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HartfordTycoon

Commuter Rail from Hartford to Boston!

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I just read this on MassLive.com and found it interesting. If they extend commuter rail to Springfield from Worchester as they discuss and connect Springfield to CT's new commuter line to Hartford and New Haven it will provide continuous commuter rail connections from Hartford to Boston or even Hartford to New York with the New Haven - Hartford - Springfield line tying it all together in the center. I see tons of potential in this prospect for our region.

Springfield Republican Article

BOSTON - Former Gov. Michael S. Dukakis is asking legislators to approve a bill aimed at raising $223 million a year for new commuter rail projects serving the Springfield area and other parts of the state.

Dukakis told reporters yesterday that a commuter rail line between New Haven, Conn., and Springfield would be "the most important single thing" for Springfield.

"Imagine what Springfield would experience if we had ... commuter rail," Cabral told committee members. "Imagine what that would do for Western Massachusetts."

The sponsors want to create a state fund for financing six commuter rail projects around the state.

The proposals include extending commuter rail service that now connects Worcester with Boston westward to Springfield. Worcester's commuter rail line currently provides 10 round-trips to Boston.

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I have no idea why this stuff is even a story. It should be a slam dunk decision to put commuter rail anywhere in the region, yet we all know differently....

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I have no idea why this stuff is even a story. It should be a slam dunk decision to put commuter rail anywhere in the region, yet we all know differently....

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Agreed. But the fact that it shouldn't be a story doesn't make the prospect any less exciting.

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I'm not going to waste my time ranting about the MBTA and its priorities. Instead, I'll just say this...

Here's my usual situation for needing commuter rail: visiting the city for a few hours, almost always on the weekends.

Metro North: Southeast (NY) to Grand Central

Driving: From Danbury to NYC is roughly 60 miles. Is there any good way into Midtown or Lower Manhattan from White Plains or Port Chester way that doesn't require driving down 80 blocks in Manhattan? If so, I want to know about it. In the meanwhile, driving in New York takes forever unless it's 4 am. Parking is something like $20 or more unless you want to be in some neighborhood you wouldn't want to be in for safety or being really out of the way.

Train: Metro North leaves Southeast at least once an hour, except the nothing between 1 and 5-6 am. Trains leave from Grand Central at least once an hour, except the nothing between 2 and 5-6 am. Round trip is $20 or 27, depending on when you do it. Unless you get stuck on some local, it's an hour and a half.

Conclusion: Train is a lot more convienient than driving, and cheaper. Parking in Manhattan alone makes the train look decent. Even using my northeastern Connecticut setting, pretty much replace Southeast with Stratford and add a few bucks for the trains and it's nearly the same story.

T: Worcester to South Station

Driving: I live in rural northeast Connecticut, about 20 miles south of Worcester. It's 15 minutes to Auburn, where the Mass Pike meets I-395. From there it's only another 45 miles/minutes into Downtown Boston. So we'll say 65 miles. Parking at Boston Common on the weekends is $10 a day.

Train: Parking is a dollar a day in Worcester, or so it says on the site. Trains leave Worcester once every couple of hours, and the last train from Worcester/Boston leaves at 11 for the other side. This is pretty bad for trying to catch some nightlife in Boston, especially since Worcester allows no overnight parking. Tickets are $15.50 round trip, and the ride is an hour and a half... nearly double the time to drive.

Conclusion: The only way the trains look useful is if you live in Worcester and have a 9 to 5 in Boston. Everything else, better off driving.

Now why did I just mention all of that? Well, the MBTA doesn't like commuter rail. That's why we get statements like this, where Dukakis is blasting the Commonwealth for being pathetic. Trains need to run far more frequently to serve more needs of riders. The system should be upgraded to increase speed, something needs to be done with CSX about it. Public transit should be a far more public focus like in New York.

I say until MBTA fixes what it has now, it shouldn't expand any further. A train ride from Springfield to Boston (nevermind service with Connecticut) would take over three hours and cost $15 one way, not worth it for many people in the Hartford-Springfield area.

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I just read this on MassLive.com and found it interesting. If they extend commuter rail to Springfield from Worchester as they discuss and connect Springfield to CT's new commuter line to Hartford and New Haven it will provide continuous commuter rail connections from Hartford to Boston or even Hartford to New York with the New Haven - Hartford - Springfield line tying it all together in the center. I see tons of potential in this prospect for our region.

you can already get to hartford from boston on amtrack. i would assume commuter would be much cheaper and an attractive alternative however.

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I would imagine it would be cheaper with more regular service if implemented correctly. I think it would also have more stops along the way that would be convenient for some riders or some trips.

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you can already get to hartford from boston on amtrack. i would assume commuter would be much cheaper and an attractive alternative however.

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I'm not going to waste my time ranting about the MBTA and its priorities. Instead, I'll just say this...

Here's my usual situation for needing commuter rail: visiting the city for a few hours, almost always on the weekends.

Metro North: Southeast (NY) to Grand Central

Driving: From Danbury to NYC is roughly 60 miles. Is there any good way into Midtown or Lower Manhattan from White Plains or Port Chester way that doesn't require driving down 80 blocks in Manhattan? If so, I want to know about it. In the meanwhile, driving in New York takes forever unless it's 4 am. Parking is something like $20 or more unless you want to be in some neighborhood you wouldn't want to be in for safety or being really out of the way.

