Recognized as the busiest rail corridor in the U.S., Metro-North's New Haven Line saw ridership increase by 1.3 percent in 2012 with 38.8 million rides, breaking a record set in 2011, when the line carried 38.3 million people.
"We are making upgrades and adding new stations, rail cars and parking to the New Haven Line in order to maximize the use of this state-owned asset, ensure a faster and more convenient commute for our workforce and strengthen our regional economic competitiveness," said Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Located midway between Milford and New Haven stations, West Haven is the first new station to open on the New Haven Line since Fairfield Metro Station was added in 2011. Prior to the building of West Haven Station, the 10 miles between Milford and New Haven stations was the longest gap in the New Haven Line system. If local residents wanted to take the train to work, they had to travel to New Haven, Milford or further west on the New Haven Line to access passenger rail service.
The West Haven Station includes two 1,100-foot platforms that are 12 cars in length, an Americans with Disabilities compliant station building with restrooms, self-pay parking and ticket machines, bicycle racks and 650 new parking spaces to accommodate the current and future demand for ridership and parking on the east end of the New Haven Line. The project also included upgrades to a five-mile section of the New Haven Line track, overhead catenary power lines and signals.
West Haven Station was designed by Vanasse Hangen Brustlin (VHB) and built by a Connecticut company, Manafort Brothers of Plainville. The project created or sustained about 1,000 construction-related and ancillary jobs, including designers, planners, materials suppliers, landscapers and local economic development.
"The success of this project exhibits the strong partnership between VHB, ConnDOT, and all other stakeholders," said VHB Project Manager Rick Carey. "We're proud to have worked alongside the state of Connecticut to improve mass transit for its citizens."