undertaking portions of the track work, and private contractors constructing the yard facilities. The work is as follows:
Main Line Improvements. The NHHS rail corridor extends six miles north of the Connecticut/ Massachusetts border to Springfield. Because this six-mile main-line segment already is double- tracked, no track or bridge/culvert improvements to the Amtrak-owned main line railroad right-of-way in Massachusetts are planned. As a result, the proposed NHHS Rail Program does not involve installation of any additional ballast or fill material along the main- line tracks of any additional ballast or fill material. The project includes replacement of the existing signal and communication cables along the corridor. These cables will be attached to the side of each railroad bridge. Bridges and culverts located within Massachusetts along the Amtrak main line are listed below; photographs of each structure are provided as the Appendix. There would be no bridge or culvert repairs or replacement. There will be no in-water work in federal or state- regulated wetlands or waterways. As noted, existing signal cables attached to the bridge will be replaced with new signal cable.
Trains will utilize the existing Amtrak platforms at Springfield Union Station; no improvements to the Station platforms, headhouse or parking is included as part of the NHHS Rail Program.
Table 1: Culverts and Bridges Along the NHHS Corridor in Massachusetts
Armory Street Layover Yard/Light Maintenace Facility. A location for trains to layover and be serviced and cleaned when not in use is required near the terminus of the rail corridor in the Springfield area. The site would include 3-5 storage tracks and a 2-bay facility for train servicing, materials storage and crew welfare. Services at the site would include overnight train storage, cleaning, and light repairs as required. Regular train maintenance will take place at the CTDOT Maintenance Facility in New Haven.
Several alternative yard sites were considered, with the preferred location along the former Armory Street railB branch rail line east of the Springfield Station. The six-acre site is bounded by CSX tracks to the north, Armory Street to the east, and Taylor Avenue Street to the south., and connected to Springfield Union Station by two CSX tracks. See attached concept design. The site is owned in part by the City of Springfield and the Springfield Economic Development Corportion, CSX, and the Joseph Freeman Company, Inc. The site is partially owned by Tthe City of Springfield, which recommended use of the site for the layover yard.
Figure __. Location of Proposed Amory Street Layover yard, USGS Springfield South Quadrangle
As can be seen on the photo below, Figure __, portions of the site currently are used as a car and car parts storage area; it is unclear if this is an authorized use. There is a vacant structure on the site, which may have been an office or house. Its age and use is under investigation. The site is owned in part by the City of Springfield and the Springfield Economic Development Company, CSX, and the Joseph Freeman Company, Inc. Some environmental remediation was undertaken on the site by the City of Springfield and monitoring wells are present.
The rail line was established in 1876 as the Connecticut Central Railroad. Most of the freight facilities of this small yard were further to the west; however, reference to a 1915 track map prepared by the NY, NH & H Railroad shows that a turntable was once located on the site. Figure __ below shows the proposed site layout and the location of a roundhouse.
Figure __. Proposed Armory Layover Yard Layout Showing Location of Former Turntable
Trains would access the Armory Street yard via existing CSX tracks at Springfield Union Station. The tracks pass over Chestnut Street, MP 62.08, immediately east of Union Station, and then continue east approximately 2,000 feet on a new track before connecting to the yard site. The access tracks and the yard would be constructed on property used for railroad purposes over the past century. Some site work will be required at the yard to clean up materials dumped there and provide for appropriate grade.
Figure __. Truck under Chestnut Street Railroad Bridge, MP 62.08, Springfield MA
The Armory Branch rail line was established in 1874 as the Connecticut Central Railroad, known on the Massachusetts side of the state line as the Springfield and New London Railroad. Opened for service in January 1876, the line connected the Hartford, Providence & Fishkill in East Hartford, Connecticut, with the Boston & Albany in Springfield. Passenger and freight stations and a roundhouse with turntable were built near the junction with the Boston & Albany, east of the present Union Station and west of the proposed layover facility. Later operators include the New York & New England and New York, New Haven & Hartford railroads. The line was more successful as a freight operation than as an alternative Springfield-Hartford passenger route. It was commonly known as the Armory Branch after a station by that name at the north end of the line, even though it did not directly serve the Springfield Armory.
