New train line to link New Haven, Bradley

Yale students will soon be able to ride a train from Bradley International Airport to campus, a transportation option about three times cheaper than using the shuttle company Connecticut Limo.

On Friday, the Connecticut State Bond Commission approved the allocation of $26 million toward the design and creation of a 62-mile railway from New Haven to Springfield, Mass., that will make a stop in Hartford near Bradley. Gov. M. Jodi Rell is still seeking money from the federal government to offset construction costs, her spokesman Adam Liegeot ’94 said. But he said the state expects the rail to be completed by 2015, when trains operated by Amtrak will run every 30 minutes from Union Station to Bradley.

Amtrak officials did not respond for comment, but Liegeot said the Amtrak train ride between New Haven and Hartford will cost $11 during off-peak hours and $16 during peak hours. The cost of riding CT Limo — which many of the 20 students interviewed said is a popular airport shuttle option — is currently discounted to $42 each way for Yale students traveling from Phelps Gate to Bradley.

Half a dozen students interviewed Tuesday said they were excited to hear of the planned railroad because it will provide a cheaper transportation option . But some students said they still favor the convenience of airport shuttles like the one run by CT Limo.

The railway has been in the works since 2005, when the Connecticut Department of Transportation published the plans. Liegeot said Rell has wanted to implement the plans for several years.

“When Gov. Rell took office in 2004, major investments in rail had been put off for decades,” he said.

Seventeen of the 20 students interviewed said they think the expansion is worth the money needed for its construction.

“The train has always been reliable,” said Faizaan Kisat ’12, who uses the Metro-North train to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. He said a train to Bradley would be “cheap and convenient.”

But Anjali Jotwani ’13, who said she always flies through Bradley, said she often travels with a lot of luggage and enjoys the convenience of CT Limo’s almost door-to-door shuttle service.

Donald Cohen, the vice president for CT Limo, said his company does not fear a drop in business and supports the new rail line. He added that his customers “want the airport shuttle for convenience.”

In addition to funding for the railway, the state commission last month spent $700 million on 200 new M-8 railcars for the Metro-North train system, which services the tri-state area. The cars will appear on the New Haven line later this year.

Comments

  • anon

    What do you mean by “in Hartford near Bradley”? Bradley isn’t near anything that could qualify as “in Hartford.” C’mon, Lauren, get to know your new state before you write about it.

  • Mike

    2015 is “soon”? Who edited this piece?

  • omg

    this is aammmaaazzzinnngg

  • anon

    We need more details on this. Where exactly is the train stop near Bradley? Bradley is in Windsor Locks, not Hartford. And how do you get from the train station to the airport?

    Amtrak currently has service from New Haven to Springfield, with stops in both Hartford and Windsor Locks. From the Windsor Locks stop, you simply catch a cab to Bradley. It is usually a $17 or so train and an $11 cab ride. So, we need more details–how is this different than the current Amtrak link?

    You mention this is a Amtrak train–is it or a CT Railway like Shoreline East?

  • Martin CT

    “Yale students will soon be able…” vs “completed by 2015″? I hope nobody is holding their breath!

  • anonymous

    I think there’s going to be a bus to link the stop with the airport, kind of like in Boston. You can take the train to downtown Hartford and catch the the bus now, but it’s pretty inconvenient.

  • The Count

    Improve Tweed Airport!

  • Victoria

    God forbid Connecticut actually DOES provide that convenience ala the Amtrak/Continental Newark Airport link actually goes TO THE AIRPORT? I’m lost..what are you talking about? The airport is half-way between Hartford and Springfield, a good 10miles from Hartford.

  • Roger Railroad

    Don’t get your hopes up on for an airtrain!

    Shuttle bus from Windsor Locks, as per http://www.ct.gov/dot/lib/dot/documents/dpolicy/nhr/docs/final/NHHS_Rail_-_Final_-_Ch4.pdf.

  • Steve

    First- I agree I hope the day comes soon when there are more people and more flights using Tweed New Haven.

    Second- The plan is to use Shoreline East commuter trains (on Amtrak-owned tracks) to stop at Windsor Locks. A bus will go from the train to the airport.

  • Tanner

    Departing every 30 minutes? really? everyday? between what hours? if my plane arrives late night while the trains still be running? will the trains be running early enough for the those 6:00 am departures? I hope Bradley provides shuttle buses like the ones at the remote parking lots or will there be a scramble for taxi cabs? The platform and “station” at Windsor Locks is smaller then a Chapel Street Bus Shelter.
    If MA and CT wants to increase service between Springfield-Hartford-New Haven then fund it and run it through Metro-North and Bay State Transit? Amtrak I’m sure would love to get rid of it. Currently it is its lowest ridden line.
    Anyword on adding Metro-North between New Haven and New York’s Penn Station?

  • Cares about English

    This will be “a transportation option about three times cheaper” than using Connecticut Limo?

    This reminds me of the current ad running on TV that promises you can take “four times fewer pills” than something else.

    Fractions, people! One-third the cost! One quarter of the number of pills!

    As someone above asked, who edited this piece?

  • Tanner

    http://www.trainweb.org/usarail/windsorlocks.htm

    Here is a site where you can take a look at the Windsor Locks Train Station.

  • Disgruntled Cantab

    5 years is *very* soon by U.S. government rail project standards.

    It sounds like the state will contract with Amtrak to run the service, much like Shore Line East.

    The article and comments seem to focus on getting to Bradley, but the line will also be very useful for people heading to work, or making other trips between the cities along the line.

  • ght

    Yet another under utilized rail line used by a minority funded by the majority of tax payers. And how many people are going to Hartford or Springfield for them to have a train every 30 minutes? And if you can get it up and running in this state for under 40 million and in 5 years I’ll eat my hat.

  • dk

    I would definitely take a train to Bradley at this price. The Limo is too expensive and not convenient for me so usually I take a combination of trains to Newark or JFK. But never Amtrak if I can avoid it. Amtrak is not reliable.

  • ay

    Public transportation is beautiful and a gift of god

  • studied abroad

    Ever wonder why our country can’t have public transport even half as good as Europe? Even when France and Italy go on strike, you at least know what you can do about it. Here you don’t even know if the bus is going to show up, and when the train runs thirty minutes late everyone is resigned to a “c’est la vie” attitude. How did America’s expectations sink so low?

  • Ron in wallingford

    in response to ght….another “underutilized rail line”….ahem….shoreline east and metronorth lines are WELL utilized in connecticut.

  • R. E. Lampago

    It’s not 3 times cheaper, it’s a third as costly. Are you related to G. W. Bush, the other ace yalie?

  • steven

    What a waste of money!How many people would use this train service with many stops on the way to hartford and bradley field and lugging baggage several times?When the runway improvements are finished at tweed this spring,I see 1 or 2 new carriers starting service from tweed and us airways upgrading its present service.Delta and airtran have started service to the key west florida airport with 737′S operating from a 4800 foot runway.Tweeds main runway is 5600 feet and will support service up to an 800 mile radius.
    More regional jets such as the embraer erj170,erj175 and erj190 are being added to major airline fleets.These aircraft are compatible with tweeds infrastructure and are stage 4 aircraft which means they are very quiet.
    Let tweed handle the greater new haven airline needs and let bradley handle the central and northern parts of the state.