Train: Metro North leaves Southeast at least once an hour, except the nothing between 1 and 5-6 am. Trains leave from Grand Central at least once an hour, except the nothing between 2 and 5-6 am. Round trip is $20 or 27, depending on when you do it. Unless you get stuck on some local, it's an hour and a half.

Conclusion: Train is a lot more convienient than driving, and cheaper. Parking in Manhattan alone makes the train look decent. Even using my northeastern Connecticut setting, pretty much replace Southeast with Stratford and add a few bucks for the trains and it's nearly the same story.

T: Worcester to South Station

Driving: I live in rural northeast Connecticut, about 20 miles south of Worcester. It's 15 minutes to Auburn, where the Mass Pike meets I-395. From there it's only another 45 miles/minutes into Downtown Boston. So we'll say 65 miles. Parking at Boston Common on the weekends is $10 a day.

Train: Parking is a dollar a day in Worcester, or so it says on the site. Trains leave Worcester once every couple of hours, and the last train from Worcester/Boston leaves at 11 for the other side. This is pretty bad for trying to catch some nightlife in Boston, especially since Worcester allows no overnight parking. Tickets are $15.50 round trip, and the ride is an hour and a half... nearly double the time to drive.

Conclusion: The only way the trains look useful is if you live in Worcester and have a 9 to 5 in Boston. Everything else, better off driving.

Now why did I just mention all of that? Well, the MBTA doesn't like commuter rail. That's why we get statements like this, where Dukakis is blasting the Commonwealth for being pathetic. Trains need to run far more frequently to serve more needs of riders. The system should be upgraded to increase speed, something needs to be done with CSX about it. Public transit should be a far more public focus like in New York.

I say until MBTA fixes what it has now, it shouldn't expand any further. A train ride from Springfield to Boston (nevermind service with Connecticut) would take over three hours and cost $15 one way, not worth it for many people in the Hartford-Springfield area.

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It isn't so much the travel to Worcester (or Burrillville), it's just that the scheduling. Unless you do a 9 to 5 in Boston, it's fairly inconvenient.

There are already train tracks running southward from somewhere in Worcester down into Connecticut, thru Putnam. Not sure if P&W would allow use, or twinning, or electrification.

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It isn't so much the travel to Worcester (or Burrillville), it's just that the scheduling. Unless you do a 9 to 5 in Boston, it's fairly inconvenient.

There are already train tracks running southward from somewhere in Worcester down into Connecticut, thru Putnam. Not sure if P&W would allow use, or twinning, or electrification.

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I think the T could capitalize quite a bit if they expanded southwestward into the Norwich-New London-casino area. Connect Boston to the casinos with a high speed route, stopping at Providence and one or two other locations along the way, would be a great thing for this state (especially the southeast). If it gets any significant number of Fung Wah buses off our highways, it's a considerable benefit to everyone in the New York to Boston corridor.

I can potentially see commuter rail from Boston heading southward from Worcester into Connecticut, but this will take perhaps decades. Demand in northeastern Connecticut is already rising as a cheaper suburban alternative for places closer to Worcester. How long will it be before Boston sees the Worcester market and just completely absorbs it. Granted, the Quiet Corner won't turn into the Poconos of Boston overnight. But it is an inevitability.

I would like to see Connecticut, all of it, connected by an efficient, reliable, and fast rail system one day. Currently, all we have is the I-95 corridor between New Haven and New York. The Danbury line needs improvements badly, plus a connection to New Milford. The Waterbury line, from what I've heard about it, needs serious improvements of service to be considered a serious improvement over driving south on Route 8. Hartford area would greatly benefit from commuter rail, as well as connections to New Haven, Bradley, and Springfield. And I still would like to see the Danbury to Hartford to New London line I proposed a couple months ago.

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I think the T could capitalize quite a bit if they expanded southwestward into the Norwich-New London-casino area. Connect Boston to the casinos with a high speed route, stopping at Providence and one or two other locations along the way, would be a great thing for this state (especially the southeast). If it gets any significant number of Fung Wah buses off our highways, it's a considerable benefit to everyone in the New York to Boston corridor.

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Does Connecticut depend on the revenue generated by the Fung Wah buses?

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All:

I took a Fung Wah bus to Boston one time. I think I was the only white on the bus, but it was cheap!! Greyhound couldn't match the price and besides, it stopped in East Hartford.

JimS

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All:

I took a Fung Wah bus to Boston one time. I think I was the only white on the bus, but it was cheap!! Greyhound couldn't match the price and besides, it stopped in East Hartford.

JimS

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What is the point of a comment like that? Is that supposed to be one more reason to complain about Fung Wah, cause they'res no white people on it?

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*kind of lame attempt to save the topic...*

A rail line would be good for Connecticut. Boston to New York, running right through CT. A line where all peoples can ride to wherever they need to go, and just as affordable as the "other ways" to do it.

*yeah, I told you it was lame*

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What is the point of a comment like that? Is that supposed to be one more reason to complain about Fung Wah, cause they'res no white people on it?

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