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IN PROGRESS: Hartford-New Britain Busway/ CTFastrak

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baseless numbers are good fun for politicians. it is easy to throw out a number first because people tend to trust you if you fire the first shot. The taks of proving that number wrong lies in the hands of the opposition. so no matter what the rail people have to defend themselves against a rediculous 1.2 billion dollar number.

I hate shortsightedness. if thats a word.

we are so close to getting a commuter rail, why fight its success by linking it to a busway. support the rail by connecting another commuter rail to it.

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Exactly, why would we shortchange ourselves when the potential for something that will truly transform the region and state is within grasp? Mayor Stewart needs to realize that this is not about New Britain. This is about Metro Hartford and CT and we need to be looking for the biggest long term positive impact.

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Just to clarify, these are the people that were at this meeting.

Joseph Marie: Commissioner of the state Department of Transportation

Mayor Timothy Stewart, New Britain

Mayor Jeff Wright, Newington

Mayor Scott Slifka, West Hartford

Mayor Eddie Perez, Hartford

So, these 4 towns look to benefit from the busway, but the trick would be to convince them that they would better benefit if the rail line was built and not the busway. Even if the rail line ended up costing conciderably more. even the crazy 1.2 billion number.

Although I wonder if West Hartford would even have a station, the townes in the meeting followed by their populations.

Hartford 125,000

West Hartford 61,000

Newington 30,000

New Britain 72,000

The Rail line would additionally serve

Plainville 18,000

Bristol 61,000

Waterbury 109,000 (connects to Metro North)

I would think that the mayors of Plainville, Bristol, and Waterbury would be able to put some political pressure on the others.

Also I think, Perez as the mayor of Hartford would be interested in the rail link vs busway as it makes Hartford a MUCH more important transportation node.

Hartford,Plainville, Bristol, and Waterbury should have enough sway to get the Mayor of New Britain to get on board.

the problem is why are none of them stepping up?

good question ehh?

who can you contact you ask?

http://www.waterburyct.org/content/458/461/default.aspx

Mayor of Waterbury

Michael J. Jarjura

Phone (203) 574-6712

http://www.ci.bristol.ct.us/content/5816/default.aspx

Art Ward

Mayor of Bristol, Connecticut

Arthur J. Ward MAYOR [email protected]

(P) 860-584-6250

(F) 860-584-3835

Robert Lee, Town Manager

http://www.plainvillect.com/munigov.html

and

here is aother important one. Not only is NB his district, he chairs the transportation committe

State Senator Defronzo

http://www.senatedems.ct.gov/DeFronzo.html

E-mail:

[email protected]

Phone:

860-240-0595

Address:

Legislative Office Building

Room 2300

Hartford, CT 06106-1591

Edited by The Voice of Reason

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Stewart has been a dummy since he got elected. Actually, I'm assuming he's been a dummy before he got elected, but now we all know about it...

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New Britain Herald

Congressmen advocate for more study on rail line

Monday, May 11, 2009 10:00 PM EDT

By STEVE COLLINS

Staff writer

The possibility of establishing commuter rail between Waterbury and Hartford, with stations in at least Bristol and New Britain, deserves study, two congressmen who represent the region said Monday.

U.S. Rep. John Larson, an East Hartford Democrat whose 1st District includes 27 towns, said that transportation links through the area are going to be crucial as high-speed rail moves forward between New Haven and Springfield, Mass.

Spurs that replicate the historic rail travel patterns in Central Connecticut could be a key element, Larson said.

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Sounds like it's on............

http://www.courant.com/community/news/nb/h...0,2070929.story

RAPID TRANSIT - Hartford-New Britain Busway Projected For Service In 2013

I really hope there is a way to stop this and study and implement the rail option. I really hope Rep. DeFronzo is gaining converts in the legislator.

Most everyone involved in Connecticut transportation planning agrees that the busway stands to substantially affect Greater Hartford's transit patterns and New Britain's prospects for revitalization. But that's where the consensus ends: Advocates say it's the most economical and practical way to create rapid transit

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pardon my complete lack of couth here but...

I am sick of this bull crap!!

absolutely frekin sick of it.

1.2 billion what?

first off the jack hole uses light rail to describe the commuter rail. its not light rail its heavy gague

thats one reason I know he is a moron.

also nothing costs 1.2 billion thats all BS.

somewhere in out government there is this idea that any service built for the people has to be gold plated top of the line all the bells and whistles shiny, complex and high tech.

thats complete bull.

just build us a working rail network. bring us something that gets people safely from one place to another. we do not need brand new everything perfectly landscaped. I hate this aspect of goverment and how it has been perpetuated.

why does everything cost so damn much? because we allow this kind of attitude to exist in out politicians and their projects.

I am so fing fed up!!!