In 1888, the New York & New England railroad purchased additional land from the Kibbe family for the purpose of extending the railyard to the east, corresponding to the location of the proposed layover facility. The west end of the yard was reconfigured with a freight house and sidings and the east end was used for railroad-owned, contractor-operated coal and scrap-metal operations. The line was abandoned between Springfield and Enfield, Connecticut, in 1993.
Does the Pproject Include DDemolition? If so, specify the nature of the demolition and describe the building(s) which are proposed for demolition.
NHHS Rail Program: Construction of the layover yard would require removal of a shipping container and a highway trailer and demolition of a the small building (see attached photographs) that formerly served as an office for the coal and scrap businesses that occupied the site. The building was built in 1930 (Springfield Assessor records, confirmed by historical maps) . It measures approximately 18’ by 36’ in plan and has a stucco exterior over concrete-block walls. Windows are mostly modern aluminum replacement sash. Sheet-copper canopies over the doorways and a shingled dormer are the only remaining ornamental details. The building does not appear to have the requisite historical and/or architectural significance needed for National Register eligibility.single structure on the site, the age and use of which is under investigation. The remainder of the site will require the removal of significant debris and waste.
Figure __. Former coal-yard office, 1930, east and north elevations, camera facing southwest
Does tThe Project Include Rehabilitation Of Any Existing Buildings? If So, Specific Nature Of The Rehabilitation And Describe The Building(S) Which Are Proposed For Rehabilitation. NHHS Rail Program: The NHHS Rail Program does not include improvements to any buildings or to the railroad bridges and culverts listed on in Table 1 and in the Appendix. As noted, existing signal cables attached to each bridge will be replaced with new signal cable. The new cable will terminate prior to Springfield Union Station.
Figure __. Chestnut Street Railroad Bridge, MP 62.08
The Chestnut Street Bridge at MP 62.08 (figure __ above) will require minor repair and maintenance. The bridge was constructed circa ca. 1 1911. This potentially eligible historic bridge has not been modified since initial construction other than minor repairs. Based on preliminary engineering evaluations, the anticipated improvements involve repair ofof the bottom flange of main girders due to truck impacts, reinforcement of several floor beams due to rust, minor pointing/repair of masonry/concrete abutments, repairs to spalled spalling of the concrete bridge deck, general maintenance of bridge seats, repair of handrails and foot walks, and general cleaning, and painting. No excavations or changes to bridge structural elements are required to execute the minor-repair maintenance work.
The Area of Potential Effects (APE) would essentially be the footprint of the bridge. The proposed work would provide needed repairs to keep the existing bridge in good operating condition. The Area of Potential Effects (APE) would essentially be the footprint of the bridge. as the work proposed is maintenance. As such, thisThe anticpated minor repair/maintenance activities will be y is evaluated to be beneficial to the preservation of this the historic bridge and would have No Adverse Effect on historic resources.not constitute an Adverse Effect.
Does The Project Include New Construction? If So, Describe.
NHHS Rail Program: The NHHS Rail program includes the following construction activities:
Track: Construction of approximately 2000 feet ofn new track along two existing CSX tracks and another 800-1000 feet of new track to access the proposed layover/maintenance facility. yard. Within the yard, 3-5 storage tracks would be used for train storage. This work will include preparation of the rail bed and installation of ties, rail and ballast. Ground-level concrete or asphalt walkways would be constructed parallel to the storage tracks for pedestrian and small-vehicle access to the trains. Some overhead lighting of the area would be included.
As noted, existing signal cables attached to each bridge will be replaced with new signal cable.
Light Maintenance Facility: Construction of a 2-bay/track single story facility to hold a three-car trainset, together with sufficient space for materials inventory, employee welfare and crew reporting, and parking. The site will require removal of significant debris, and waste, and added fill. See attached concept plan. that has been piled there.
