Green hills against the blue waters of a lake and sky.

Amtrak Plans New Service to the Berkshires

Starting this July, Amtrak, along with its state partners in Massachusetts and New York, is launching a new pilot seasonal route between New York City and the famous Berkshires.

The new service, known as the Berkshire Flyer, will operate between New York City and Pittsfield, MA on weekends throughout the summer (with a similar schedule in 2023 as well). The service will start on July 8 and will include a Friday afternoon departure from New York City and a returning Sunday afternoon departure from Pittsfield. The route will follow the Hudson River to Albany before heading to Pittsfield.

“We are pleased to work with our partner agencies to run passenger train service between Pittsfield and New York City on weekends during the busiest tourist times this summer,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Western Massachusetts and the Berkshire Region offer a whole host of cultural and recreational opportunities during the summer. We hope this pilot service will encourage even more visitors to this part of our state.”

The Berkshire Flyer pilot’s success will be evaluated to further understand the feasibility and demand of the service before continuing the service, deciding on its schedule if it is to continue, and identifying specific infrastructure improvements or service changes that may be necessary.

The Berkshire Flyer will depart from New York Penn Station at 3:16 p.m. on Fridays and arrive at Joseph Scelsi Intermodal Transportation Center, 1 Columbus Ave, Pittsfield at 7:12 p.m.  The train will make all the intermediate station stops as the typical Amtrak Empire Service train does on Fridays, which include Yonkers, NY, Croton-Harmon, NY, Poughkeepsie, NY, Rhinecliff, NY, Hudson, NY, and Albany-Rensselaer Station. The Sunday return trip, making all the same station stops, will depart Pittsfield at 3:00 p.m. and arrive in New York at 7:05 p.m.

“Amtrak is excited to be able to provide this long-awaited service for our partners at MassDOT and NYSDOT,” said Amtrak President & CEO Stephen Gardner. “We’re appreciative of the support and cooperation of CSX for the Berkshire Flyer service, which will offer a more comfortable and convenient transportation option, that’s also more environmentally friendly, for people traveling between New York City and Berkshire County, along with easy access to musical performances at Tanglewood.”

“Berkshire County is home to art, culture, history, and hospitality, and the Berkshire Flier line will enable more people to experience it,” said Congressman Richard. E. Neal, Chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means. “I have been a proud supporter of this initiative from the start, and I am grateful to the folks at Amtrak, MassDOT, and NYSDOT for making it a reality.”

State Senator Adam Hinds added, “This critical link will boost our regional economy through tourism and by allowing us to base more remote workers in the Berkshires. This has been years in the making, and the Department of Transportation has been an outstanding partner.”

Efforts to evaluate passenger rail service between the Berkshires and New York have been ongoing since 2018, during which time pilot service has operated and conversations about the service have involved Berkshire County groups, municipal officials, and elected leaders. Amtrak, MassDOT, and NYSDOT have collaborated with CSX Transportation to prepare for the service’s start-up this year after an agreement was reached with CSX to utilize its tracks.

Tickets for the Berkshire Flyer are expected to go on sale in the coming weeks. For more information, visit

Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

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