Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Connecticut receives $120 million for high-speed rail

Connecticut will receive $120 million in high-speed intercity passenger rail program funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation to complete construction on the Hartford segment of the New Haven to Springfield, Mass., passenger rail corridor.

Once the project is complete in 2016, 11 additional round-trip trains will travel between Hartford and New Haven, for a total of 17 trains traveling the line, compared to six today.

Improvements to the corridor will reduce travel time between St. Albans, Vt., and New Haven, Conn., by more than one hour. The project involves installing 10 miles of double track, upgrading a signal system on a portion of the line and making improvements at 28 crossings. Thirteen bridges and culverts will be repaired or replaced and four Amtrak stations will receive new, high-level, Americans with Disabilities Act compliant platforms with overhead pedestrian walkways and newly-expanded parking areas for rail customers.

"No economy can grow faster than its transportation network allows," said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo. "These investments will bring new jobs, along with commercial and residential development, to Connecticut."

The improved corridor between Springfield and New Haven is part of an extensive plan developed by Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts and Amtrak to dramatically transform passenger rail service in New England over the next 20 years.

The state's long-term vision for the New Haven to Springfield line calls for operating up to 25 daily round‐trips and train speeds are expected to increase from 79 mph to 90 mph.

The federal funding will be matched by $141.9 million in state funding and enhanced service is expected to start in 2016.This phase of the project is expected to create or sustain about 9,000 jobs. The total project will create or sustain about 13,000 jobs.

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