State approves bond funds for work on new CT rail stations

The state Bond Commission approved $5.75 million today to advance design plans and address environmental issues for new railroad stations on the New Haven Line, including a second station in Bridgeport, and on the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Line (NHHS).

The funding, supported by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, will be combined with another $4 million in previously approved funding.

On the New Haven Line, new stations will be added in Bridgeport (to be called the Barnum Station, a second station in the Park City) and Orange, plus enhancements to the existing Merritt Seven Station on the Danbury Branch of the New Haven Line.

Barnum Station will be on the East Side of Bridgeport, between Bridgeport Hospital and East Main Street. The city's existing train station is in downtown Bridgeport, and will remain operational as well.

The stations on the NHHS Line — being promoted as the “Hartford Line” — will be in North Haven, Newington, West Hartford and Enfield. Also included are enhancements to existing stations in Windsor and Windsor Locks, and a location study for a future Hamden station.

‘Transformative transportation vision’

“Creating a commuter rail line along the Interstate 91 corridor is part of our transformative transportation vision for Connecticut,” Malloy said.  “This bond authorization will give this important project needed momentum.”

The overall NHHS Line project is expected to cost $365 million. It will expand passenger service along the 62-mile corridor between New Haven and Springfield, Mass.

Officials at the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) anticipate the increased rail service will result in considerable transit-oriented development in the corridor.

DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker said 22 trains per day will be added to the 12 trains that Amtrak currently operates in the corridor. “This project will make rail travel far more attractive and competitive in the corridor,” Redeker said.

— as edited by Brad Durrell for the Shelton Herald