Pittsfield RR Tracks

Railroad tracks extend west from Pittsfield’s Intermodal Transportation Center, where Amtrak service has provided on a daily basis. The railroad said this month that the service will run "tri-weekly," meaning three times a week, due to reduced demand as a result of the pandemic. 

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PITTSFIELD — Now, the Lake Shore Limited is more, well, limited. 

Amtrak announced last week that the long-distance route, which connects Boston with Chicago, would no longer be run daily. Instead, it’s going “tri-weekly.”

As of Oct. 12, the Lake Shore Limited run operates three days a week. Westbound service on the route now departs Boston only on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, according to Amtrak.

On Wednesday, that train stops in Pittsfield for a departure at 4:39 p.m. The train arrives in Chicago at 9:50 a.m. on Thursday for a one-way coach fare of $106. Want a coach room to yourself? That will set you back $1,370, according to Amtrak’s online booking system.

The cutback in service through Pittsfield follows retrenchment across the country by the national carrier. In early October, Amtrak reduced service around the country because of reduced demand due to the pandemic, it announced. 

Those cutbacks affected routes with storied names, such as the California Zephyr, the Coast Starlight and the Empire Builder.

Amtrak said that people who hold tickets on routes that have been curtailed will be contacted and given help in choosing alternative travel dates.

Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com and 413-588-8341.

Investigations editor

Larry Parnass, investigations editor, joined The Eagle in 2016 from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, where he was editor in chief. His freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant and CommonWealth Magazine.


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