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PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The Berkshires of western Massachusetts, one of the state’s most popular touríst destinations, will be easier to reach for the next two summers with the launch of seasonal Amtrak service from New York City.

The Berkshire Flyer service will start July 8 and operate on weekends during the summer with a Friday afternoon departure from New York’s Penn Station to Pittsfield, with several stops including Albany, New York, and a return trip on Sunday afternoon, officials said Monday.

The service is a collaboration between Amtrak, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the New York State Department of Transportation.

The goal is to boost tourist access to the world-renowned museums, concert venues and outdoor activities in the region, officials said.

“Western Massachusetts and the Berkshire region offer a whole host of cultural and recreational opportunities during the summer and we hope this pilot service will encourage even more visitors to this part of our state,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement.

The service will be evaluated after the two-year pilot program to determine its longterm feasibility.

Tickets will be available starting next month.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press (AP) is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.