Connecticut names operator for Springfield-New Haven rail service

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Connecticut names operator for Springfield-New Haven rail service
Posted by richg1998 on Monday, July 24, 2017 7:49 PM

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Posted by NKP guy on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 10:58 AM

Presumably Amtrak will use those same tracks to serve Hartford and Springfield.  How about Meriden?  

Will New Haven become a Jamaica ("All Change!") for CT Rail passengers?

Even had Amtrak won the new contract, where would they have gotten all the cars necessary to fully expand the service?  And they'd be using 40 year old equipment at that.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by richg1998 on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 12:08 PM

I see those old trains almost daily at the stop near the former Union Station in Northampton, heading North to Vermont and South to New Haven.

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Posted by schlimm on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 1:23 PM

Perhaps a spur could be built into Bradley International Airport from the Windsor Locks Station, or at least shuttle buses.  Very close and could attract many air travelers who currently use a car, limo, taxi or bus.

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Posted by RME on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 2:16 PM

NKP guy
Presumably Amtrak will use those same tracks to serve Hartford and Springfield. How about Meriden?

Note last line in quoted article, where Molloy says 'this will just about double service' to Hartford and Springfield'.  This would be predicated on the 13 trips to Hartford with 9 continuing to Springfield that was mentioned, presumably with shorter or smaller consists on the CT-whatever-it's-italicized service trains.

Meriden is getting a new station with high-level platforms to be ready with the introduction of the new service in 2018.  Apparently this will not have any agents or even bathroom facilities, but will have at least one bridge over the line at that point.  I don't know if every new train will stop there, but clearly every one could.  I have seen no indication that Amtrak intends to stop serving Meriden, although I don't know if they would use the new station or keep going to the old one.

Will New Haven become a Jamaica ("All Change!") for CT Rail passengers?

Looks that way unless and until at least some of the trains run through beyond New Haven, most likely either to the 'border' with New York State or, perhaps with some kind of power-equalization rights, further west.  Be interesting to see if traffic to 'suburban' points east of New Haven develops to the point it's cost-effective to run these dedicated trains there -- I'd think a case might even be made to run at least a couple of them 'extended' as far as New London, eventually.

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Posted by Gramp on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 2:28 PM

Moving into Springfield like a tornado.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=connecticut+river+tornado+video&view=detail&mid=A84AE313D0F7E1F30DD6A84AE313D0F7E1F30DD6&FORM=VIRE

Looks like they did a nice job remodeling the Union Station.  Remember watching Penn Central mail train from the platform there in 1972.  What a derelict place it was.  Wonder if Mass. will ever extend commuter service out from Boston through Worcester?

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Posted by NorthWest on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 7:36 PM

It isn't identified very clearly, but I think that this is the startup of Shore Line East's Hartford Line, which is why their GP40-2Hs are undergoing rebuild and they bought NJT's P40DCs and new M8s. This is not replacing the Springfield Shuttle to my knowledge.

Shore Line East riders generally had to switch at New Haven to Metro North already.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 8:55 PM

Conn. has MetroNorth, Shoreline East, and now the Hartford Line.  Why don't they combine the 3 entities and consolidate admin and operations for obvious efficiencies?

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Posted by NKP guy on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 10:09 PM

MidlandMike

Conn. has MetroNorth, Shoreline East, and now the Hartford Line.  Why don't they combine the 3 entities and consolidate admin and operations for obvious efficiencies?

 

 

   One easy answer, Mike, is that Connecticut does not own any part of MetroNorth.  But your point is a good one; I bet these services become more harmonized and improved for the passengers as time goes by.   As an Ohioan (who frequently travels twixt NYP & NHV), I can only envy Connecticutians in that their state believes in public transportation and not just highways.  At least Nutmegers get something train-wise for their tax money; we Buckeyes don't.

   And schlimm, your good idea about linking Bradley Field with the new Hartford line via a shuttle bus is so logical and obvious that it's sure to happen soon; a rail link, though, is probably too much to hope for. 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 10:36 PM

Is the equipment assignments needed for this service been satisfied ?  Last heard was that M-8s modified to be capaable of operating both under the MNRR 12,5 kV and Amtrak's 25 kV east of New Haven were to be allocated to the Shore line east service.  Believe there were some test runs by some M-8s on that route ?

Then the present Shore line east equipment would be assigned to the New Haven Springfield route.  Believe the SLE  locos are undergoing major overhauls to extend their life ?  Have heard that there is some concern that if the passenger loads keep growing on the MNRR route there might not be enough M-8s ? That is even with the additional M-8s that are being built ?

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Posted by schlimm on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 7:31 AM

NKP guy
your good idea about linking Bradley Field with the new Hartford line via a shuttle bus is so logical and obvious that it's sure to happen soon; a rail link, though, is probably too much to hope for.

 

Never overestimate the wisdom of executives, whether in corporations or government.

In 2002, the Düsseldorf International Airport was linked to a busy (about 300 passenger trains each day) mainline of the DB with a Sky Train (H-bahn Hängebahn)

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Posted by JPS1 on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 8:43 AM

schlimm

Perhaps a spur could be built into Bradley International Airport from the Windsor Locks Station, or at least shuttle buses.  Very close and could attract many air travelers who currently use a car, limo, taxi or bus. 

