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doz180

Waterbury Railroad upgrades

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As Fairfield County professionals flock to the Naugatuck Valley in search of what they consider to be affordable housing, it will become important for the state to upgrade commuter rail services to and from their jobs, local officials say.

In the past two years, the Valley has seen developers itching to build here because they believe people are willing to commute to jobs in Fairfield County for the opportunity to live in affordable homes.

And unless those people are willing to cope with the oft-congested traffic on Route 8, Interstate 95 or the Merritt Parkway, they will invariably hop on Metro North trains that run from Waterbury to Bridgeport. Once in Bridgeport, commuters can either remain onboard to other Fairfield County communities, like Stamford. Or they can take an express train into New York City.

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www.rep-am.com/story.php?id=21612

I have been waiting a long time for CT to wake up and start making some improvements to the metro-north Waterbury branch. The article doesn't say what upgrades they are hoping for. A few months ago they did some serious maintenance work on the tracks and they replaced the ridiculously old train cars that broke down once a month with some train cars that aren't as old and much more reliable. Now, the next step is to improve the schedule. The first train leaves Waterbury at 6:45am, the next train isn't until 9:17. The problem is that they only have single track, but Metro-North circumvents that same problem on the upper Harlem line by having one train wait just north of the station and when the first train leaves, the waiting train comes down to the now available space at the station. If they can just run one more train during rush hour, say at 7:15am, that will give commuters more choices and make them more likely to use mass transit.

Another issue that has come up in Waterbury this year was they did a study about building an intermodal transit center where the current metro-north platform is. Waterbury has intercity bus service(to Danbury-NYC, Hartford -Boston) but they don't have a station, just an office, and it is a few blocks away from the train station. They were talking about moving everything to one place however there was a lot of complaints that locals didn't want any changes to the city bus service, the hub for the city bus is currently on the green. I haven

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Waterbury to Torrington would be a great start. Ideally there should be commuter service into Hartford as well at some point, I have numerous acquaintances from Waterbury that work in Greater Hartford.

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Waterbury to Torrington would be a great start. Ideally there should be commuter service into Hartford as well at some point, I have numerous acquaintances from Waterbury that work in Greater Hartford. I agree though that it's great that the state finally seems to be waking up on the Mass transit front.

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I've recommended in past posts that Connecticut seriously consider establishing commuter rail service between Waterbury and Hartford. Cities like Bristol and New Britain would benefit greatly. Let's also find a way to dump Pan-Am and entice another company (CSX or Connecticut Southern?) to offer more reliable freight service on the Highland Line.

Metro North's Waterbury Branch is in dire need of attention. In the coming years I think the lower Naugatuck Valley towns will continue to grow as more and more people are priced out of Fairfield County. The demand for rail service will only increase. I recommend that ConnDOT build high platforms at all stations, improve station amenities, and electrify the line so trains can run directly into GCT.

On the other hand, I don't think commuter rail service is needed between Waterbury and Torrington -- at least not at this point. The area in between is sparsely populated and Route 8 runs free of congestion. I know a commuter bus runs between Torrington and Hartford. If one does not already run between Torrington and Waterbury, I'd start with a bus first.

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I've recommended in past posts that Connecticut seriously consider establishing commuter rail service between Waterbury and Hartford. Cities like Bristol and New Britain would benefit greatly. Let's also find a way to dump Pan-Am and entice another company (CSX or Connecticut Southern?) to offer more reliable freight service on the Highland Line.

Metro North's Waterbury Branch is in dire need of attention. In the coming years I think the lower Naugatuck Valley towns will continue to grow as more and more people are priced out of Fairfield County. The demand for rail service will only increase. I recommend that ConnDOT build high platforms at all stations, improve station amenities, and electrify the line so trains can run directly into GCT.

On the other hand, I don't think commuter rail service is needed between Waterbury and Torrington -- at least not at this point. The area in between is sparsely populated and Route 8 runs free of congestion. I know a commuter bus runs between Torrington and Hartford. If one does not already run between Torrington and Waterbury, I'd start with a bus first.

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It would be greatly beneficial if the major branches were upgraded and electrified. I've spent much of the last four years in Danbury, and every trip on Metro North to NYC has been on the neighboring Harlem line... lack of trains, lack of parking, takes much longer timewise.

Perhaps one day moving to the Naugy valley, it would be nice to see an improved line between Waterbury and the New Haven line.

