Rail Decision Hailed

The Federal Railroad Administration has decided to make improvements along the Northeast rail corridor that could get people from New Haven to New York City in one hour and five minutes, and from New Haven to Boston in two hours.

Those improvements are contained in a long-awaited “record of decision” the FRA released on Wednesday.

The Harp administration and the Economic Development Corporation issued a joint statement praising the decision.

“These improvements will greatly expand access to greater New Haven market by connecting the major innovation centers in the Northeast,” the statement read. “[G]iven the prominence of New Haven as a Top 15 Amtrak market, this work will mean even more jobs and more opportunity to live and work in New Haven’s vibrant Hill to Downtown community.

“Of note, the Record of Decision calls for a study to identify additional infrastructure as needed to achieve the service and performance objectives between New Haven and Providence.  This work should begin as soon as possible.”

In Connecticut, more attention was focused on a different part of the FRA decision — the part that kills a plan to lay down new track speeding Amtrak trips along the Shoreline from Old Saybrook into Rhode Island. Click here to read a full story about that by the CT Mirror’s Ana Radelat.

And click here for a Branford Eagle article about how Shoreline activists helped kill that part of the plan.

New Haven U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro issued this statement in reaction to the news: ““With this decision, the Federal Railroad Administration is making a prudent choice in planning for the future of our communities. While improving the NEC is long overdue, there were a number of issues that my constituents raised in the last version of the plan. I am pleased that the FRA has addressed these concerns, while also finding a solution that will deliver hourly service between New York City and New Haven and add a station in Orange. Improving the most important rail segment in the country is critical to the millions of people who rely on it, and I look forward to continuing to work with the FRA going forward.”

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posted by: Esbey on July 12, 2017  5:13pm

Everyone is excited about a plan for which there is no funding in place and which has a 25-year proposed timeline, which is itself probably unrealistic.  I doubt that I will live to see the promised one-hour train ride from New Haven to New York City.

posted by: Weruche on July 13, 2017  5:59am

Edit article to include current commute time to these cities,  to help readers better appreciate the proposed improvement.

posted by: Christopher Schaefer on July 13, 2017  6:02am

Marc Willis, FRA spokesman: “the money to repair and improve the infrastructure primarily would have to come from the states. There’s no federal funding commitment to do any more work at this point.
What it really comes down to is elected leadership,
what they’re going to do, what their priorities are going to be.”
VERSUS our ‘elected leadership’ Rosa DeLauro: “I am pleased that the FRA has addressed these concerns”.
>>But ONLY the ill-advised shoreline widening—NOT repair/upgrade of EXISTING infrastructure.
NOTE that the rail agency’s master plan will cost $120-$150 Billion to rebuild the Northeast Corridor.
CT is broke; DeLauro has not secured any “federal funding commitment”.
WHY? BECAUSE “What it really comes down to is elected leadership”.
SOLUTION: CT needs new “elected leadership” in the CT General Assembly and in Congress.
[Quotes from related New Haven Register article: http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20170712/federal-rail-agency-drops-plan-to-expand-rail-service-along-connecticut-shoreline ]

posted by: JCFremont on July 13, 2017  10:11am

Just another “Study.” These announcement usually come out every five years sometimes with our politicians boarding a train spouting the same dream of “New York in hour by the end of the decade.” The problem is not that the current trains are not capable of traveling fast enough to make the trip in an hour, it is the amount of stops along the way, and the curves on the 19th century track layout. The near 45 degree turn on I-95 at Darien is a big reason why “rush hour” traffic in Connecticut begins at 2 pm. Add a fifth and sixth track? Sure, but how many stops? New Haven, Bridgeport, (Fairfield-Metro might be a better choice.) Stamford and New Rochelle? Well you better add designated platforms or trying to sync the stops with the local trains or it won’t be running as promised.

posted by: robn on July 13, 2017  11:13am

Will we also be investing in a Connecticut length sea wall to protect that train line?