Amtrak advising drivers to prepare for increased train activity

Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Northampton’s Damon Road railroad crossing is among the most heavily traveled crossings in western Massachusetts.

More than 10,000 drivers use Northampton’s Damon Road railroad crossing every day. Those drivers currently encounter only two trains a day from Springfield to Greenfield and back.

But all that is about to change, requiring increased driver awareness for the new Amtrak Valley Flyer Service.

“With Channel 22’s help many more people will see it, and be aware that we’re going to go from two trains a day that goes to Vermont to at least six,” said MassDOT safety trainer Richard Towle.

Amtrak and Northampton Police officers and firefighters spent much of Thursday afternoon distributing information packets to drivers to prepare them for the increased train activity within the next few weeks.

They’re calling drivers attention to the Blue and White Emergency notification system sign at the crossing. Amtrak Detective Robert Hanson told 22News, “Right now we’re running test trains at night which are running from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m. at some point in the very near future.”

With train traffic tripling in September, Amtrak and MassDOT remind drivers the trains come through the crossing at 50-miles an hour. Their normal traveling speed is 79-miles an hour.

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