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beerbeer

The Griffin Line Memorial mass transit thread

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As Bill noted, it might be fun to throw mass transit ideas around. He has proposed a light rail line from Manchester to West Hartford.

Personally, having marketed more than a few transit systems, I have come to the conclusion that high speed rail is the best system for any city.

So let's release the dogs of war. Let's hear your transit system ideas for Hartford. From commuter rail to donkey drawn carriages, no idea is too wacky or too lame.

And let us all remember, if they had built the Griffin Line when they had the federal funds to do it, it would be in operation TODAY.

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Ok, here is my Joe retard hack-job version. It uses existing rail lines and center medians of I-84/I-91. Union Station is obviously the hub, there are spurs that go along the tracks by Homestead Ave, crossing Albany Ave on to UHa. ANother spur goes along Capitol Ave and joins with I-84 going into West Hartford. Yet another spur uses the rail lines along Windsor Street and going north. Yet another merges With I-91 south and goes past Coltsville, onto to Airport/Brainard Rds and beyond. The last crosses the Bulkley Bridge with stops in East River Dr, Main St EH, the Rent and beyond. Again, it's a quicky, but basically illustrates what I would envision for the city and it's immediate environs. In a longer term plan, I'd have it tie into the NH - Springfield Commuter rail, and have spurs that continue on to Norwich/New London/Casinos and New Britain/Bristol/Waterbury......

HartfordTransit.gif

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Ok, here is my Joe retard hack-job version. It uses existing rail lines and center medians of I-84/I-91. Union Station is obviously the hub, there are spurs that go along the tracks by Homestead Ave, crossing Albany Ave on to UHa. ANother spur goes along Capitol Ave and joins with I-84 going into West Hartford. Yet another spur uses the rail lines along Windsor Street and going north. Yet another merges With I-91 south and goes past Coltsville, onto to Airport/Brainard Rds and beyond. The last crosses the Bulkley Bridge with stops in East River Dr, Main St EH, the Rent and beyond. Again, it's a quicky, but basically illustrates what I would envision for the city and it's immediate environs. In a longer term plan, I'd have it tie into the NH - Springfield Commuter rail, and have spurs that continue on to Norwich/New London/Casinos and New Britain/Bristol/Waterbury......

HartfordTransit.gif

I like your idea but I just have to keep bringing this up. Instead of trying to widen the Bulkeley Bridge again, which I assume would be pretty difficult, why not use the rail bridge north of downtown? It already connects with Union Station and goes right into Burnside and Buckland east of the river.

Also, there is an existing rail line and bed that basically runs along I-91, the Valley Line. Why not use that? I am against improvements to these highways because my hope is that they will either be gone or underground eventually. And no, not tunneled underground like the Big Dig, just below grade instead of elevated.

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As Bill noted, it might be fun to throw mass transit ideas around. He has proposed a light rail line from Manchester to West Hartford.

Personally, having marketed more than a few transit systems, I have come to the conclusion that high speed rail is the best system for any city.

So let's release the dogs of war. Let's hear your transit system ideas for Hartford. From commuter rail to donkey drawn carriages, no idea is too wacky or too lame.

And let us all remember, if they had built the Griffin Line when they had the federal funds to do it, it would be in operation TODAY.

I also believe high speed rail is best for primary lines. I feel it needs to rival the efficiency of the automobile. I could see light rail for secondary lines.

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Ok, here is my Joe retard hack-job version. It uses existing rail lines and center medians of I-84/I-91. Union Station is obviously the hub, there are spurs that go along the tracks by Homestead Ave, crossing Albany Ave on to UHa. ANother spur goes along Capitol Ave and joins with I-84 going into West Hartford. Yet another spur uses the rail lines along Windsor Street and going north. Yet another merges With I-91 south and goes past Coltsville, onto to Airport/Brainard Rds and beyond. The last crosses the Bulkley Bridge with stops in East River Dr, Main St EH, the Rent and beyond. Again, it's a quicky, but basically illustrates what I would envision for the city and it's immediate environs. In a longer term plan, I'd have it tie into the NH - Springfield Commuter rail, and have spurs that continue on to Norwich/New London/Casinos and New Britain/Bristol/Waterbury......

HartfordTransit.gif

MadVlad:

I'd love to see Commuter rail service From Willimantic to Hartford (and yes, frieght service, too), From Waterbury to Hartford - along with the New Haven - Springfield route (double tracked - with Amtrak, CSO frieght, PAR (Pan-AM Rail nee Guilford) frieght and a CSX train running on the line -- it NEEDS to be).

Some other lines -- Vernon to Ellington, Portland to East Hartford, Coventry to Bolton Notch should be buses (or trolley) and Middletown (or Old Saybrook, Valley Railroad steam(?)) to Hartford commuter rail. Maybe use the old railline (the canal line) from Simsbury and New Hartford to Farmington.

