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Connecticut Officials Announce Operator For New Haven-Springfield Commuter Rail

State officials announced on Monday the operator of a new commuter rail line between New Haven and Springfield, and said the launch of that service will be delayed into mid-2018.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said pushing the start date for what the state’s calling the CTrail Hartford Line to May 2018 will limit disruptions to the new commuter service as the state Department of Transportation works on rail improvements north of Hartford. The service was initially slated to start in January 2018.

“When service is launched, there will be a total of 17 round trips between New Haven and Hartford,” Malloy said. “Twelve of those 17 trips will continue on into Springfield, Massachusetts as well.”

Malloy also announced that the national railroad companies TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts Inc. would operate the line as a joint venture.

When the line is operational in May 2018, commuters along the I-91 corridor will be able to board trains every 45 minutes during peak hours -- nearly tripling the amount of current service on the current Amtrak line. Officials say the project has cost nearly $700 million to date.

DOT Commissioner Jim Redeker
Ryan Caron King
DOT Commissioner Jim Redeker

DOT Commissioner Jim Redeker said he recently toured the stretch of rail between New Haven and Hartford.

“And I had done that several years ago to see what it was like before,” Redeker said. “It is incredible how much work has taken place to completely rebuild the track bed, put in new track, build new stations, fix all the bridges, fix the culverts, and create a really world-class high-speed railroad.”

The new service will span from New Haven to Springfield, with stops at existing stations in Windsor and Windsor Locks, among others. It will also include stops at new stations in Wallingford, Berlin, and Meriden. The plan is for even more stations in Enfield, Newington, West Hartford, and North Haven. The line will also connect to regional rail services in the Northeast Corridor. 


Union Station in Hartford on July 24, 2017. The station will have access to increased commuter service on the CTrail Hartford Line.
Ryan Caron King / WNPR
Union Station in Hartford on July 24, 2017. The station will have access to increased commuter service on the CTrail Hartford Line.

Copyright 2017 Connecticut Public Radio

Ryan Caron King is a freelance multimedia reporter atWNPR. As an intern, he created short web videos to accompany some ofWNPR'sreporting online. As a student at the University of Connecticut, he managedUConn'scollege radio stationWHUS, where he headed an initiative to launch a recording and video production studio. Ryan graduated fromUConnwith a Journalism/English double major in 2015.
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