U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary John Porcari announced that the state of Connecticut will receive $120 million in High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation to complete construction on the Hartford segment of the New Haven to Springfield, Mass. passenger rail corridor. Once the project is complete in 2016, 11 additional round-trip trains will travel between Hartford and New Haven, for a total of 17 trains traveling the line, compared to six today. Deputy Secretary Porcari was joined in making the announcement by Governor Dannel Malloy, members of the Connecticut congressional delegation and other officials.
"This investment will mean increased speeds, reduced delays and added capacity along the New Haven to Springfield corridor," said Deputy Secretary Porcari. "It's good news for rail travelers and for the regional economy, and it's one more sign of President Obama's support for rail projects in New England and across America."
Improvements to the corridor will reduce travel time between St. Albans Vt. and New Haven, Conn., by more than one hour. The project involves installing 10 miles of double track, upgrading a signal system on a portion of the line, and making improvements at 28 road crossings. Thirteen bridges and culverts will be repaired or replaced, and four Amtrak stations will receive new, high-level, Americans with Disabilities Act compliant platforms with overhead pedestrian walkways and newly expanded parking areas for rail customers.
"No economy can grow faster than its transportation network allows," said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo. "These investments will bring new jobs, along with commercial and residential development, to Connecticut."
The improved corridor between Springfield and New Haven is part of an extensive plan developed by Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Amtrak to dramatically transform passenger rail service in New England over the next 20 years. The improved service will provide a convenient and reliable connection to the Northeast Corridor in New Haven, providing New England families and businesses with better access to New York City and Washington, D.C.
The announcement follows two additional High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) grants totaling $70 million for the New Haven to Springfield line, awarded in 2011:http://www.fra.dot.gov/roa/press_releases/fp_FRA%2024-11.shtml.
In total, the federal government has invested $191 million in the line. Collectively, the state and federal government are partnering to invest a total of $365 million, including $141.9 million from the State of Connecticut, along the line to reduce trip times, improve reliability, add capacity, improve safety, and renovate four Amtrak stations in Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, and Hartford.
The state's long-term vision for the New Haven to Springfield line calls for operating up to 25 daily round-trips and train speeds are expected to increase from 79 mph to 90 mph.
Since 2009, the Obama Administration has awarded over $3.7 billion to passenger rail projects across the Northeast region stretching from Maine to Washington, D.C. Nationwide, the Obama Administration has invested over $12 billion in passenger rail. Federal funding for the grant was awarded through FY 2010 appropriations under the Federal Railroad Administration's High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program.