Amtrak’s summer Berkshire Flyer tickets from New York now on sale

May 29, 2022

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

This story has been updated with new information


Just as summer unofficially gets underway, New Yorkers can officially start planning and booking July and August weekends away from the city.

Weeks after announcing plans to operate direct service from Penn Station to the Berkshires over the next two summers, Amtrak has now put tickets on sale for its new Berkshire Flyer service.

The new rail service between Manhattan and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, will get underway July 8 and run through the end of summer. With the new route, Amtrak seems to be betting on New Yorkers’ interest in a weekend away from the city in favor of the tranquility offered in New England’s Berkshires. It’s important to note, though, that the rail operator is considering this a pilot program in 2022 and 2023, so demand this summer and next will decide the fate of the route going forward.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

The Berkshire Flyer summer service includes a Friday afternoon northbound train from Penn Station to Massachusetts with a return trip to New York on Sunday afternoon.

(Photo by Dominic Defelice/EyeEm/Getty Images)

Amtrak announced the service last month as part of a partnership with the Massachusetts and New York State Departments of Transportation. The rail operator’s president and CEO said Friday, that this service highlights the growing demand for train travel nationally.

It figures to be an additional, traffic-free option for New York residents to spend a quiet summer weekend in New England. The Berkshires region is a popular summer destination known for its small New England towns, mountains, lakes and shopping outlets.

“We hope this pilot service will encourage even more visitors to this part of the state,” Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said as part of the announcement.

Specifics of the service

Amtrak officially put tickets for the new train service on sale last week. A round-trip ticket between New York City and the Berkshires starts at $90, whether you’re booking the first weekend (July 8-10) the service is available or later in the summer. A round trip in business class will cost you $248.

screenshot of Berkshire Flyer booking
Screenshot of Friday afternoon, northbound booking on Amtrak’s Berkshire Flyer. (Screenshot courtesy of Amtrak)
screenshot of Amtrak Berkshire Flyer return trip booking
The return trip on the Berkshire Flyer. (Screenshot courtesy of Amtrak)

The trains will run between New York’s Penn Station and Pittsfield. The northbound train will leave Manhattan at 3:16 p.m. on Friday afternoons beginning July, and it will make several stops in New York State along the way including Yonkers, Croton-Harmon, Poughkeepsie, Rhinecliff, Hudson and Albany-Rensselaer.

Related: Why your next family vacation should be a train trip

The Berkshire Flyer will arrive at Joseph Scelsi Intermodal Transportation Center in Pittsfield at 7:12 p.m. on Friday evenings. On the return, the train will depart Pittsfield at 3:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon, and arrive at Penn Station at 7:05 p.m., making the same stops on the way back.

Does it save time?

I plugged a car trip between Manhattan and Pittsfield into Google Maps, and adjusted the itinerary to assume typical late Friday afternoon traffic. The estimated trip time gave me a wide range most New York residents would be familiar with: between 2 hours and 50 minutes and 4 hours. So the train won’t be a big time-saver, but what a fabulous way to travel.

google maps route screenshot NYC to Berkshires
Google Maps routes from New York City to Pittsfield, MA. (Screenshot courtesy of Google Maps)

Many residents of the northeast also know traffic could cause the drive to take even longer on a bad day. The benefit of the train service is that you’d travel without traffic, and with a guaranteed timeframe on when you’d arrive. It’s also, of course, a great option for New York City residents without a car to be able to get out of town for the weekend.

Related: Hyatt’s Miraval brand is expanding its footprint in Berkshires

Aboard the train

Amtrak says you can expect all the amenities you’d normally get on an Amtrak train. The Berkshire Flyer will have free Wi-Fi and allow small pets, two personal items and two carry-on bags.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Renting a car

While taking the train is a great way to get to the Berkshires, there’s a good chance you’ll want a car once there.

When it comes to major car rental companies, they’re not located right at the train station, but there are a couple of car rental options in Pittsfield. I found a Hertz location about three miles away.

Hertz rental car pittsfield route map
(Screenshot courtesy of Google Maps)

Looks like an Uber is cheap, though you may have to wait a bit for the ride. (Note: I checked this on a Sunday morning, so there’s a chance Uber or Lyft availability could look better on a Friday evening)

Uber route screenshot
(Screenshot courtesy of Uber)

There’s also an Enterprise less than a mile away, so if you feel up to the walk that’s an option without needing another form of transportation to pick up your car.

enterprise screenshot
(Screenshot courtesy of Enterprise)

Future of this service

Amtrak points out that Massachusetts and New York officials have discussed this sort of service since 2018. They’ll be closely watching bookings for the Berkshire Flyer pilot program in 2022 and 2023 and studying passenger counts “to understand the feasibility and demand” of the service before deciding to continue it, and what a future schedule might look like and what infrastructure improvements might be needed long term.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.