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PROPOSED: Hartford-New Haven-Springfield Commuter/High Speed Rail Line

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http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/news9541.html yesterday the HBJ put this news item up.

The states submitted pre-applications on Friday to request federal grants for the project. James Aloisi Jr., the Massachusetts secretary of transportation, said the plan will cost billions of dollars.

"We think that there's power in collaboration, and there's certainly power in numbers," Aloisi said. "It's an investment that's going to make a lot of difference for the region."

The other projects for New England are interesting as well.

connecting Providence airport is a no brainer for the boston market.

taking 20-25 minutes off the downeaster? very nice!

Another major project includes shifting the tracks for the Vermonter service to the west, serving more people on a line running between Springfield, White River Junction, Vt., and Montreal. A new passenger line would also be constructed linking Boston with Concord and Manchester in New Hampshire. The current track there only moves freight.

Hartford to Montreal for the weekend anyone? or even just for business connections.

http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc...0,3384000.story

today in the Courant

I am glad to see that the region is working together. it is also interesting to see that the plan is to improve the tracks to be rated for the Acela.

110 MPH max speed make a 60 MPH average ride speed over the line for the commuter rail. the Acela however would be able to get moving since it would likely just stop in the 3 main cities.

This is not really me just guessing either, because in order to do anything on this line they needed Amtrak approval, and with Acela mentioned, it must be part of the deal

also I noticed that I missed this article and the interview video with Joseph marie

http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc...0,5127062.story

Edited by The Voice of Reason

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Dodd says that we have a very good chance at getting funding.

mind you he is the head of the comittee, so I guess he is in a position to be confident.

http://www.courant.com/news/politics/hc-ha...,0,192304.story

one interesting part of the article I was interested in was this little bit.

Rep. John Olver, D-Mass., another key member of the New England delegation, wrote a transportation funding bill last week that would add $4 billion to the railroad agency's stimulus budget.

thats a 50% increase in the federal funds available.

its great to see that so many people are behind mass transit financially.

If we get 800 million I would be shocked, but if the pot were to grow to 12Billion, I think there is a much better chance for us to get 6.66% of the total funds than 10% of the funds.

all in all it makes me very happy that this project is so well positioned after all of our failed and illconcieved projects over the years.

some more clips

Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn. and chairman of the House transportation committee, is pressing for a five-year investment of another $50 billion to develop 11 high-speed rail corridors linking major metropolitan regions. The flood of bids for funding shows that "the need to develop a national high-speed passenger rail system is far greater than the funding resources currently available," he said through a spokesman.

New England's governors are expected to present their case to federal rail officials at a meeting in Vermont in early August.

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improving rail service linking Hartford and Springfield with Amtrak's main Boston-to-Washington route. i've never thought that this was a major reason for the project. it's supposed to be a commuter line (like metro north), no? we already are on an amtrak line.

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improving rail service linking Hartford and Springfield with Amtrak's main Boston-to-Washington route. i've never thought that this was a major reason for the project. it's supposed to be a commuter line (like metro north), no? we already are on an amtrak line.

The key word there is improving rail service that links Hartford with the main BosWash route. The federal component is not for the commuter rail, it's for the upgrade to high speed rail. The commuter rail is just trying to piggyback on the improved infrastructure that upgrading the line will bring. So there are essentially two seperate projects that we are discussing along the rail line. The commuter rail and the high speed inter-city rail.

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The key word there is improving rail service that links Hartford with the main BosWash route. The federal component is not for the commuter rail, it's for the upgrade to high speed rail. The commuter rail is just trying to piggyback on the improved infrastructure that upgrading the line will bring. So there are essentially two seperate projects that we are discussing along the rail line. The commuter rail and the high speed inter-city rail.

thanks for the clarification. on the commuter line side of things, it boggles my mind that there is waterbury to bridgeport metro north service, but not hartford to new haven; but then, it always has.

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The Federal money that they are going after for the improvements to the Springfield Line requires trains to be capable of operating at high rates of speed and to connect major urban areas. Right now the corridor can not accomodate commuter rail service or high-speed rail because it only has one track. If the corridor gets Federal money for high-speed rail improvements, a second track will be added to the corridor and then commuter trains can be added as well as high speed. In a way, the high-speed designation is being used to impliment commuter service as well.

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It should also be added that the mainreason that the track are not up to standard is the bridges and tunnels are very much sub par. the federal money will first and foremost go to fixing them so that they can handle the high speed traffic.

conveniently we would have needed to upgrade them ourselves just of the commuter rail. so the federal funds hopefully will cover all of the work that benefits both systems, then locally we will only need to fund a small part of the project mostly pertaining to non high speed stations.

mind you the feds will help with those costs as well

its really just all perfect timing.

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The NH Register had an article about the commuter rail and application for funds.

Aug. 25--Connecticut officially entered the competition Monday for

federal stimulus money to create highspeed rail service between New

Haven and Springfield, Mass.

The state Department of Transportation filed a $64.2 million

application for stimulous money. The majority of the money, $41 million, would be used to install 10

miles of double tracks between New Britain and Newington, Everhart

said. "This is the area where freight trains from the Pan Am Line come

in, so double tracking would help reduce rail congestion there," he

said. The state would contribute an additional $17.7 million for that

project.

An additional $9.3 million in federal funds would be used for design

and environmental permit work to double-track the entire line. Thirty

of the 62 miles of track between New Haven and Springfield need to be

doubled to support the service.

The rest of the stimulus money would be used on existing commuter

lines:

I am sure there will be further aplications for funds, but the way this whole thing works is in stages. so this is just CT applying for some specific CT funds.