Rail corridor: As noted, existing signal cables attached to each bridge will be replaced with new signal cable.
To the best of your knowledge, are any historic or archeological properties known to exist within the project’s area of potential impact? If so, specify: NHHS Rail Program: An inventory of historic and archaeologicalal resources for the entire NHHS Rail Program currently is underway and will be completed in January 2012. Previously recorded resources in Massachusetts are shown on the attached USGS map (Springfield South quadrangle). To date, data collection for the pending Environmental Assessment for the NHHS Rail Program has identified seven National Register of Historic Places (NR) properties listed in Springfield within the study corridor, including the Springfield Union Railroad Station. Almost all of these sites are located within the Downtown Springfield Railroad District (Historic District), which is bounded by Lyman, Main, Murray and Spring Streets. Almost all of these resources are associated with the railroad station and the industries that sprang up to take advantage of the rail line.
The rail corridor itself passes through the National Register-listed Downtown Springfield Railroad District, a large historic district of institutional and commercial buildings that includes several notable rail-related resources: the Springfield Union Station, the brownstone arch over Main Street, and the Lyman Street retaining wall. The rail corridor intersects two resources inventoried in the Historic and Archaeological Assets of the Commonwealth database: the Hampden County Memorial Bridge (SPR.903) and the New South End Bridge (SPR.928). Two resources are adjacent to the corridor: the New England Card and Paper Co. factory (SPR.2803), 18-34 Hanover Street, and the York Street Pumping Station (SPR.2805), West York Street. In Longmeadow, the corridor is across Pondside Road from a portion of the Emerson-Arlington Road Area (LON.K). Some rail-related structures along the corridor may be eligible for the National Register as intact examples of railroad engineering (see attached photographs of bridges and culverts); a 1915 signal bridge (SPR.979) has been determined ineligible because of lack of integrity.
No historic archeological sites have been identified in the vicinity of the corridor. Six Contact/Pre-Contact Native American sites have been identified in the vicinity of the corridor, though not actually adjacent to it, and the entire terrace adjacent to the Connecticut River can be considered as having moderate to high sensitivity for Native American sites.
Because the only work on the corridor itself will be the replacement of an existing signal cable with a new cable, no impact on any of these resources is anticipated. The proposed layover and maintenance facility is situated across Taylor Street from the National Register-listed Upper Worthington Historic District. No visual or other indirect impacts on the district are anticipated by the construction of the facility, which will replace the existing modern construction trailer and ca.1930 building currently visible from the historic district. The extensive grading and filling associated with the construction of the 1888 rail yard can be presumed to have destroyed any previously intact Native-Aermican archaeological sites. Historical structures known to have existed at one time within the project area include a spur track and 60’ turntable, ca.1888-1930; a coal bunker and scrap-metal facility near the Taylor Street property line, ca. 1888 – 1950s ; six 60’-high coal silos and a large garage, ca. 1930-1950; and two small buildings associated with scrap-metal operations, ca. 1950 - ?. Some evidence of these structures (through track and sidings, turntable, coal and scrap-metal facilities) may exist below the present fill; it is questionable, however, whether much could be learned from this evidence beyond the locations of the structures, which are already well-known through documentary sources.
As noted, a railroad turntable once was located on the site of the proposed layover yard. A vacant structure remains on the proposed yard site; its age and use are under investigation.
What is the total acreage of the project area? NHHS Rail Program: The proposed Armory Layover Yard is approximately six acres. Track from Springfield Union Station to the proposed yard extends approximately 3000’, with a 35-foot rail bed width. The Amtrak NHHS mail main line extends six miles from the Connecticut/Massachusetts border to Springfield union Station and is 60-100 feet wide.
There are no woodlands, wetlands, floodplain, or productive resources in the area between Springfield union Station and the proposed layover yard site. The proposed yard site is zoned for industrial/commercial use.
This Project Notification Form has been submitted to the MHC in compliance with 950 CMR 71.00.
Signature of Person submitting this form:__________________________________Date: ___________________