Thousands of commuters who had been forced to take buses for several months will soon receive reprieve.
The Shore Line East train, which runs throughout the southeast portion of the state, will return to service this week on Tuesday after closing for several months due to track work and locomotives taken out of service.
“We are pleased to return these trains to the schedule, but our work is not yet done. We will work tirelessly to restore full train service on Shore Line East. Our customers deserve no less,” said Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner-designate Joseph J. Giulietti in a press release last Wednesday.
Shore Line East connects stations from New Haven to New London, serving an average of 2,000 passengers every weekday and 800 every weekend. The service provides transportation for many University and city workers who live in the suburbs and commute to New Haven during the week. Last year, however, multiple trains were canceled or delayed due to the line’s replacement of its 30-year-old diesel locomotives, which were breaking down.
Doug Hausladen ’04, director of New Haven’s transportation, traffic and parking department, did not respond to a request for comment.
According to Guilietti’s statement, two trains between New Haven and Old Saybrook that formerly ran only on Fridays will now operate five days a week. Giulietti added that the addition of more train times will mitigate some of the previous issues commuters faced, including overcrowded trains.
“We believe these changes will alleviate some of the ongoing overcrowding on weekday afternoons, and thank Amtrak for its willingness to make these changes,” he said in the press release.
For almost a year now, Shore Line East commuters have complained about having to commute to work via bus on Interstate 95. Some commuters formed the Shore Line East Riders Advocacy Group, and met with the Department of Transportation and Amtrak officials at New Haven’s Union Station in September to voice their concerns.
Susan Feaster, a member of the advocacy group who has communicated with Andreski over the last nine months, said that the restored train service “is long overdue, but a welcome relief for those commuters forced to ride buses since April 23, especially having to stand out in 30-degree weather waiting for buses that sometimes never showed up,” according to the New Haven Register.
During regular operations, Shore Line East trains operate daily, with stops at New London, Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Clinton, Madison, Guilford, Branford and New Haven.
Caroline Moore | firstname.lastname@example.org