Governor Malloy Moves to Add Rail Cars to New Haven Line

Feb 5th, 2011 | By | Category: Featured Story

Buses on Waterbury Branch Will Free Up Rail Cars for Overburdened New Haven Line

(Hartford, CT) – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has moved to add much-needed rail cars to the beleaguered New Haven Line – announcing that buses will be used on the Waterbury Branch commuter rail line beginning Saturday, freeing up two 7-car, diesel-powered trains that can be put into service on the New Haven Line. With each car carrying about 100 people, the action will make about 1,400 additional seats available, according to a news release from the Governor’s office.

According to the MTA:

The extreme winter weather’s repeated pummeling of the region has had a devastating impact on our New Haven Line.

Significant car shortages due to record-breaking amounts of snow and extreme cold have forced us to operate all our trains with fewer than scheduled cars. We have also had to cancel trains which exacerbate the problem and reduce the reliability of your commute.

“This brutal and punishing winter has meant unprecedented breakdowns on the New Haven Line and anything we can do to supplement service, we will do,” Governor Malloy said. “We are happy to use existing resources to help our partners at Metro-North.”

“Furthermore, this is an important step toward maintaining commerce during this difficult winter season,” the Governor added. “People need to get to work. If they can’t, their companies suffer and, ultimately, our overall economy suffers.”

The branch line runs from Waterbury to Bridgeport, where it connects with the New Haven Line. There are stops in between at Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, Seymour, Ansonia and Derby/Shelton.

Because of the weather-related rail car breakdowns, Metro-North has announced a reduced train schedule beginning Monday, February 7 and continuing through Friday, March 4, 2011. The Waterbury bus schedule will be posted on the Metro-North website – www.mta.info. Customers may also call 212 532-4900.

The buses will come from CTTransit, which operates bus service around the state, under the auspices of the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT). The busing plan will be essentially the same plan that was operated successfully and reliably in the summer of 2009 when there was a major track-upgrade program on the rail line.  Generally, buses will leave Waterbury heading for Bridgeport about 15 minutes earlier than the regular train times.  A combination of express and local buses will be operated.  For the return trip, buses will connect with trains at Bridgeport.  Express and local buses will also operate for that service.

Metro-North operates the New Haven Line and its three branches – Waterbury, Danbury and New Canaan – under a contract with the DOT. It has 37 million passenger trips annually, consistently making it the busiest or second-busiest in the country.

Revised weekend bus service will begin Saturday, February 5, 2011.

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