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Old 09-20-2007, 06:21 PM
 
539 posts, read 1,240,057 times
Reputation: 184
Default Light rail service (I-84 or I-91)

Take a look at the Van Wyck Expressway heading towards Kennedy Airport...has anyone noticed the train that they built that connects the Jamacia subway stop to the Airport? The train runs above the median of the expressway...they literally built it along the highway. Is there some reason outside of aesthetics that this couldnt be done in Hartford?
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
13,838 posts, read 21,172,860 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JiminCT View Post
Is there some reason outside of aesthetics that this couldnt be done in Hartford?
Cost, low ridership due to low population density. That line cost $100's of millions and there are a lot more people that would use it than a similar system in Hartford. Plus the conservative people of Connecticut would fight it to the death on aesthics alone. JMHO Jay
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:10 AM
 
271 posts, read 865,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
Cost, low ridership due to low population density.
Here is a quote from a recent article in the Hartford Courant:

"So, why is it that Connecticut, the fourth-densest state in the Union and, if it were its own country, the 42nd most densely populated nation on earth (ahead of the UK, Germany and the Philippines), has no worthy mass transit systems beyond commuter rail into New York City?"

The excuse that CT is not dense enough is tired and old. The fact is the state would rather spend millions on widening a highway by another lane.

The railroad infrastructure in CT is there and still in use. Many people don't realize that freight trains criss cross the state, often on train tracks that used to be passenger train lines. For example Jim asks an interesting question about passenger train service along I-84. Well, it wouldn't be necessary to build anything new because there is a train line in use today that runs from Waterbury to Hartford, it is run by Pan Am Railways. The major infrastructure is in place today, the tracks, the track bed, the crossings, etc... Down in southern Florida they have worked out deals with the freight train companies to lease their trackage to run passenger trains, why can't something similar happen in Connecticut??

Every once in a while somebody suggests putting passenger service in Eastern CT linking up to the casinos. Well, CT Southern Railroad operates freight trains on a rail line that runs from New London to Norwich to Stafford and up to Worcester. The infrastructure is there already.
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Old 09-21-2007, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
13,838 posts, read 21,172,860 times
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Density is a relative term. Compare Connecticut to New York State. Upstate New York is vast and not very populated. That is direct opposite of New York City which is very densely populated. They balance each nother out so New York State would not be considered a densely populated state even though it has the most densely populated section of the country within its borders. Connecticut does not have anywhere near the density of New York City. Neither does Hartford or New Haven. To make rail mass-transit work you need a large block of people that want to go from one place to another place. We just do not have that here.

As for the rail lines that exist, just because they carry freight, does not mean they can carry passenger trains. Most of these lines are single tracks on narrow right-of-ways running through peoples backyards. People tollerate an occasional freight train but constant commuter service would be fought hard. At least portions of the lines would have to be widened with two tracks to allow trains traveling in opposite direcitons to pass each other. This makes scheduling service very difficult and limits times that freight trains can travel (they travel at differnet speeds). Companies that own these tracks would have to alter their service and they would not necessarily just agree to do it.

Finally, how many people are really interested in traveling from Worcester to New London. Not many. Train service sounds great but the reality of it is that people like their cars and aren't ready to give up that convenience yet. Maybe if the price of gas were at $10 a gallon, but not yet anyway. JMHO Jay
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Old 09-22-2007, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
223 posts, read 756,323 times
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I believe expanding commuter rail in Connecticut is a practical way to reduce highway congestion and to encourage more high-density development and less suburban sprawl. For example, linking New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield with reliable commuter rail service with convenient or seamless transfers to Metro North would help mitigate some of the state's long-term transporation and economic challenges.

I don't believe commuter rail is viable for eastern Connecticut. However, I do support expanding Shore Line East service to New London, and upgrading the Danbury and Waterbury branches of Metro North in western Connecticut

Finally, I don't think light rail is a viable option in Connecticut. Light rail systems cost millions of dollars to establish, millions of dollars to expand, and millions of dollars to maintain. They also provide relatively slow service on a fixed route. I am much more in favor of developing a flexible bus network with state-of-the-art vehicles to better serve the state's urban, suburban, and major employment centers. I would also design the bus network to offer efficient connecting service to commuter rail lines.
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Old 12-08-2007, 01:41 PM
 
Location: New Haven
24 posts, read 71,422 times
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There is an alternative to light rail mass transit being planned for the New Britain-Hartford area. A rapid transit busway is in development which will basically be a dedicated roadway for the sole use of mass transit buses. It will follow an old railway right of way and will have stations along it's route. Here is a link to more info on the busway. A video on the site shows the route as well as the planned station locations.

Home | New Britain to Hartford Rapid Transit Public Website |
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Old 12-08-2007, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
54 posts, read 247,709 times
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One of the things I am looking for in a new place to live is the accessibility of public transportation. However, I am finding that many (most?) cities in the US are lacking in this regard. I have been looking at the Hartford-Springfield area as a possible move location as I am rather familiar with area.

Driving into Springfield isn't too bad, but Hartford traffic is not my idea of a good time. I recall many a morning trying to beat the rush on I-84.

Light rail would be nice, but the costs can quickly get out of hand. A suitable bus service, if set up correctly, would be far more cost-effective and would also provide the added benefit of not upsetting the NIMBY crowd by using existing roadways.
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Old 12-09-2007, 01:38 PM
 
639 posts, read 1,804,417 times
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Quote:
Well, CT Southern Railroad operates freight trains on a rail line that runs from New London to Norwich to Stafford and up to Worcester. The infrastructure is there already.

That would be New England Central railroad and Providence and Worcester railroad.

Back in 1900-1950, Willimantic was one of the biggest rail hubs in New England. Service to Providence/Boston, Norwich/New London, Stafford, Hartford, New Haven, Waterbury, NYC.....

The tracks from Willimantic to Hartford were turned into trails. A good amount of work would have to be done on this line to get it back up and running. The line from Willimantic to Providence once again is mainly trails now. After a hurricane, I believe the one in 38, there was a large bridge that got destroyed and never was rebuilt.



Quote:
Light rail would be nice, but the costs can quickly get out of hand. A suitable bus service, if set up correctly, would be far more cost-effective and would also provide the added benefit of not upsetting the NIMBY crowd by using existing roadways.
People simply don't like to ride buses. Trains on the other hand are used more and are liked more. You see everyone from poor people to wealthy business people riding light rail or commuter trains. Not so much the same with buses.
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Milford, CT
326 posts, read 560,077 times
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I am surprised that metro-north does not continue from New Haven to Hartford to Springfield. I see Amtrak comes up to Hartford but not metro north. I wonder how much it would cost to add a few trains to do this route. 2 or 3 train times during rush hours would alleviate congestion on I-91. I guess we would need gas to double for this to happen.
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
13,838 posts, read 21,172,860 times
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Actually there are plans to provide commuter rail service from New Haven to Springfield. Up until now it did not make sense to provide this service. There just is not the ridership to support it. Even now they are projecting that this serivce will not pay for itself and will cost the Connecticut taxpayers a lot of money. Jay
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