Gov. Dannel Malloy made a couple announcements today on the future of the high-speed New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter rail line, which is under construction.
One was that a service provider has been selected and it’s a joint venture of TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts. The other is that the service launch date is now in May 2018.
The Joint Venture of TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts (TASI/ACI) has entered into a $45 million contract with the state Department of Transportation for five years, plus approximately 10 months of preliminary mobilization work that is required to prepare for the launch of the service.
TASI/ACI will be responsible for operating trains, maintaining stations and parking facilities, and performing various customer service functions.
There will be 17 round-trip trains between New Haven and Hartford each weekday, with 12 of them continuing to Springfield. On weekends, 13 round-trip trains will operate between New Haven and Hartford, with nine continuing onto Springfield.
Trains will top out at 110 miles per hour, DOT officials said. A trip between New Haven and Springfield could be as short as 81 minutes long.
Longtime Wallingford resident Bobbie Bourne said she can’t wait to take advantage of the new rail service for travel with her husband.
“Train travel is the way to go in my book,” Bourne said. “It’s much more convenient to have more trains coming through Wallingford. In the past we’d have to go to New Haven and catch a train there.”
Amtrak will remain responsible for maintenance of the railroad infrastructure, including track signals, train dispatching and right-of-way security, according to state officials.
Officials said Amtrak’s existing service will not be altered by Hartford Line service and CTrail trains will operate together with Amtrak trains on the rail line to provide seamless Hartford Line service.
The existing stations are New Haven Union Station, New Haven State Street Station, Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford, Windsor, Windsor Locks and Springfield. Future stations will be in North Haven, Newington, West Hartford and Enfield.