Blake Lamothe, Chairman of the Palmer Redevelopment Authority, and owner of the Palmer Union Station, has provided a written statement giving more information on bringing passenger rail service to Palmer. In the interest of bringing economic prosperity back to the Western/Central MA region, as well as reconnecting this area to Eastern Mass., please support this proposal in any way you can.
Here is a link to the Steaming Tender Restaurant, which is housed in the renovated Palmer Union Station. At this website you will be able to view the station and learn about it. The effort that was given to bringing this station back to life is a true gift to our community. http://www.steamingtender.com/ Thanks so Much!
March 17, 2009
Subject: Palmer Redevelopment Authority Population Corridor Rules
Our goal is to initiate passenger service to the Palmer Union Station, located between two major crossroads; The New England Central Railroad (which goes from St. Albans, VT to New London, CT), and the Boston & Albany Line (which goes from Boston, Worcester, Palmer, Springfield, Hartford, to New Haven). Doing so would tremendously benefit our residence, and all of the Quaboag Valley. While there have been talks of creating such a service in Massachusetts, we feel the location would best be suited in Palmer, Massachusetts. There we have the Union Passenger Station, which is home of The Town of Seven Railroads, with the possibility of traveling North, South, East, or West. It is centrally located downtown, and a few quick minutes from major MA Highways, including the Masspike, Route 20, Route 32, Route 67, and Route 9.
The station has been beautifully restored, and is located in a monumental building, designed by HH Richardson, and on The grounds of Olmstead Park. The building is strategically positioned between two railroad tracks, once known as “The Central Link to New England”. We have 4 passenger trains that run through passenger daily: The Lakeshore limited, and the Vermonter both run lines. We would like access to the Lakeshore Limited for people to be able to use its service. We would also want access to the Vermonter Train, which runs to Vermont and New York City via Washington DC. The train currently stops everyday in Palmer for a switching crew. We believe the best location for a pickup of passenger would be near the rear of the railroad station near the mainline for both trains. There is a subway entrance to the Main Street location, and a payphone at the railroad station, bathroom facilities, and drop off area also available. You simply could not ask for a better location.
The PRA moves in a direction to open up the subway entrance that was originally closed in the 1970’s dues to the lack of railroad repair work that was greatly needed to keep a railing system around the subway entrance. The PRA moves with New England Central to install a small platform, necessary to load passengers in this area. We would greatly appreciate Bill Hollister, or an AMTRAK representative to take a look at this simple endeavor to benefit our well-populated area in Central Mass.
We believe these corridors should be open to the general public. We are calling the New England Central the Population Corridor based upon the statistics with town population that is readily available online. If you research this yourselves, you will find that New England Centrals railroad runs in an area that could be greatly enhanced with passenger service. With rider ship, we believe this could generate 5,000 riders this year, and double within the next two years.
New England Central has spent $29.5 million dollars within the last ten years on the Central Vermont Line.
With the economy in crisis, it’s critical that our tax dollars are to be used in the best interest of our community. Passenger train service would not only allow our citizens the ability to take trips for their own enjoyment and leisure, but also cut down on excessive traffic on our streets, and wasted fuel.
Our research shows that Palmer is more centrally located in Massachusetts rather than the proposed Northampton site. Amherst has shown considerable increase in rider ship, and is only 7 miles away from Northampton. The population in Amherst is 7,000 greater than that of Northampton. Greenfield is right along the Interstate 91, as is Northampton, which allows more automobile traffic than public transportation traffic. Do the taxpayers feel that 25 to 35 million dollars should be spent on the Knowledge Corridor, when the Population Corridor could produce MUCH greater rider ship, and is more centrally located to where the population and rider ship is? This location in Palmer would also open up connections to New London via Northeast Corridor as well. The town of Palmer could offer to this endeavor a piece of land that could house up to 500 cars for both long-term and short term parking adjacent to the railroad station.
Our location is much better suited for long-term investment in commuter rail. There are far more better possibilities for commuter service in Palmer via Springfield, New London, Worcester, and Vermont.
A passenger service stop in Palmer would benefit our community, our state, and our country. The PRA feels it is in our community’s best interest for us to take action. Senator Brewer, as well as State Representative Todd Smola both back this local and regional project.
Each week we broadcast a live radio show on WARE 1250 AM called “Seven Towns, One Station”. Our show is a talk – based format, including current train and railroad news, and live interviews each week with a new guest from the railroad industry.
The show has garnered much praise from the community, and railroad advocates alike; with guests like Deborah Murphy from the Green Mountain Railroad, Robert Id from Vermont Transportation, and Christopher Parker from the Vermont Rail Action Network showing praise and excitement at our proposition.
Our focus will be to call on you people that are in the transportation field to help our local patrons and the community abroad to make this happen. We would appreciate all correspondence come to us by email. Please contact us at email@example.com
Chairman – Palmer Redevelopment Authority
Town of Palmer
Palmer Town Building
4417 Main Street
Palmer, Massachusetts 01069
PALMER REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
Telephone. (413) 283-4100
FAX (413) 283-2637