Any comments??

Jim S

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What do you think about existing rails for a transit system? It is initially an obvious place for a system. It is also one of the easiest options.

Does that mean it is the best route?

Personally, I think it is great for commuter rail..................connecting the airport, Springfield, New Haven etc. As far as connecting the neighborhoods and attractions around Hartford, the old factory laced route seems remote in my opinion.

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What do you think about existing rails for a transit system? It is initially an obvious place for a system. It is also one of the easiest options.

Does that mean it is the best route?

Personally, I think it is great for commuter rail..................connecting the airport, Springfield, New Haven etc. As far as connecting the neighborhoods and attractions around Hartford, the old factory laced route seems remote in my opinion.

For commuter rail, existing rail would be used.

For light rail, I am not sure. Roads would probably be re-routed alittle, because most of them cross streets frequently throughout towns

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What do you think about existing rails for a transit system? It is initially an obvious place for a system. It is also one of the easiest options.

Does that mean it is the best route?

Personally, I think it is great for commuter rail..................connecting the airport, Springfield, New Haven etc. As far as connecting the neighborhoods and attractions around Hartford, the old factory laced route seems remote in my opinion.

Fair enough. No rails do hit West Hartford Center, which would need to be implemented. Maybe streetcar/trolley, maybe more.

Hartford South and Hartford North... those rails are the most convenient you'll find. Southbound it basically runs along Route 99. And they were recently renovated by Providence&Worcester. Griffin Line is still used I believe. And the Amtrak line runs right into Windsor Center.

East of the river.... I have to admit, east of the river is not my specialty. I know those rails were used as passenger rail for many years, some parts of the old stations can still be found. But I'm not completely sure of their exact route. Maybe I'll track it one of these days.

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There are three types of rails, light rail, high speed rail and heavy rail. Light rail cars cannot travel on heavy rail tracks, etc. Once a desicsion is made about what type of rail to use, it's tough and expensive to change.

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Fair enough. No rails do hit West Hartford Center, which would need to be implemented. Maybe streetcar/trolley, maybe more.

Hartford South and Hartford North... those rails are the most convenient you'll find. Southbound it basically runs along Route 99. And they were recently renovated by Providence&Worcester. Griffin Line is still used I believe. And the Amtrak line runs right into Windsor Center.

East of the river.... I have to admit, east of the river is not my specialty. I know those rails were used as passenger rail for many years, some parts of the old stations can still be found. But I'm not completely sure of their exact route. Maybe I'll track it one of these days.

There's trolly track under the streets already in Hartford and West Hartford. We could simply unbury it and bring back trolleys. I don't know anything about the logistics of that though.

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There's trolly track under the streets already in Hartford and West Hartford. We could simply unbury it and bring back trolleys. I don't know anything about the logistics of that though.

Definitely not that easy- Cant just "simply unbury" them!

Theyre probably not all still there, would get damaged trying to get pavement off of them- I dont think anyone would even try

In my opinion, I dont think it could happen

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Definitely not that easy- Cant just "simply unbury" them!

Theyre probably not all still there, would get damaged trying to get pavement off of them- I dont think anyone would even try

In my opinion, I dont think it could happen

I figured it was hard or impossible. Tom Condon made a mention of it in Place this Sunday.

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Definitely not that easy- Cant just "simply unbury" them!

Theyre probably not all still there, would get damaged trying to get pavement off of them- I dont think anyone would even try

In my opinion, I dont think it could happen

Either way, there may be some salvagable iron in there. A couple weeks ago I was crossing Main Street downtown and saw a trolley line through a crack. Looked nice and shiny.

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There are three types of rails, light rail, high speed rail and heavy rail. Light rail cars cannot travel on heavy rail tracks, etc. Once a desicsion is made about what type of rail to use, it's tough and expensive to change.

beerbeer, can you explain the differences between the three types?

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light rail can run at street level with trolley cars, using a cantanary(sp?) overhead for power, like Boston's Green line

Heavy Rail is below grade, in the ground, like Boston's red, orange, or blue lines. It typically uses a third electrified rail for power.

High speed rail is for commuter trains, usually with minimal traffic interaction. It uses a diesel engine car for power

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Fair enough. No rails do hit West Hartford Center, which would need to be implemented. Maybe streetcar/trolley, maybe more.

Hartford South and Hartford North... those rails are the most convenient you'll find. Southbound it basically runs along Route 99. And they were recently renovated by Providence&Worcester. Griffin Line is still used I believe. And the Amtrak line runs right into Windsor Center.

