The Connecticut Department of Transportation in the US has announced the first rail project to be funded from the state’s stimulus money share – signal modernisation of the 24-mile Danbury Branch of the New Haven Line railroad.

The $53m plan will be funded using $30m of federal funds and a previously approved federal grant.

The renovation plan includes the installation of a centralised train control (CTC) signal system under which train movements and track switches will be remotely controlled from Metro-North’s Control Center in New York City.

The state hopes the work will provide a better, safer and more reliable rail commute for passengers.

The state may also deploy a private contractor in 2010 for the work, to be complete by the end of 2011.