(SOURCE: Trains.com Newswire)
HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut will seek proposals from companies to begin
operating New Haven-Hartford-Springfield passenger service in 2016. The
announcement comes this week from the office of Gov. Dannel P.
"Like the I-95 corridor across southern Connecticut, the I-91
corridor through the center of Connecticut is a vital artery for economic
development and jobs growth," Gov. Malloy says. "Enhancing commuter rail service
between New Haven and Springfield will benefit commuters and their employers,
and will reduce traffic congestion by taking cars off the road, with the added
bonus of reduced pollution."
"As the gateway to New England, the New
Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail program will also facilitate improved service to
Massachusetts, Vermont and eventually Montreal," the governor adds. "New train
service will connect communities, generate sustainable economic growth, help
build energy independence, and provide links to travel corridors and markets
within and beyond the region."
The Connecticut Department of
Transportation will be seeking proposals in the next 6-12 months. Current
service is provided by Amtrak, which also owns the line.
“The state of
Connecticut believes that the benefits to the customers of our new service can
best be realized in the marketplace. We intend to issue a Request for Proposals
that will invite state-of-the-art, proven strategies for the highest quality
operations, customer service and maintenance,” DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker
says in a letter to Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman. “While federal and
state statutes drive open competition, the importance of competition to
high-quality service is equally or more important.”
The letter to Amtrak
concludes with, “We appreciate the long-standing favorable relationship the
Department and Amtrak enjoy, and we encourage Amtrak to pursue this new
opportunity with us.”
Commissioner Redeker also says that Amtrak will
remain responsible for existing services on the line.
passenger service will operate at speeds up to 110 mph, cutting travel time
between Springfield and New Haven to as little as 73 minutes, according to the
state. Travelers at New Haven, Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford, Windsor,
Windsor Locks, and Springfield will be able to board trains about every 30
minutes during the peak morning and evening rush hour and hourly during the rest
of day, with direct or connecting service to New York City and multiple
frequencies to Boston or Vermont (via Springfield). Future stations also are
planned at North Haven, Newington, West Hartford, and Enfield.