Gov. Malloy Announces Launch of the Hartford Line, Providing Frequent Rail Service in the Central Connecticut Corridor
CTrail Hartford Line is the First Passenger Rail Line to Open in Connecticut in Over Two Decades
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today joined dozens of federal, state, and local officials, and Connecticut commuters to officially launch the CTrail Hartford Line for service. The passenger rail line, which has multiple stations in Central Connecticut along the I-91 corridor connecting New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield, is the first passenger rail line to open for service in Connecticut since 1990.
The Governor marked the occasion first with a ceremony in New Haven, where he joined other officials for a brief ribbon cutting ceremony, and then boarded one of the distinctive red, white, and black-branded rail cars for a ride to Hartford’s Union Station, where the main grand opening ceremony was held. A second train carrying Massachusetts officials departed Springfield and arrived in Hartford for the ceremony. As the trains arrived from each direction, they broke through Hartford Line banners that were suspended across the tracks. Hundreds of federal, state, and local officials and members of the public attended the ceremony to celebrate the launch of the line, which has been under consideration for decades.
“With the launch of the Hartford Line, Connecticut is taking long-overdue, bold steps to invest in our future – laying the tracks for job growth, business expansion, and the revitalization of our urban areas,” Governor Malloy said. “Investing in our transportation system is critical to drive economic growth, boost development, create jobs, and improve the overall quality of life for our residents. If we want our state to be competitive and attract the jobs of the future, investing in our transportation system is not optional.”
The Governor added, “This project will improve lives, ease congestion, reduce pollution, and enhance our overall quality of life. It is the culmination of years of planning, regional cooperation, and strong partnerships on the local, state and federal levels. Countless people have contributed thousands of hours to this project and I want to express my sincere gratitude to everyone from the workaday planners and designers at drawing boards behind the scenes to the top-ranking officials and leaders. New transit-oriented development is already well under way along the line, and we expect hundreds of thousands of passenger trips each year, with healthy growth going forward.”
The CTrail Hartford Line begins regular operations on Saturday, June 16, 2018. For the first full weekend (June 16 and 17), the rail line will operate free of charge for all commuters. Full, expanded weekday service begins on Monday, June 18, with trains running approximately every 45 minutes during the morning and evening peak periods. The expanded service will be in addition to the existing Amtrak service in the corridor, and trains will reach speeds of 110 miles per hour.
Stations along the line from north to south include New Haven Union Station, New Haven State Street, Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford, Windsor, Windsor Locks, and Springfield. Trains will run approximately every 45 minutes during the morning and evening peak periods.
The line utilizes twenty-seven miles of new double-track along previously existing single-track sections, allowing more frequent trains to travel through the corridor. Additionally, new train stations were built in Wallingford, Meriden, and Berlin, and high-level platforms and other upgrades have been made at the Hartford and New Haven State Street stations.
“This marks a new chapter in Connecticut’s bright transportation future,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. “With more travel options for residents and visitors, Connecticut becomes more connected, creating a vibrant space for thriving economic development.”
“Investing in transportation means investing in a stronger Connecticut,” Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker said. “It’s taken the leadership of Governor Malloy and many others to leverage federal funds to bring this much-needed service to our state. We’ve already seen an explosion of interest in transit-oriented development in rail communities and we expect that will only grow as young people continue to make clear that they want transit at the heart of their hometowns.”
“Finally having regular train service between Hartford and New Haven is a big deal,” U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said. “If we want to grow jobs and attract young people to our state, we need to invest in smart public transportation. I was proud to vote for funding to help get the Hartford Line built, and I really appreciate all the hard work by Governor Malloy and Commissioner Redeker to make this happen.”
“This is a historic moment for the City of Hartford, the State of Connecticut, and the region known as the New England Knowledge Corridor,” Congressman John B. Larson said. “The Hartford Line unites the cities of Springfield, Hartford, and New Haven, provides a viable alternative to driving along the heavily congested I-91 corridor, and has already spurred economic development around the stations. I am proud to have worked closely with the Obama administration and my colleagues to secure close to $200 million in federal funding for this project. I want to personally thank all those who were involved in making this day possible, including Governor Malloy, Commissioner Redeker, Senator Dodd, Senator Lieberman, members of the Connecticut Congressional Delegation, and our partners in Massachusetts, including Congressman Neal. We must build on this momentum and invest more in our transportation system and critical infrastructure so that the region continues to benefit.”
“I am proud to have secured over $160 million in federal investments for the Hartford Line,” Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said. “Since the early 1990s, Connecticut commuters have been urging me and my colleagues at every level of government to expand rail service to more cities and towns. The Hartford Line will increase speeds, reduce delays, and add much needed capacity to our busy railways. More than that, this new line means opportunities for economic development and expansion up and down the line – and that means jobs. As a frequent rider between New Haven and Washington, D.C., I am excited to have helped make this project a reality and I look forward to helping advance this project into the coming phases.”
“Investments in transit go beyond transportation – they are about growing jobs and strengthening our local economies,” Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty said. “With the launch of the Hartford Line, we are changing the ways we connect people and their communities by linking commuters to newly accessible employers while also creating new sites for transit-oriented housing and business development. The Hartford Line, made possible by federal dollars, will allow us to bring new economic, social, and cultural opportunities to our state.”
“Making investments into Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure is a key part of improving the state’s economic competitiveness and resident’s quality of life,” Congressman Jim Himes said. “The efficiency, environmental and cost-saving benefits of mass transit are undeniable, and the Hartford Line service is a vital additional to our state’s railway system.”
“This is a great day for Hartford and all the communities along the line,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said. “This will not only improve the lives of Hartford residents who use public transit regularly, it helps bring transit-oriented development opportunities to the forefront, bringing jobs to people and people to their jobs. I want to thank Commissioner Redeker, Governor Malloy and everyone else involved in launching the Hartford Line.”
“The new rail service from Springfield to New Haven will help people get where they need to go with more convenience and will create additional economic opportunities throughout New England,” Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said. “This project demonstrates the positive benefits that come from federal, state, and local partners working together to identify key transportation investments that support communities across the region.”
“MassDOT is pleased to celebrate this new rail service that will provide additional transportation options and help improve the quality of life for those individuals living, working and traveling throughout the corridor,” Massachusetts Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack said. “I would like to thank our federal, state, and local officials and stakeholders for continuing to partner with us to improve multi-modal transportation connections statewide and help make projects such as this possible.”
The Hartford Line connects commuters to existing rail services in New Haven that allow for easy connections to Boston, New York City, and beyond, including the New Haven Line (Metro-North), Shore Line East, Amtrak Acela, and Northeast Regional services. CTtransit local bus service is also available at most stations along the line, and connections to the CTfastrak bus rapid transit system is available in Hartford.
The new CTrail Hartford Line extends many benefits to Connecticut, including:
- Millions of dollars in transit-oriented development
- An annual reduction of some 1.5 million vehicles from the I-91 corridor
- A reduction of vehicle miles driven of more than 100 million miles annually
- A savings of more than 3.5 million gallons of fuel annually
- Estimated annual passenger trips of 700,000
- Estimated construction and related jobs of 13,000
Fares along the line vary depending on place of origin and destination. The fare between Hartford and New Haven is just $8.00.
For information about the CTrail Hartford Line, visit www.hartfordline.com, connect via Facebook at www.facebook.com/hartfordline, through Twitter at @hartfordline, or through Instagram @hartfordlinect.