CT Transit, which is the public transport operator in Hartford, offers the Bradley Flyer.  It is an express bus from downtown Hartford to Bradley International Airport.  It runs nearly every hour and takes approximately 30 minutes to get to the airport.  The fare is $1.75.

I worked as a flight instructor and corporate pilot in Hartford for nearly five years.  I was based at Brainard Field, which is a general aviation airport near  downtown Hartford.  It was Hartford's commercial airport prior to the development of Bradley Field, which was built to serve Hartford and Springfield.  I flew into and out of Bradley almost nightly.

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Posted by schlimm on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 9:32 AM

JPS1

 

 
schlimm

Perhaps a spur could be built into Bradley International Airport from the Windsor Locks Station, or at least shuttle buses.  Very close and could attract many air travelers who currently use a car, limo, taxi or bus. 

 

CT Transit, which is the public transport operator in Hartford, offers the Bradley Flyer.  It is an express bus from downtown Hartford to Bradley International Airport.  It runs nearly every hour and takes approximately 30 minutes to get to the airport.  The fare is $1.75.

I worked as a flight instructor and corporate pilot in Hartford for nearly five years.  I was based at Brainard Field, which is a general aviation airport near  downtown Hartford.  It was Hartford's commercial airport prior to the development of Bradley Field, which was built to serve Hartford and Springfield.  I flew into and out of Bradley almost nightly.

 

I was thinking more of folks along the shore, such as in New Haven. Bradley is a lot closer and quicker than going to LaGuardia.

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Posted by RME on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 10:20 AM

Shouldn't take much of a detour to access a station in Windsor Locks 'on the way' from Hartford to the relevant Bradley terminals.  It would be interesting to see a detailed study of the various potential "short final" routes and the road construction needed to optimize the transfer at Windsor Locks both ways.  A university might get useful mileage for architecture and transportation students out of several aspects of this, and implementation of the incremental service might be remarkably quick in the interim.

There are some interesting 'train to the plane' alternatives possible given the relatively large amount of equipment to cover the different operators' expected rail service frequency.  I remember some discussion of Bradley as an expanded candidate for the 'fourth airport' if Stewart and its somewhat troublesome Graham Line expansion doesn't pan out well, and short and well-coordinated shuttle service to a frequent 'spine' is likely preferable to an expensive dedicated spur.

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Posted by schlimm on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 12:16 PM

RME

Shouldn't take much of a detour to access a station in Windsor Locks 'on the way' from Hartford to the relevant Bradley terminals.  It would be interesting to see a detailed study of the various potential "short final" routes and the road construction needed to optimize the transfer at Windsor Locks both ways.  A university might get useful mileage for architecture and transportation students out of several aspects of this, and implementation of the incremental service might be remarkably quick in the interim.

There are some interesting 'train to the plane' alternatives possible given the relatively large amount of equipment to cover the different operators' expected rail service frequency.  I remember some discussion of Bradley as an expanded candidate for the 'fourth airport' if Stewart and its somewhat troublesome Graham Line expansion doesn't pan out well, and short and well-coordinated shuttle service to a frequent 'spine' is likely preferable to an expensive dedicated spur.

 

There is a very spartan station at Windsor Locks proper served by Amtrak currently. It's 4.5 to 6.0 miles to Bradley, depending on route. I don't think Stewart is relevant, as it is 82 miles (1 hr, 40 min.) from Yale, while Bradley is only 50 minutes.

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Posted by JPS1 on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 12:29 PM

The Bradley Flyer runs from Union Station, Hartford, directly to Bradley Field. Passengers from south of Hartford could transfer to the bus without much hassle. 

Building a rail line into Bradley Field does not appear to have a positive cost/benefit outcome, especially given the current bus arrangement from Hartford.

Three or four times a year I fly into DFW and take DART's Orange Line to Dallas.  I don't see many people with suitcases on the Orange Line; I see some people who appear to work at the airport.  And I see a lot of people that take the train to or from the intermediate stations served by the Orange Line. I suspect this may be the case for a lot of rail lines that take people to the airport.  

I suspect most people in Connecticut, like most people in Texas, drive to the airport, or they have someone take them.  I don't think a rail line to the airport is likely to change this outcome in the near future.    

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Posted by NKP guy on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 2:38 PM

   The Bradley "Flyer" only runs hourly?  Then why bother?  Patrons are supposed to wait for up to an hour and then go for a 30 minute van ride?  Why not just hire a taxi?  No wonder the people who use this service are likely to be airport employees. Airline passengers would likely bite the bullet and take a taxi or a hotel-airport shuttle.  

   More importantly, attention must be paid to the fact that some hundreds of top corporate jobs in Hartford (at Aetna Insurance) are being relocated to Manhattan.  That means there will be even less corporate use of Bradley Field in the future, which translates, I'm afraid, into even less call to have frequent shuttle service to & from its facilities.