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Looks like we may be starting to get somewhere.

New Britain Herald - DOT Commissioner Supports Rail Line Between Hartford, Waterbury

“The Waterbury to Hartford opportunity is a very good opportunity and potentially a viable one,” Marie said. “Building two rail lines in the state of Connecticut would be better than one. I’d like to be part of that.”

Commuter rail spurs economic growth, Marie said, but supporters of the Waterbury to Hartford line must build a business case for it before they can hope to get federal funding.

“It’s going to take some time and hard work, but we’re prepared to work that through with you,” Marie said.

The rail line between Waterbury and Hartford is now used for slow freight trains and needs a “major overhaul” before it can be used for commuter rail, said Marie. It includes the state’s longest tunnel and, according to Marie, it’s not in very good shape.

Every piece of the line would have be ripped out and replaced between Waterbury and Hartford, Marie said.

Marie couldn’t say how much the project would cost until the study is completed.

And check this out!

New Britain Herald - Leaders May Abandon Busway

BRISTOL

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Awsome set of articles there.

I am still mad about all of this however because I hate the speed at wich these entities drag feet.

How about we make station design and implementation a town issue. not saying hey you are on your own, but basicly say here is the system path springfield waterbury hartford newhaven... then tell every town with even an inch of land along the tracks that they are welcome to get on board if they want. if they want on board they have to come up with a station location and a development/redevelopment plan. the town applies for federal monies RIGHT NOW. every single town could have stations out to bid within 6 months because they are looking at just one small part.

the upgrading for the track and bridges and tunnels etc is a major project and would need to be done with federal and state controll, but each town would basicly do their own station.

Kind of like how meriden has a plan to re-do their station/downtown

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Awsome set of articles there.

I am still mad about all of this however because I hate the speed at wich these entities drag feet.

How about we make station design and implementation a town issue. not saying hey you are on your own, but basicly say here is the system path springfield waterbury hartford newhaven... then tell every town with even an inch of land along the tracks that they are welcome to get on board if they want. if they want on board they have to come up with a station location and a development/redevelopment plan. the town applies for federal monies RIGHT NOW. every single town could have stations out to bid within 6 months because they are looking at just one small part.

the upgrading for the track and bridges and tunnels etc is a major project and would need to be done with federal and state controll, but each town would basicly do their own station.

Kind of like how meriden has a plan to re-do their station/downtown

Good points about the stations. I'm just glad that the legislature is seemingly gearing up to support more rail. I would like to see Waterbury area pols and business interests step up to the plate though.

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Wow! Everyone wants rail except for Tim Stewart it seems. Slifka wants a stop on the NHHS line, not sure how that would work. I just read another article implying that State Sen. DeFronzo also wants a NB stop on the NHHS line. I don't see how that works for NB, maybe for WH but still seems like a stretch. I think the busway supporters are starting to feel some pressure mounting.

My West Hartford Life

“I’ve seen these open houses before and then nothing happens,” Slifka said. “On the other hand, I’ve been advised that it’s coming soon. Nothing would surprise me.”

Slifka would prefer a stop along the planned Springfield to New Haven commuter rail, which Sanders said could receive some of the $8 billion in federal stimulus money for rail projects.

“Our focus is on securing a West Hartford stop on the rail line,” said Slifka, who added that he’s been assured the busway wouldn’t interfere with getting a rail stop. He also said that a rail stop could spawn commercial development, which he doesn’t think would happen from the busway alone.

The New Britain-Hartford Busway proposal has drawn both supporters and detractors.

Some believe it’s a highly efficient, relatively low-cost way to reduce rush hour highway traffic and improve access for commuters and shoppers by linking them to existing and expanded local bus routes. (In addition to the two West Hartford stops, Sanders said, the busway would include connecting service to Bishop’s Corner, West Hartford Center, Westfarms Mall and downtown Hartford.)

Others, like Slifka, feel rail is the better way to go.

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(Should be Heavy Rail)

I agree with that. The rail corridors in this state were always used for connecticut cities by heavy rail. Anything less is a poor use of these corridors, one of Connecticut's best assets. The first place light rail should go is Farmington Avenue between downtown and West Hartford Center. Either way, the busway is a poor choice.

Edited by mikel

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I agree with that. The rail corridors in this state were always used for connecticut cities by heavy rail. Anything less is a poor use of these corridors, one of Connecticut's best assets. The first place light rail should go is Farmington Avenue between downtown and West Hartford Center. Either way, the busway is a poor choice.

Now all we need is the line between Manchester and Willimantic on the way to Putnam and Boston become a train line again.

They should have never put in the walking path, what a waist of money.

How nice would it be to get on a train in Willimantic and be at south station in under 2 hours! I can only wish!

