Huge Numbers Turn Out to Ride Rails

Mike Guerrera
June 17, 2018 - 10:17 am

Governor Dannel Malloy's Office released the following press release Sunday morning:

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that over 10,300 people rode the CTrail Hartford Line during its opening day of service on Saturday, June 16.  Travel on the new rail service is free for all customers on opening weekend and continues through Sunday, June 17.  Because of the significant demand on opening day, additional service will be added on Sunday.

“After decades of talk it’s finally here, and the large number of people riding the train on Saturday shows that there is considerable interest in this service,” Governor Malloy said.  “We built this rail line because of the economic development potential that it can attract, and the thousands of people who rode the line on Saturday shows the business community exactly what they can expect to see if they relocate to any area near the Hartford Line corridor.”

“We saw extraordinary interest in Hartford Line on the first day of service,” Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Commissioner James P. Redeker said.  “Although the trains were crowded, the excitement was palpable, which could be seen on the many smiling faces.  Given the overwhelming demand we experienced Saturday, we are redoubling our efforts to provide more seats and extra service Sunday.”

Peter Pan Bus Lines and DATTCO are honoring Hartford Line rail tickets between New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield this weekend.  Customers should show their rail ticket to the bus driver when boarding.

Amtrak will also operate additional service between Springfield and New Haven tomorrow.  Customers should look for CTrail ambassadors in red shirts at the train stations to assist with travel options.

CTDOT has also arranged for standby buses to be dispatched as needed to ensure all customers get where they need to go in a reasonable timeframe.

“Today’s enthusiastic ridership response from the public is very encouraging,” CTDOT Public Transportation Chief Rich Andreski said.  “We also are very optimistic about the positive economic benefits already happening in the communities located in and around each train station.  There’s some tremendous momentum that’s happening, and the New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield corridor is already starting to benefit.”

The CTrail Hartford Line is the first new passenger rail service to open in Connecticut in nearly three decades.  The Hartford Line connects commuters to existing rail services in New Haven that allow for easy connections to Boston, New York City, and beyond, including the New Haven Line (Metro-North), Shore Line East, Amtrak Acela and Northeast Regional services.  CTtransit local bus service is also available at most stations along the line, and connections to the CTfastrak bus rapid transit system is available in Hartford.

Stations along the line from north to south include New Haven Union Station, New Haven State Street, Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford, Windsor, Windsor Locks, and Springfield, Massachusetts.  Trains run approximately every 45 minutes during the morning and evening peak periods.  Fares along the line vary depending on place of origin and destination.  The fare between Hartford and New Haven is just $8.00.