   People in New Haven who fly use the airport (more like an extended driveway, actually!) in that city to connect them at Philadelphia for points west (American Airlines routing).  Or, they take the train to NYC and then a taxi or subway to get to LGA, EWR, or JFK.  Or again, they take a van down I-95 to the NYC airports.  All three ways into and out of New Haven take much time and effort.

   Hartford and New Haven are small aviation markets;  one is about to get smaller yet.  I think fast rail travel will continue to look better and better to Connecticutians in the future because commercial aviation there is already woeful and about to get more so.

   

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Posted by NorthWest on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 4:15 PM

There is already a rail line to Bradley; it serves an industrial park adjacent to the airport.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 5:21 PM

JPS1
 

I suspect most people in Connecticut, like most people in Texas, drive to the airport, or they have someone take them.  I don't think a rail line to the airport is likely to change this outcome in the near future.    

 

 
Do not lump all airport transit traffic into sparse useage.  Atlanta's MARTA publishes that the most boardings at any station is the ATL airport station.  So probably close to same number getting off.   Last heard it was 10% of systemwide boardings but that figure is several years ago.
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Posted by JPS1 on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 6:24 PM

blue streak 1

 

 
JPS1
 

I suspect most people in Connecticut, like most people in Texas, drive to the airport, or they have someone take them.  I don't think a rail line to the airport is likely to change this outcome in the near future.    

 

 

 
Do not lump all airport transit traffic into sparse useage.  Atlanta's MARTA publishes that the most boardings at any station is the ATL airport station.  So probably close to same number getting off.   Last heard it was 10% of systemwide boardings but that figure is several years ago. 

 
I have taken MARTA to the airport several times.  I wonder what percentage of those getting on and/or off the train at Hartsfield are passengers vs. employees.
 
A good many folks take the Orange line to and from DFW, but if my observations are correct, most of them work at the airport. 

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Posted by JPS1 on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 6:26 PM

NorthWest

There is already a rail line to Bradley; it serves an industrial park adjacent to the airport. 

You are correct.  But it would have to be extended to one of the airport's terminals, which could be costly.  I am hard pressed to see the justification for the cost, although it may be there.

I will be in Hartford in September, and I plan to take the Bradley Flyer downtown. If I remember I'll let you know how it works out.

 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 10:29 PM

NKP guy

 

 
MidlandMike

Conn. has MetroNorth, Shoreline East, and now the Hartford Line.  Why don't they combine the 3 entities and consolidate admin and operations for obvious efficiencies?

 

 

 

 

   One easy answer, Mike, is that Connecticut does not own any part of MetroNorth.  But your point is a good one; I bet these services become more harmonized and improved for the passengers as time goes by.   As an Ohioan (who frequently travels twixt NYP & NHV), I can only envy Connecticutians in that their state believes in public transportation and not just highways.  At least Nutmegers get something train-wise for their tax money; we Buckeyes don't.

   And schlimm, your good idea about linking Bradley Field with the new Hartford line via a shuttle bus is so logical and obvious that it's sure to happen soon; a rail link, though, is probably too much to hope for. 

 

Conn. owns the "MetroNorth" track in CT and the railcars, MetroNorth is the operator.

http://www.ct.gov/dot/lib/dot/documents/dpt/2013railcolor11x17_2D_09-27-2013.pdf

Crossing into NY and MA complicates things, but not a deal breaker.

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Posted by RME on Thursday, July 27, 2017 12:46 AM

JPS1
NorthWest

There is already a rail line to Bradley; it serves an industrial park adjacent to the airport. 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, July 27, 2017 2:16 AM

Does anyone yet have what proposed MAS will be for various segments ?

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, July 27, 2017 7:34 AM

I belive some rush hour Shore Line East trains run through to and from Stamford.

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Posted by schlimm on Thursday, July 27, 2017 10:35 AM

NKP guy
 People in New Haven who fly use the airport (more like an extended driveway, actually!) in that city to connect them at Philadelphia for points west (American Airlines routing).  Or, they take the train to NYC and then a taxi or subway to get to LGA, EWR, or JFK.  Or again, they take a van down I-95 to the NYC airports.  All three ways into and out of New Haven take much time and effort.

Actually, for domestic flights many people in New Haven do not use Tweed or LGA or JFK.  They use Bradley.  Since the flyer from Hartford might lose customers once the insurance company leaves, perhaps they should run a shuttle from the closer Windsor Locks station that is scheduled to meet the train times.

The east coast and Chicago are not like TX. 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, October 23, 2017 9:35 PM

CT DOT announces fare structure of the line.

 EDIT just found number of trips.  Amtrak will be adding 3 round trips.

http://www.ct.gov/dot/lib/dot/Executive_Summary_SAFE_Hartford_Line_Proposed_Fares_10202017.pdf

http://www.ct.gov/dot/cwp/view.asp?A=1373&Q=597212

 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, October 23, 2017 10:17 PM

Now found proposed schedule numbers but not times.  Note: Amtrak will add 3 additional round trips.

http://www.ct.gov/dot/lib/dot/Executive_Summary_SAFE_Hartford_Line_Proposed_Fares_10202017.pdf

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