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Lamont: Faster rail service planned for Connecticut

The announcement comes following a 'comprehensive speed study' said the administration.

A shorter commute time on Connecticut's rail system: that's what Lamont's administration is looking to achieve by 2022 and in 2035. 

Announced this morning were the details for "Time for CT", a multi-million dollar project that would save commuters time on their trips and attract more riders. 

“I don’t like to travel for two hours so if it could be cut in half that would be great!” said Saroya Nicholson who commutes to New York. 

The plan's primary goals are:

  • Save 10 minutes of travel time by 2022
  • Reduce travel time by 25 minutes by 2035
  • Use existing assets and stay within existing right-of-way
  • Reduce impacts of climate change by attracting more people out of their cars
  • Improve the resiliency of the New Haven Line
  • Provide a new fleet for faster trip times and an improved passenger experience
  • Improve access to education, jobs, and urban centers
  • Support economic recovery from COVID through improved service
  • Generate an estimated 45,000 direct construction jobs over 15 years

RELATED: Metro-North announces increase in service as pandemic restrictions ease

Officials describe the project as a puzzle, beginning with the pieces in New Haven, leading to work on all of Connecticut's rail systems. 

Part of the plan includes straightening curves and improving drainage for track upgrades, implementing a new signal system to enable higher maximum speeds, replace and repair bridges. The project also includes new train cars that would allow for more capacity and provide easier accessibility. 

“Connecticut is home to the most used commuter rail line in the country, and it is a key component of our economic growth, supporting the ability of thousands of people every day to get to their jobs and earn a living,” Governor Lamont said. “But our aging infrastructure is not only slowing our travels, it’s slowing our economic growth. Nobody wants to live and work in a place where they spend hours stuck in their daily commutes. Faster trains and faster highways mean more jobs. The actionable items we put in TIME FOR CT will make these needed improvements a reality.”

You can read more about the project here. At this time it's unknown how much of the funding will be coming from federal sources however officials are not ruling out increasing ticket prices. 

“It’s something we have to consider as we’re looking for how do we go and pay for things going forward, but there is nothing right now we’ve discussed in terms of changing that," said Connecticut Department of Transportation CommissionerJoseph Giulietti.

The CTDOT said it will be looking to partners at Amtrak, Metro-North, labor and construction industry, Federal Railroad Administration, and state and local legislators to help push the project forward. 

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The total partnership is essential to realize the vision of a new, faster, train service to both Grand Central Station and Penn Station, Governor Lamont and Commissioner Giulietti said.

The project is estimated to cost $8 million to $10 million. 

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