East of the river.... I have to admit, east of the river is not my specialty. I know those rails were used as passenger rail for many years, some parts of the old stations can still be found. But I'm not completely sure of their exact route. Maybe I'll track it one of these days.

mikel:

East of the River the railroad extends to Manchester with a line up to Enfield. Past Manchester, the Railroad is the ROW of the East Coast Greenway- but not ready as a trail yet. It needs to be rebuilt as a railroad. On Main Street in East Hartford, we could have a railroad station for commuter (from the Connecticut Central/Amory Branch) from Hazzardville to East Hartford -so they take the train to either Willimantic or Hartford. The East Hartford station should be a replica of the old New Haven Station East Hartford had (there's a picture of it in the book 'Connecticut's Railroad').

Jim S

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light rail can run at street level with trolley cars, using a cantanary(sp?) overhead for power, like Boston's Green line

Heavy Rail is below grade, in the ground, like Boston's red, orange, or blue lines. It typically uses a third electrified rail for power.

High speed rail is for commuter trains, usually with minimal traffic interaction. It uses a diesel engine car for power

High speed rail uses diesel power? I know the Acela is electric. Are you talking about something different?

Light rail I thought could use regular rail. If not, I know I've seen light rail on dedicated rail bed, so maybe they use a different rail set? Could light rail run on the rail in place, like the Valley Line through Wethersfield?

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Commuter High Speed Rail can uses electric too- I dont think Acela uses electric the whole way

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Is it possible to suspend something under the Bulkley or Founders Bridges for rail? It wouldn't necessarily have to be on top of the bridge....

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mikel:

East of the River the railroad extends to Manchester with a line up to Enfield. Past Manchester, the Railroad is the ROW of the East Coast Greenway- but not ready as a trail yet. It needs to be rebuilt as a railroad. On Main Street in East Hartford, we could have a railroad station for commuter (from the Connecticut Central/Amory Branch) from Hazzardville to East Hartford -so they take the train to either Willimantic or Hartford. The East Hartford station should be a replica of the old New Haven Station East Hartford had (there's a picture of it in the book 'Connecticut's Railroad').

Jim S

Thanks for the info. I can see the rail running straight through on maps, but I'm not familiar where it intersects exactly and so forth.

Wasn't much of the rail line turned into a Rails to Trails paved trail in the early 90's. At least through Bolton it was. Too bad. You know, I'm very happy the NIMBY's successfully fought those people in Wethersfield. Freight trains have been running through recently, once again. Very pleased that the line remained.

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light rail can run at street level with trolley cars, using a cantanary(sp?) overhead for power, like Boston's Green line

Heavy Rail is below grade, in the ground, like Boston's red, orange, or blue lines. It typically uses a third electrified rail for power.

High speed rail is for commuter trains, usually with minimal traffic interaction. It uses a diesel engine car for power

HIGH SPEED RAIL

I would use high speed rail for connecting the airport, Springfield, New Haven etc.

HEAVY RAIL

I would use heavy rail for a line that forms a spine across the city, such as West Hartford Center to a large commuter depot near Manchester Community College. On the east side of the river, it would run in the HOV lanes.

LIGHT RAIL

I would use light rail as feeders. I don't think I would like the idea of taking a trolley from West Hartford to Manchester. I could see a trolley line connecting Union station to the Learning Corridor (Hartford Hospital - Trinity College). The route would pass under the Memorial Arch, go through the Capitol area and down Washington Street.

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How difficult would it be to bury all these tracks to get a subway type feel?

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Thanks for the info. I can see the rail running straight through on maps, but I'm not familiar where it intersects exactly and so forth.

Wasn't much of the rail line turned into a Rails to Trails paved trail in the early 90's. At least through Bolton it was. Too bad. You know, I'm very happy the NIMBY's successfully fought those people in Wethersfield. Freight trains have been running through recently, once again. Very pleased that the line remained.

Mikel:

At last time I saw it -- 2 years ago after I had my last dinner at Shady Glen -- I went to Bolton Notch and the trail was just that a trail. CSO/P&W wants it for frieght and the casino operators (aka -- the Pequots and Mohegan) wants it to bring passengers to the casinos. A few years ago, the Pequots offered the state $200M for the ROW.

I think something will happen to that ROW.

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Mikel:

At last time I saw it -- 2 years ago after I had my last dinner at Shady Glen -- I went to Bolton Notch and the trail was just that a trail. CSO/P&W wants it for frieght and the casino operators (aka -- the Pequots and Mohegan) wants it to bring passengers to the casinos. A few years ago, the Pequots offered the state $200M for the ROW.

I think something will happen to that ROW.

Did they really? I hadn't heard that. Did the state turn them down?? But I'd love to see rails be laid on that section and a track owner who is passenger-rail friendly!

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