CT names operator for Springfield-New Haven rail service

Governor Dannel Malloy at a press conference at the new Wallingford train station that will be a stop on the CTrail Hartford Line

Governor Dannel Malloy at a press conference at the new Wallingford train station that will be a stop on the CTrail Hartford Line

A joint venture of TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts was chosen over Amtrak and three other bidders Monday as operator of the Hartford Line, a commuter rail service to New Haven and Springfield that will open next year with a deep federal operating subsidy. Officials say the delay will allow crews to double-track an additional four miles of rail line between Hartford and Windsor, rather than causing disruptions for the new service.

The state Department of Transportation conducted a bid process and cost-benefit analysis for the rail line before selecting TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts to operate the line. The two companies will maintain trains, stations and customer service.

Once launched, the Hartford Line will feature up to 17 round-trip trains a day between New Haven and Hartford, with a dozen of those trains continuing on to Springfield. Officials said the high-speed rail can take commuters from New Haven to Springfield in 81 minutes, or 10 percent faster than current rail speeds.

So far, the state has spent more than $700 million on the project.

Trains will top out at 110 miles per hour, DOT officials said.

"Both companies operate commuter rail, light rail, metro rail and modern and vintage streetcar systems across the United States", Malloy said, standing on the southbound platform of the new train station.

"And I had done that several years ago to see what it was like before", Redeker said.

Amtrak owns the line and will remain responsible for maintenance, including track signals, train dispatching and security. "In the past we'd have to go to New Haven and catch a train there".

The Hartford Line was have begun operating on January 1, but now state officials said the service won't begin until sometime in May 2018.

Future stations are under design for North Haven, Newington, West Hartford and Enfield, and upgraded stations are also under design for Windsor and Windsor Locks.

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