Dare we say it’s happening?
After delays due to site problems, winter weather, elevator parts, and, most recently, the Train Approach Messaging System (TAMS), the actual train moment arrives today.
As of 6 a.m. today the orange cones and caution tape at the head of the Kiss & Go drive on Kirkham Street were removed and passengers will have access to the north side of the Branford Train Station.
But access does not mean access to northbound trains. Not quite yet.
DOT Transportation Engineer Paul Andruskiewicz said Thursday morning that a ribbon cutting has not yet been scheduled and that it will take a week or two for Amtrak to schedule the trains traveling north.
But travel north they will!
The Sept. 30 opening was announced at a meeting last month held by the Department of Transportation to address concerns about the repeated delays in the project.
On Thursday afternoon, two software engineers (from New Orleans and Philadelphia) were putting the finishing touches on the TAMS, housed in a shiny metal cabinet. “It should be ready in about an hour,” they said, adding that this part of the system was brand new while the TAMS signs themselves had been used at the Guilford Station.
Passengers will also have access to the station via a stairway from Kirkham Street and additional parking will be available off Meadow Street near the site of the original train station.
This is the closest we’ve been able to get to the north side of the station since construction began – before we were shooed away.
Exactly two years ago the Eagle published a story about the “big lift” involving the steel framework for the elevators. You’ve come a long way, baby!