- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) - An upcoming change in the route of Amtrak’s Vermonter is prompting authorities to urge residents of several western Massachusetts communities to use caution.

Beginning Monday, the passenger train - which travels between Washington, D.C. and St. Albans, Vermont - will make two new stops in Greenfield and Northampton. The Vermonter will no longer stop in Amherst.

State police point out that only slow-moving freight trains travel currently through Bernardston, Greenfield, Deerfield, Whately, Hatfield, Northampton, Easthampton, Holyoke, Springfield and Chicopee. But the passenger trains will go much faster - often at speeds greater than 60 mph.

State police say motorists should be extra careful around rail crossings as they get used to the changes, and always make sure they can safely get all the way through a crossing before committing.

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