The North East States Governors also announced the filing of their joint plan.

I am fairly certain this 64 million is the local application, and there is a much larger join application for funds related to the high speed system that happens to also benefit our commuter rail.

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I am putting this in a 2nd post to keep things tidy and more readable.

here is the New England rail plan as designed by the regions leaders and on the application to the govt.

The projects include:

■ New Inland Route high speed service from Boston to New York City via Worcester, Springfield, Hartford, and New Haven, which will link and revitalize some of the region

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It is good to see more public support at the highest level. I know this means almost nothing, but support is better than detraction.

I might be moving soon, ok well its quite likely I will be moving soon, and assuming I get another job in Hartford(looks likely) My wife and I will be buying a little closer to the shore. For my part, and with my wifes support, I am looking at a town on the commuter rail.

I don't mind a 30 minute drive so much, but would rather have a 30 minute train ride any day!

Statewide Port Authority, Commuter Rail Among Rell's Economic Plan

http://www.courant.com/business/hc-jodi-re...0,1627138.story

Gov. M. Jodi Rell today released what she called "the state's first-ever Economic Strategic Plan."

The plan calls for a statewide port authority comprising the harbors in Bridgeport, New Haven and New London, along with the state's airports, including Bradley International Airport

It also calls for development of a commuter rail line between New Haven, Hartford and Springfield, with a spur to Bradley. A commuter line along I-91 has long been debated but would cost hundreds of millions of dollars and would face uncertain ridership.

Other key goals, mostly long discussed and debated, include:

A $100 million student loan partnership that would forgive debts to people in crucial occupations who agree to stay for a certain length of time. <LI>A $25 million program to lure foreign technology companies. <LI>An angel investor tax credit, offering financial incentives for investments in start-up firms. <LI>Programs to prod cities and towns to work together. Rell's budget proposal in February included incentive sfor regional cooperation.

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OK, Jodi. If the rail spur to Bradley is real and we are going to have more cohesion amongst Bradley and the other airports in the state this plan seems like a decent start.

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Rumor going around that federal stimulus funds for the rail have been lost because Jodi Rell's office didn't order an environmental impact in time.

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People are starting to get what this is all about. It's about making the Hartford-New Haven-Springfield Metro area a reality.

Hartford Courant

By quirk of history, the central part of Connecticut has two major small cities instead of one large urban center. As the major 17th-century colonies of Hartford and New Haven evolved, they sometimes competed.

In 1718, New Haven nailed down the Collegiate School, which had been in three other communities and would soon be named after benefactor Elihu Yale. Hartford and New Haven were co-state capitals until Hartford became the sole capital in 1875.

Both steps continue to define the cities. New Haven, blessed with Yale and a location on the Northeast Corridor/I-95, has become Connecticut's central academic, transportation and cultural hub. Hartford, though hardly bereft of top cultural and academic institutions, is known both for politics and as a prominent insurance and aerospace center.

By themselves, each city has major strengths and weaknesses. But what if they were one city? That is the promise of the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter rail line. If there is efficient rail service that ties the two cites together within 30 minutes, Connecticut will have its first complete city in its modern history.

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If this can get going, Springfield should (I would imagine) be added to the Metro area, creating a much more attractive area to people not from here 9at least topically).

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The federal high speed rail funding has been announced:

http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-rail-money-0128.artjan27,0,6545761.story

The New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter rail project only got $40 million in funding. It's a start, but not nearly enough to fund the entire project, which is estimated at around $800 million. I'm glad something is getting done here, but it is really frustrating to see how slow a project that almost everyone agrees is vital for the region is taking. At this rate, the thing isn't going to be built until 2030, if ever.

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I think it's going to happen way sooner than 2030. The funding is just very piecemeal at this stage. I'm thinking that it should really start to pick up once we get past the track upgrades and get into the station building, etc. At least that is what I'm hoping for.

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This is Awesome news!

as a point of information, we were not in the running for the whole thing at this point. apparently the delay to start the environmental tests slowed us down a few years ago. in order to get full funding we would have needed to actually be doing the track doubling and such allready.

the good news is that this money will get that work sarted, and the rail bridges will all be modernized in oprder to support the commuter rail and the high speed rail.

St Albans is N of Burlington.... thats for the high speed line.

all very good stuff.

lets just hope the state gets to work asap, so we are fully ready for the next phase of funding, thats when we need the 800 mill

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We got what we asked for and things are on schedule for us. This is going to happen.

According to this article the real reason we could only apply for minimal funds at this time is the fact that Mass was not applying for the money for the Springfield-Boston upgrade. The feds are not going to force Mass to do this and if they are not serious then High Speed rail will not happen in this corridor. The commuter rail will difinitely happen and honestly I think that Boston will get on board with connecting to Springfield before its too late so I'm still reasonably optimistic.

Hartford Courant

At the same time, rail advocates say, Connecticut was hampered by disorganization throughout New England. Massachusetts never applied for money to upgrade the Springfield-to- Boston tracks, which would have offered a seamless connection from New York through New Haven and Springfield to Boston. New Hampshire lawmakers didn't seek funding for another essential link from Boston to Montreal.

The FRA was looking for big-impact projects to connect entire regions; New England's pitch fell far short, and the Northeast got the smallest share of the $8 billion. Before the next round of funding, New England must reorganize and pull governors, state legislatures, the freight railroad and the public into the campaign, said James RePass, president of the National Corridors Initiative, a rail advocacy organization.

"All the New England states must speak with one voice and must work with Canada," RePass said.

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