Amtrak and the US state of Connecticut have reached an agreement to complete Hartford Line that will triple the number of trains between New Haven and Hartford, as well as double the service between Hartford and Springfield.
The current programme estimates indicate that construction on the future Hartford Line will extend into late 2017 with a service launch expected by January 2018.
Work is being carried out at four stations and is scheduled to be completed prior to the launch of the rail service. Tasks include design and engineering of the four new stations, construction of a new platform at the State Street station in New Haven, and a study of moving Hartford’s section of the tracks northward to accommodate a new ground-level I-84.
Critical fibre-optic signal cable and communication nodes are being installed along the corridor in order to power a brand new signal system, including positive train control (PTC).
Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy noted that the State Bond Commission will vote next week to approve allocation of the final instalment of $155m to complete the construction of the future Hartford Line.
The new agreement brings the total funding for programmes in this corridor to $643m, comprising $208m of federal funds and $435m of state funds.
The cost for the upgrade of the Hartford Line is $570m and an additional $73m is being spent on related corridor investments, including renovations at the Berlin station and continuing the design of five new stations along the corridor.
Malloy said: "We are getting this project done. Instead of letting this languish for years and years, we are stepping up to the plate as a state to stand up for better transportation, more jobs, and economic development. This is a transformative project and we have a commitment to get it done.
"The future Hartford Line will provide access to jobs for residents along the corridor, as well as better connections to Metro-North service along the Connecticut coastline.
"Communities that will be served by the Hartford Line are planning transit-oriented development projects around their stations, including Meriden, which already has a mixed use development in construction right across the street from the station. With this agreement, we are taking the next steps to achieve a best-in-class transportation system."
Funding from the Haven-Hartford-Springfield (NHHS) Rail Programme has also been to advance a number of successful initiatives that will support the new service.