Eastern CT Corridor Rail and Transit Feasibility Study (ECRTS)



Why was this study conducted?

In the Spring of 2021, the CT General Assembly approved a bill requesting that the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) conduct a feasibility study pertaining to extending Shoreline East (SLE) service.

What is Shore Line East?

CTrail Shore Line East is a commuter rail service operating between New London and New Haven, with connections to Metro-North's New Haven Line. CTrail Shore Line East trains operate seven days a week, including holidays. More information about SLE can be found here.

What is a feasibility study?

A feasibility study is a preliminary assessment of a potential project. It is a detailed analysis that helps determine the viability and likelihood of a project achieving specific goals. A feasibility study considers existing and future conditions and aspects of the study area to help predict a project’s level of success. Though strategies to advance improvements in rail and transit service in southeastern Connecticut are identified, they are preliminary findings. Further steps in the project lifecycle (including additional study, planning, permitting, design, and construction) would be needed to advance any of the strategies. Any next steps are currently unfunded.

How did the study assess the existing conditions of the Eastern CT corridor?

The existing conditions assessment portion of this study establishes the foundation for a detailed evaluation of the needs and opportunities for additional rail and transit service in Eastern CT, including an extension of rail service to Norwich, CT and to Westerly, RI, as determined in discussions between RIDOT/CTDOT.

The existing conditions assessment incorporates the major components of the study area, including: 1) potential station areas (Stonington, Mystic, Groton, Groton Secondary, Groton Subbase, Norwich and intermediate locations) and potential turn areas; 2) the rail corridor to Norwich on either side of the Thames River; and 3) the rail corridor to Westerly, Rhode Island. This assessment provides a high-level overview addressing the following primary topic areas: Existing Conditions, Corridor Capacity Analysis, Identification of Potential Sites (passing points, stations, yard/turnback facilities), Transit- Oriented Development (TOD) Assessment, Thames River Rail Corridor Review, and Preliminary Environmental Assessment.

When was the study completed?

The study was finalized on November 30, 2023.

What is the I-95 Eastern CT PEL Study?

The I-95 Eastern CT Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) study is a separate study being conducted by CTDOT to reduce congestion and improve travel time along I-95 from Exit 53 in Branford to the Rhode Island state line. The I-95 corridor from Branford to Rhode Island has been studied for over two decades. In 2021, CTDOT decided to transition the previous studies to a PEL study.

While the study corridors for the Eastern CT Rail and Transit Feasibility Study and the I-95 Eastern CT PEL Study reflect similar geographies, they are separate, yet coordinated, studies. For more information or questions about the I-95 PEL study website please visit the study website or contact info@I95EasternCT.com


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