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CTrail Hartford Line and Shore Line East Service Added for Thanksgiving Travel

In anticipation of increased demand over the Thanksgiving Holiday period, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) today announced additional Hartford Line and special Shore Line East train service.

After a busy Thanksgiving last year, holiday travel by rail this year is expected to be even more widespread. “Our rail services are becoming more popular with each passing year,” said Commissioner Joseph Giulietti. “It is a great way to travel, especially during the holidays.”

Last year, more than 3,500 riders chose to ride CTrail and Amtrak Hartford Line trains on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, a record day for the rail line. Shore Line East carried more than 1,800 riders on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. This was the highest ridership day in 2018 for both rail lines.

The Department will add ten additional CTrail Hartford Line trains to the schedule on Tuesday, November 26 and Wednesday, November 27 and an additional four trains on Sunday, December 1. The added CTrail Hartford Line trains will operate between New Haven and Hartford, generally running 5-10 minutes after regularly scheduled Amtrak Hartford Line trains to provide more seats and alleviate potential overcrowding. Many Amtrak Hartford Line trains are expected to be sold-out through advance reservation sales and may only accept Amtrak tickets. CTrail ticketholders and U-Pass CT riders wishing to board Amtrak trains should consider using the additional CTrail trains on these dates. On Friday, November 29, CTrail Hartford Line will run a regular weekday schedule, but customers should be aware that the New Haven Line (Metro-North) will operate on a modified weekend schedule. A special Hartford Line schedule for November 29 showing the modified Metro-North connections and a full printable schedule for November 26-27 and December 1 is available at

New Haven Line and Shore Line East will also operate on special schedules on Wednesday, November 27. Special New Haven Line trains will connect travelers to special holiday Shore Line East trains at New Haven Union Station. The special Shore Line East trains will make all stops between New Haven and Old Saybrook with some service to New London. Customers should visit for more information.

To avoid delays during this busy travel period, customers are encouraged to purchase train tickets in advance. Tickets can be pre-purchased at all CTrail and New Haven Line ticket vending machines, ticket windows, or by using the Amtrak or MTA eTix smartphone apps.

“We are very happy to announce the availability of these additional Hartford Line and special Shore Line East trains to meet the heavy travel demand over the Thanksgiving holiday period” said Richard Andreski, CTDOT Public Transportation Bureau Chief. “CTDOT staff and our rail operators will all be working together to ensure that Connecticut rail travelers have enough options to travel and spend the holidays with their loved ones.”

“People in Connecticut are becoming more familiar with our rail system and are using it to avoid the headaches of driving,” said Carl Jackson, CTDOT Rail Administrator. “We look forward to wishing everyone well on the busiest travel day of the year.”

Information about all rail services in Connecticut is available at

TELEPHONE: (860) 594-3062
FAX: (860) 594-3065