The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) announced the selection of a consultant team to assist the department with planning for the future of the New Haven Line and the entire statewide rail system. Developing the investment program to significantly improve the performance of the rail system is a key element of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's Let's Go CT! 30-year, $100 billion transportation vision.
The team will be composed of experts from three nationally respected firms — AECOM, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and STV — and will initially be tasked with developing a strategy to improve capacity, frequency, and speed of rail service on the New Haven Line. This plan, informally known as the “2+2” Plan, calls for running local trains on two outer tracks and express trains on the two inner tracks. The study will develop service and infrastructure investment strategies to achieve key performance targets for the rail system and evaluate the optimal strategy for creating direct service to New York Penn Station as well as to Grand Central Terminal.
This work effort, funded by an initial allocation of $3 million by the State Bond Commission from “Let's Go CT”, will inform future capital investment decisions such as the configuration of new rail stations, rail yard improvements, interlockings — allowing a train to switch from one track to another — and procurement of addition rail cars and locomotives.
“This critically important initiative marks the beginning of a new era in the state's rail system, moving us from the traditional commuter business model to a dynamic, interconnected transit network. Customers and business leaders are demanding these new services, which will unleash the true economic potential of Connecticut's communities,” said CTDOT Commissioner James Redeker.
“With the opening of the Hartford Line next year, we have an opportunity to take a fresh look at rail service across the state, to rethink schedules, fares, branding and other operational details. It will soon be possible to travel with ease between Hartford and the state's major cities along the coast,” said Richard Andreski, CTDOT bureau chief of public transportation.
“The initial phase of the study will look at various concepts and alternatives for future train service and potential investment needs. The first phase including recommendations on the future rail car and locomotive purchases will be completed next year. It will then be up to CTDOT, the General Assembly and the Governor to act on any recommendations,” he said.