Connecticut outlines vision for high speed rail

Legislative officials from Connecticut and Massachusetts, the Governor of Connecticut and Amtrak have come together to outline a sweeping vision for high-speed rail in the Northeast region. A plan that has potential for significant impact on the area, and leading Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to visit Connecticut this week for a first hand progress report.

The plan would establish a high-speed rail corridor from Boston to Washington, providing commuters with a long-awaited service.

Some of the early work is will be funded through stimulus funds, Connecticut has already secured such funds for early stage rail development. Connecticut and Massachusetts also have plans to continue aggressively competing for additional federal funding throughout the project.

Connecticut and Massachusetts officials are currently working with Amtrak to enhance commuter service between New Haven, Hartford and Springfield, Mass. President Obama announced $40 million in federal stimulus funding for the project, to begin the construction of double tracking from Newington to New Britain. Connecticut has designated $26 million as its share of the double-tracking project.

Project plans for the line call for bidirectional service between New Haven and Springfield running Monday-through-Friday on a 30-minute peak period schedule. The current proposal would also add several new stations and enhance the Windsor Locks station with a bus connection to Bradley International Airport.

“It is rare for everyone to be pulling in the same direction on big projects like this,” Governor Rell said of the project. “Yet here we are – Connecticut, Massachusetts, Congress and Amtrak – united in our desire to establish real high-speed rail service in a corridor through the heart of New England and enhance the service from Boston to Washington.”

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