New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Commuter Line, United States of America


The New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail line is a proposed rail upgrade project in the US. It runs for 62 miles from New Haven Union Station, Connecticut, to Springfield Union Station, Massachusetts. The track passes through the cities of Meridian and Hartford, the latter the capital city of Connecticut. The line is commonly known as the "Springfield Line".

The corridor is owned and operated by state-owned Amtrak, which runs seven weekday and eight weekend trips in the Northeast corridor of New York-Harftord-Springfield Line.

The project aims to improve transportation facilities in the New England region. It has a start-up as well as a full-build plan, and is set to improve economic conditions in Connecticut by creating 4,000 jobs.

The project will also improve transport between Bradley International Airport and the New England region and ease the traffic congestion on Interstate 91.

It is expected to reduce road use by 4,000 cars per day, cut carbon emissions by 10,000t per year and save one billion gallons of fossil fuels per year.

The project is undergoing an environmental impact study, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2010. Once complete, the track will be upgraded within five years. The states of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont are working together to complete the project as soon as possible.

"The project is undergoing an environmental impact study."

The project has received $40m in federal funding for the construction of a 10-mile double track between Newington and Berlin. The Federal Government approved a further $260m of financial assistance in August 2010.

In October 2012, the project received another $120m in federal funding. The federal funding will be matched by a state funding of $141.9m in state funding. This the third federal funding the project has received from the federal government. Combined with a state funding of $174.7m, total investment in the project is $365.6m. The project is scheduled for completion in 2016.

Project

The project involves construction of new stations, modifications of existing stations, double tracking of several sections of the corridor, construct freight sidings and improving signalling and communications systems.

The other proposed stations on this corridor are North Haven, Wallingford, Meridian, Berlin, Newington, Windsor, Windsor Locks and Enfield. The Berlin station was recently renovated with a new platform and an additional track.

The project's start-up plan will see a minimum of 18 miles of single track extended to double track. New stations will be constructed at North Haven, Newington and Enfield, while a shuttle facility will be provided at the Windsor Locks station to improve connectivity to the Bradley International Airport. Freight services will also be integrated.

"In the full-build plan, services will run for 20 hours a day, with 35 trains running in each direction daily."

The frequency and operating hours of train services will also be increased. Services will run for 15 hours a day, with 17 trains daily in each direction on weekdays and 15 at weekends. At start-up, trains will have a 30-minute headway during peak hours and a headway of no more than two hours during non-peak hours.

In the full-build plan, services will run for 20 hours a day, with 35 trains running in each direction daily, with a 15-minute headway during peak hours. The headway during the non-peak hours under this plan will be one hour.

The remaining 20.6 miles of single track will also be double tracked under the full-build plan. Stations at Wallingford, Berlin and Windsor Locks will be modified to have second high-level platforms and grade separated pedestrian facilities. In addition a new station will be constructed in the Wharton Brook area of North Haven and new parking lots will be constructed at Meriden.

"On completion of the project, East EMD GP40-2 locomotives and VRE coaches and cab cars will be used."

Rolling Stock

The trains in the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield corridor will operate at speeds between 20mph and 80mph on a standard 1,435mm gauge.

Amtrack GE Genesis locomotives and Amfleet coaches and cab cars currently run on the line. On completion of the project, East EMD GP40-2 locomotives and the new VRE coaches and cab cars will be used.