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How nice would it be to get on a train in Willimantic and be at south station in under 2 hours! I can only wish!

It'd still be faster to drive, and I also don't trust Mass. to get its act together.

I definitely do think that at least, eastern Conn. should get a rail link, the 395 corridor to the rest of the inland of the state. Bring it out to Putnam, maybe extend into RI for Providence if they want in.

And then have one run down Route 2 way to Norwich, then south to NL/Groton

Edited by Lowerdeck

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I just read this 2001 Executive Summary and maybe this is a stupid question but is it impossible to have both the busway and commuter rail operating within the same right of way?

Executive Summary on GOBRT.org

ES.2.3.5 Interaction with Rail Operations

ConnDOT and Amtrak have actively coordinated on issues concerning the railroad throughout

the EIS process, and ConnDOT commits to continue actively coordinating with Amtrak

throughout the design process. Where active rail is adjacent to the busway, rail gates will be

provided for rail operations with absolute priority over busway and cross street traffic. Rail gates

and signals will be implemented and designed in coordination with the railroads.

The segment of the busway between Newington Junction and Union Station will run directly

adjacent to Amtrak railroad tracks. The distance from the edge of the busway to the center of the

existing tracks is as little as three meters (ten feet). The project will have to accommodate rail

maintenance access to key areas. Additionally a segment of track will have to be shifted to

accommodate the busway between the Sigourney Street Station and the Armory/Legislative

Office Building Station.

The roadbed for the two main tracks will be kept intact for the entire length of the project. No

existing sidetracks serving freight customers will be negatively impacted. The busway facility

and stations will not preclude the potential for constructing and providing connectivity with

future Amtrak stations and possible commuter rail service.

ES.4.14 Mitigation of Impacts on Amtrak

ConnDOT and Amtrak have actively coordinated on issues concerning the railroad throughout

the EIS process, and ConnDOT will continue actively coordinating with Amtrak throughout the

design process. Detailed description of Amtrak has raised many separate concerns about the

project that need to be addressed to ensure that Amtrak service is not disrupted. Where active rail

is adjacent to the busway, rail gates will be provided for rail operations with absolute priority

over busway and cross street traffic. Rail gates and signals will be implemented and designed in

coordination with Amtrak. Appropriate signal preemptions will be used to prevent queuing on

the railroad and busway. Special signage will also be employed as needed.

The roadbed for the two main tracks will be kept intact for the entire length of the project, and

the design will not preclude double-tracking Amtrak between Newington Junction and Union

Station. The busway also will not preclude future provision of electrical catenary or railroad

stations along Amtrak

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Yes it is possible, but the busway only allows for space for two rails between Newington and Hartford. So a third rail for freight or high speed rail would be impossible.

Between Newington and New Britain it does not offer room for any rail so Waterbury service would be completely impossible.

Now all we need is the line between Manchester and Willimantic on the way to Putnam and Boston become a train line again.

They should have never put in the walking path, what a waist of money.

How nice would it be to get on a train in Willimantic and be at south station in under 2 hours! I can only wish!

On the contrary, those rail trails actually do a great job preserving rail corridors from development.

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A couple of articles from last month. Sen. DeFronzo is really trying to get some movement on the railway but seems to have roconciled himself to the thought that the busway may be inevitable in the short term.

New Britain Herald Editorial: Take a Ride on the Rails

DeFronzo, co-chairman of the General Assembly Transportation Committee said,

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Tom Condon, whom I respect a great deal, puts forth his reasoning why the Busway should be built at this time instead of scrapping it in favor of rail in the corridor.

After looking at the rail corridors that will be affected by the Busway going forward I am now wondering if there would still be a way to establish Waterbury to Hartford rail service and still have the busway operating at the same time. The rail ine that the NHHS line will operate on runs parallel to the Busway and it seems to me that the rail line from Bristol could relatively easily be rerouted around New Britain into Newington and onto Hartford. I think this may be the ideal long term solution since the state seems comitted to the Busway. New Britain will just be on the Busway while many other nearby towns will have a stop on the rail line.

Hartford Courant

Back in the early 1990s, New Britain Mayor Donald DeFronzo and I were standing atop a parking garage in New Britain, shooting a television special about cities. He noted ruefully that a highway built through the city two decades earlier had savaged the city's grand list without even putting an exit into downtown (a mistake that took years to correct).

Today, DeFronzo is a state senator from New Britain and co-chairman of the legislature's transportation committee. About a year ago he realized that commuter rail along the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield "Inland Route" line might actually happen.

The problem with this, from DeFronzo's perspective, is that it could lead to another transportation mistake for New Britain. The Hardware City isn't on the main line. So, as he said in a recent interview, there may be trains zipping up and down the line, leaving New Britain off on a sidetrack.

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