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Between Waterbury and Stratford there are no platforms, that means when the train stops, the conductor has to open the door, put the steps down, and then the people file in one by one through one door. I caught the 6:45am train out of Waterbury last Wednesday, I would estimate about 40 people boarded the train at Naugatuck. We could have saved so much time if every stop had a platform so all the doors on the train could be used to enter. If CDOT did that and ran two more trains during rush hour you would see a huge jump in ridership. Populations of CT valley towns have increased significantly and there are a number of housing development construction/proposals in Seymour, Shelton, and Naugatuck.

Off-topic, since metro-north changed the schedule for the New Haven trains I boarded the local by accident when I changed trains at Bridgeport. I noticed that contrary to popular belief a lot of people use that train to get to places between Bridgeport and Stamford. Many people got off at Westport and Norwalk. A GORGEOUS woman got on at Fairfield and got off at East Norwalk. Anyway, just an observation, hopefully the Danbury, Waterbury, and future Hartford branch will be utilized like this one day.

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YankeePeddler:

If Connecticut Southern hand PAR's lines in CT, it would be busy!! CSO Manchester Industrial (the line to Manchester) and East Hartford Industrial (The line to East Winsor Hill) branches are busy with new (or pre-PC/CR) customers. If CSO had the PAR lines, I bet BUZZOTO'S would have rail service - and Farmington Redi-Mix, too.

There's a rumor I read (DOUBTFUL thou) that P&W would like to buy PAR (The Connecticut Valley line and the line from East Deerfield to Rotterdamn.

JimS

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Not to get off the thread topic too far, but I think CNZR (Central New England) runs up to East Windsor Hill from East Hartford. They also run the trains from Hartford up the Griffin Line to Home Depot and other Day Hill Road industries in Bloomfield.

Where did you hear the rumor about P&W buying PAR? I really hope that's false! P&W has built a solid reputation over the past couple of years. Especially in Connecticut, it's invested in new routes and expanded service. PAR has a large presence in New England but I think the company far from strong (poor infrastructure, spotty service, poor labor relations). I question whether P&W has the resources to overtake a difficult company like PAR without sacrificing its own level of service.

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YankeePeddler:

I heard of the rumor on a railfan site that P&W would love to get the PAR's Hoosic tunnel line (East Deerfield to Rotterdamn, NY), the CT River line (East Deerfield to Springfield) and PAR's CT lines. I think it would be great. PAR is not looking after the industries in CT on their lines, so the state needs to tell PAR to take a hike.

Ever looked at a 1968 New Haven Railroad map? If you haven't take a look at it. Most of the rail lines are still in use (Only New Haven to Southington, Plainville to Westfield, MA and Manchester to Willimantic are abandoned. And the Manchester line might be in use SOMEDAY soon!!

JimS

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Well, I feel more comfortable knowing that P&W might be looking at just a few PAR lines. I would love to see PAR booted from Connecticut. Service along the Highland Line between Waterbury and New Britain is infrequent at best. The line is also isolated from other PAR lines in Massachusetts and northern New England.

I actually brought to the attention of UP a map of the New Haven Railroad from 1929. You're right. Most of the lines are still in business today.

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http://www.boston.com/news/local/connectic...uck_in_milford/

Metro North train collides with dump truck in Milford

September 26, 2007

MILFORD, Conn. --A Metro-North train from Bridgeport to Waterbury hit a dump truck at a Milford crossing Wednesday afternoon, sending six people to hospitals with minor injuries.

Metro-North sent buses to take the remaining passengers to their destinations and planned to continue bus service at least into Wednesday night. It was unclear how long it might take to get the train running again, Metro-North spokesman Dan Brucker said.

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www.courant.com/news/local/hc-cttrains0408.artapr08,0,7106796.story

Finally they improved service by adding an earlier train on the Waterbury branch. This train leaves Waterbury at 6:00am making it possible to arrive at Grand Central at 8:18. When the train gets to Bridgeport it takes on more passengers then runs express all the way to Stamford. Finally a one seat train ride from the dirty water to Stamford. One problem is they haven't added an extra train from Stamford to Waterbury in the evening. I hope they will do that soon.

The new service is the earliest run on the Waterbury line, and the schedule lets commuters get to Stamford in time for 7:30 a.m. jobs or even to reach Manhattan before 8:30. That's a huge improvement and fits the real-world needs of commuters up and down the Naugatuck Valley, according to the Connecticut Rail Commuters Council. Previously, the first train out was at 6:40; it doesn't reach Stamford until 8:16 or New York until a little after 9.

Roger Cirella of Ansonia, who rides Metro-North to his job as a paralegal in Norwalk, circulated petitions last year to improve service. The railroad initially added a third car to its two-car rush-hour trains to ease the seating shortage, and this week rolled out the 5:57.

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It's pathetic and ridiculous that they have mass transit from Waterbury to NYC, but not Hartford.

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