Thursday, April 27, 2006

Rail Excitement

At some point in the near future, if I want to travel to Hartford and not have to pay an arm and a leg for parking downtown (or parking in Great River Park and walking across the bridge), I'll be able to drive to the Enfield train station in Thompsonville, hop on the commuter rail for what will hopefully be a reasonable fee, and ride down to Union Station.

This is very exciting.

Less exciting but still interesting is the fact that I could, once at Union Station, ride that silly busway to New Britain. Maybe I could get off in the swamp near Cedar Street in Newington. Why not? There's going to be a station there.

But that swamp will soon become much more accessible to me. And that's pretty exciting, too.

Now all I need is an easier way to get to the airport.


BRubenstein said...

Rail in europe is either free to its citizens or there is a marginal cost and that should be the case here.

stomv said...

I'm a bit concerned that the recently completed, proposed, and planned mass transit systems throughout Connecticut (and across to NY, MA, and RI) aren't part of an overall plan.

Connecting the sections of mass transit are essential, and I'm not so sure that's happening so well.

Hopefully, I'm wrong.

And as for Rail in europe is either free to its citizens or there is a marginal cost... bupkis. That's simply not true. Rail ain't cheap in Europe -- but driving is at least twice as expensive as it is in tUSA and tends to be slower due to fewer superhighways.

BRubenstein said...

Dear Stomv..."marginal cost" i grant you is a subjective term...i will say this..there are some countries that provide rail service at below market price to its citizens..and we should also..

ctblogger said...

I'm still praying for the day when I can take a train from Danbury and go straight to New York munis the hassle of dealing with silly South Norwalk.

It would be so easy to connect Danbury to the Harlem line which starts in Brewster NY and would solve the traffic problem on 84 and 684.

FrankS said...

I won't hold out to much hope, it's taken Jodie Rell 12 years in statewide offices to figure out for sure that there's a transportation problem in Fairfield County.

Now that "We get it.", we are sure to see those improvements any day.

Dave Mooney said...


What's the drive like from Danbury to Brewster during rush hour? How much time/hassle would you expect to save if you could train it vs. driving to the Brewster station?

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...


Right, because as lieutenant governor on Planet Partisan, and like all lieutenant governors before her (and Kevin Sullivan today), during those 12 years Rell was a completely equal partner and had a decisive role in transportation policy, among other issues.

Meanwhile, here on Planet Earth, some of us think that Rell is the only one who actually achieved something on the transportation front when all anyone else managed to do was furrow their brow and wring their hands about what a problem it was.

Oh, and she figured out how to pay for it, too, without bonding your children into indentured servitude.

You're welcome.

ctblogger said...

David Mooney said...

I just talked about the Danbury sitaution on my blog but here's the brief rundown.

The problem with the Danbury line is taht it's linked to the New Haven Line. Danbury is basically a shuttle service to South Norwalk. From there, you have to get off the train and wait at least fifteen minutes to catch the New Haven Line and go to NYC. I would say the whole trip takes about 2 and 1/2 hours and it's a real pain.

Now Brewester is right next door to Danbury and driving to the station takes about ten minutes max. The Harlem line goes straight down Westchester County and it takes about 1 and 1/2 hours to pull into Grand Central.

If you can find a way to park in Brewster for free (or get a ride to the station), going to NYC viz Brewster is the way to go. No one likes the Danbury line becasue it's simply too slow and the New Haven Line is horrible.

For the life of me, I will never understand why Danbury is hooked up to the New Haven line when it would take very little effort to connect Danbury to Brewster. There is already a track that goes between Danbury and Brewster that is not being used.

Again, you can check my post on this matter as I have maps of the Harlem and New Haven line as well as a link to the schedules.

This has been a complaint among Danbury residents for as long as I can remember. Very few people who work in NYC take the Danbury train.

ctblogger said...


There is no traffic problem between Danbury and Brewster, the problem is when you get to the I-84/I-684 interchange (most of the time). If there is any traffic, the local people know the side roads and can avoid it (i.e. Route 6, taking the "Jesus tree" road, driving up Route 22 and entering Danbury by North Street, etc.)

ctblogger said...


Just read my post here and I made it seem like that was all one short cut.

Those are all diffent type of ways to get into Danbury from New York without using 684/84 that hard-core locals use to aviod traffic. I forgot to remove the word "and" between the words "Route 22" and "entering".

Dave Mooney said...

I would agree Brewster is the way to go for an NYC trip. However, the New Haven line connection is useful for getting down to Norwalk and Stamford. (One of my coworkers does this.)

It's too bad they didn't include a phase where they setup a shuttle bus from Danbury to the Brewster station to provide an interim solution. Buying or repurposing some shuttle buses is something that could be done right away. It sounds like the new service is three or more years away. Why wait? When the trains are running then you can shut down the shuttle service or use it to bridge some other transit gap, say, New Britian to Hartford? :)

Chris MC said...

A train originating in Danbury or dare I suggest it, points east, and not requiring a change in Brewster would be very interesting. The number of people commuting into NYC from Danbury and environs is quite large, and a two hour train ride instead of a two hour car ride into town would be very attractive.

Wolcottboy said...

Have any of the Danbury area state legislators proposed anything about linking up with the Westchester / Brewster line?

stomv, I agree. Many of the lines run or will run north/south - following the river valleys. east-west coverage, like along the lines of I-84, 384 and 2 are not covered. Even along the central lines, especially in the Quinnipiac and Connecticut River Valleys there is little mass transit to connect the suburbs.

stomv said...

I grew up in Brookfield (adjacent to Danbury). A line from Danbury to Brewster sounds like a real winner, and if some of the time it went straight down to Harlem (instead of requiring a switch at Brewster) it would be even more popular.

I wonder if extending to Danbury is enough, or if it should be extended even further, say, Newtown, or even further... just thinking with my keyboard here.

middlesexist said...

The really painfully obvious next step is rail connecting Hartford to Storrs. It seems kind of ridiculous that our state university is in the middle of nowhere.

Moreover, the lack of any transportation infrastructure in Northeastern Connecticut (lets be honest) means that UCONN can't have much of an economic trickle down effect on surrounding communities. Anybody been to Wilimantic lately?

But I'm ecstatic that Jim Amman and the Governor are supporting this --- rail will help the entire I-91 corridor, and make the area much more attractive to businesses that would otherwise locate in Fairfield county, Westchester or Jersey.

bluecoat said...

Train station derails businessman
Here's the link to the Saturday CT Post article just to keep the saga of how ConnDOT works or doesn't work on eminent domain when building train stations for economic development. You too can get screwed by your government!