Off-peak weekday and weekend trains on the New Haven Line will begin running every half-hour between New Haven and New York City.
This will mark the first time the New Haven Line has offered half-hourly service for off-peak and weekend trains, which will begin once Metro-North implements schedule changes on Nov. 9.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, joined by business and local officials, made the announcement Wednesday in New Haven. Malloy also announced schedule enhancements for the Waterbury Branch of the New Haven Line, in response to recent customer demand.
The Waterbury Branch runs from Bridgeport to Waterbury, with a stop at the Derby/Shelton station in Derby.
Metro-North operates the New Haven Line and its three branches — to New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury — under contract to the Connecticut Department of Transportation. The New Haven Line is the busiest single commuter rail line in the United States and provided a record-breaking 39 million customer trips in 2013.
‘More frequent, reliable, convenient service’
“With off-peak and weekend trains running almost around the clock, Connecticut riders will see more frequent, reliable and convenient service, which is our end goal when deciding what kinds of investments to make in this commuter line,” Malloy said.
“With this good news, the delivery of our new M-8 cars and the upgrades we are making to improve infrastructure and operations, we are continuing to move the New Haven Line to where it needs to be to best serve the tens of thousands of Connecticut residents who depend on this system every day,” Malloy said.
Joe Brennan of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association said more frequent train service will enhance the state’s economic climate.
“A modern and efficient transportation network is one of the key components of a competitive business climate, and more frequent service between New Haven and New York, along with other upgrades to the Metro-North system, will add more options for business travelers and improve service along the critical New Haven line,” Brennan said.
The new train times
Three new midday trains will depart from New Haven on weekdays at 11:25 a.m., 12:25 p.m. and 1:25 p.m. Four new trains will depart from Grand Central Terminal at 9:34 a.m., 10:34 a.m., 11:34 a.m. (which will replace the 11:34 a.m. express to Stamford), and 12:34 p.m.
Mid-day weekend service will be enhanced as follows:
SATURDAY: New trains depart New Haven at 2:25 p.m., 3:25 p.m., and 6:25 p.m.; new trains depart New York at 10:34 a.m., 11:34 a.m. 12:34 p.m., 1:34 p.m., 2:34 p.m., and 10:34 p.m.
SUNDAY: New trains depart New Haven at 2:25 p.m., 3:25 p.m., and 7:25 p.m.; new trains depart New York at 11:34 a.m., 12:34 p.m., 1:34 p.m., 2:34 p.m., and 10:34 p.m.
Waterbury Branch upgrades, schedule
Major improvements to the Waterbury Branch are in the works, including a new signal system and “Positive Train Control.” During the past four years, the state has invested almost $11 million in Waterbury Branch-specific projects to restore the line to a state-of-good repair.
On Saturday and Sunday nights, a new 10:10 p.m. train will depart Waterbury; this is two hours later than the current last train. In addition, one new train will depart Grand Central at 10:04 p.m. and Bridgeport at 11:41 p.m. — one hour later than the current last train headed to Waterbury.
In addition to the new service, the trains preceding the last train are rescheduled to provide a more attractive interval between trains, reducing the current four-hour intervals to consistent-three hour intervals throughout the service day.
Schedules and station information for the New Haven Line and Waterbury Branch are available at www.mta.info/mnr.