Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Monday that Connecticut had received the from the federal government for the state's planned New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter line.
The money, which will fund double-tracking of a 5.8-mile stretch of corridor beginning just north of the Hartford Station and extending to the Windsor Station, comes from more than for his state.
It will also help to pay for improvements to freight siding in the Hartford Yard and safety improvements to at-grade crossings as far north as Windsor Locks, according to the governor’s office, as well as fund a later project, planned for the spring, to install Amtrak signal cable between New Haven and Hartford, to be extended to Springfield.
"Improving passenger rail service — and our overall transportation network — is one of the keys to improving our economy and our business climate,” Malloy said in a statement Monday. “We were aggressive in pursuing these federal funds and I thank President Obama, (U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood), and our Congressional Delegation for helping us make our vision of higher speed rail a reality. Upon completion, this rail line will have a direct and immediate impact on congestion through the I-91 corridor, a benefit for Connecticut and all of our Northeast neighbors.”
When Scott, a Republican, rejected the money, which comes from the $787-billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Malloy, a Democrat, quickly pounced on the opportunity to secure some of it for the state’s New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter line. In April, of Florida’s money for the project, although the state was notified in May that it would only receive $30 of that request.
In addition to the $30 million Connecticut received, Amtrak will also receive $450 million of Florida’s rejected money to be used on its Philadelphia-New York City rail line, a part of the Washington-Boston rail corridor of which the state’s new commuter line will feed into.
The New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter line aims to revive an under utilized 62-mile portion of rail line connecting Springfield, Mass., to New Haven, with trains running as often as every 30 minutes during rush hour. There would be 12 stops along the line, including the communities of Windsor and Windsor Locks (Enfield is also being studied as a potential stop along the line), and would feature high-speed rail as well as commuter service along the corridor.
High-speed trains running from New York to Vermont and Montreal would also utilize the line, which qualifies it for federal funding. The state plans to complete the line, which could cost as much as $800 million to $1 billion, by 2016, and predicts that by 2030 the line will have 1.26 million riders annually.