Central Connecticut Rail Study Hartford-Waterbury (Busway)

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New Britatin/Hartford Busway

Postby bobbarbn » Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:42 am

Recently we have been hearing about Gov. Rell's interest in establishing a busway from New Britain to Hartford. It appears that this busway will primarily follow the old Highland Division of the New Haven (Conrail) railroad between the two cities.

It still amazes me why they would want to put a busway in where there is already an established TRACK (albeit out of service and in need of a rehab). Well, I guess it really doesn't "amaze" me as long as there are TILCON's and other large constructiion outfits that believe that a 12 lane highway is more economical than a single track railroad.

The attached link gives you a pretty good overview of the proposed
project and some photographs as well. Hopefully this post will generate some interesting replies. Enjoy!

http://www.ctrapidtransit.com/
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Postby octr202 » Tue Feb 21, 2006 8:37 am

Here's the other key part of the answer to "Why a busway?"

The New Britain - Hartford Busway was selected as one of ten Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) demonstration projects. The BRT initiative aims to implement projects that improve the speed, reliability and convenience of bus service, along with improving mobility and promoting a healthy environment.


This is the same wonderful federal program that has blessed us up here in Boston with the Silver Line...Bus Rapid Transit without the rapid part.
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Postby TomNelligan » Tue Feb 21, 2006 9:06 am

Just wait until there's a big snowstorm and see what happens.

Bus Rapid Transit is the new buzz from Washington, mainly because it's a lot cheaper than laying and maintaining rails, and if implemented correctly (unlike the Silver Line along Washington Street in Boston) it does cut trip times. There are a few situations where it makes sense, like the MBTA's SL1 line from South Station to Logan Airport, which uses a dedicated tunnel under Fort Point Channel (and interesting dual-mode articulated buses that run electrically through there) and then the Ted Williams Tunnel to the airport. The cost of building another transit tunnel under the harbor, as well as trackage around the airport, would have been enormous, so rubber tired transit makes sense at that end of the route while a traffic-avoiding subway-like tunnel keeps the buses off jammed streets at the South Station end. But BRT has less capacity than a rail system, is slower even if isolated from traffic, and is more susceptible to weather interruptions.

Given the current state of downtown Hartford and the wholesale migration of non-government jobs to the suburbs over the last couple decades, I wonder how much business there is for an improved New Britain-Hartford service anyway. A rail line there could wind up like Buffalo's light rail system, a nice surface/subway system that has very little ridership because there's not much of a downtown there anymore, at least not in terms of supporting a subway.
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Central Connecticut Rail Study Hartford-Waterbury (Busway)

Postby Trainer » Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:20 am

Citing delays and high costs for key Hartford-region transit initiatives, two lawmakers are pushing harder to fast-track a different project: the re-establishment of commuter rail service to the city from Waterbury.

Upgrading the heart of the route -- a 22-mile stretch of little-used freight line between Waterbury and Berlin -- probably would cost under $20 million, according to an executive with the company that owns the tracks.


http://www.connpost.com/localnews/ci_11507585

At least they're being creative, but in Connecticut, $20 million won't even cover the cost of the studies.
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Central Connecticut Rail Study Hartford - Berlin- Waterbury

Postby coltsfoot » Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:55 pm

Is not this interesting following ?


http://www.newbritainherald.com/article ... 102930.txt


By STEVE COLLINS
Staff Writer

BRISTOL — Those pushing commuter rail instead of a busway say it makes more sense to put transportation money into railroads.

Mike Nicastro, the president of the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce, said a busway from New Britain to Hartford won’t do anything for Bristol and surrounding towns.

A commuter rail line that ties Waterbury and Hartford together along the old Highland route including stations in Bristol, Plainville and New Britain would benefit everyone, Nicastro said.

The rail line would end Bristol’s transportation isolation and allow residents in the region easy access to New York City and beyond by rail, he said.
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Re: bus way-new britain,ct

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:03 am

coltsfoot wrote:Is not this interesting following ?


http://www.newbritainherald.com/article ... 102930.txt


In my opinion it is a waste of money that Connecticut can not afford to waste.
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Re: bus way-new britain,ct

Postby gawlikfj » Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:04 pm

I can see ESPN's point of view and it makes more sense to use rail than a bus with the traffic getting worse.
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Re: bus way-new britain,ct

Postby Ridgefielder » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:43 pm

The whole idea of the "busway" sounds a bit ill-thought-out. It always seemed to me like the biggest problem in the Hartford area was vehicular traffic in and around downtown Hartford itself... hard to see how building another road solely for buses (which would of course go onto the existing road network when they got downtown) would do much good.

Personally, from purely a transportation standpoint, I think that if you could reinstate service from Waterbury to Hartford on the Highland, maintaining the same scheduled time the New Haven took in the '50s, you'd get pretty decent ridership.

Unfortunately, since my understanding is that you'd basically have to rebuild the track structure from the bottom up, Connecticut's status as the second-most-heavily-indebted state (on a per-capita basis) probably makes spending money on this a no-go for the foreseeable future.
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Re: bus way-new britain,ct

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:50 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:The whole idea of the "busway" sounds a bit ill-thought-out. It always seemed to me like the biggest problem in the Hartford area was vehicular traffic in and around downtown Hartford itself... hard to see how building another road solely for buses (which would of course go onto the existing road network when they got downtown) would do much good.

Once the floods hit in August, 1955 the passenger service on the Waterbury - Hartford line existed of two round trips a day
and only one was in the normal rush hour. Soon after it was reduced to one round trip five days a week. There is not much
point in putting a nickel into this if there was to be only one or two round trips a day. The through trains to Boston also
made their last runs on August 18, 1955, the day before the high waters.
I still don't think it makes one bit of sense to put money in this line for passenger service.
Noel Weaver

Personally, from purely a transportation standpoint, I think that if you could reinstate service from Waterbury to Hartford on the Highland, maintaining the same scheduled time the New Haven took in the '50s, you'd get pretty decent ridership.

Unfortunately, since my understanding is that you'd basically have to rebuild the track structure from the bottom up, Connecticut's status as the second-most-heavily-indebted state (on a per-capita basis) probably makes spending money on this a no-go for the foreseeable future.
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Re: bus way-new britain,ct

Postby Otto Vondrak » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:34 am

I think these were the last numbers I heard about the two projects...

Busway - $579 million

Railway - $350 million

As ShopRite used to ask, "Why Pay More?"

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Re: bus way-new britain,ct

Postby Engineer Spike » Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:41 pm

I think that it is funny that we HAVE to rebuild a transportation system which our fathers already HAD!
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Re: bus way-new britain,ct

Postby Noel Weaver » Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:57 pm

Engineer Spike wrote:I think that it is funny that we HAVE to rebuild a transportation system which our fathers already HAD!


This is an excellent point BUT since this line closed in 1960 I-84 has been built and it is far more useful than even the four
or five round trips that existed before the floods in 1955. Today the jobs in Hartford are much more spread out, what jobs
that are still there anyway, and just running a train from the railroad station in Waterbury to the railroad station in Hartford
will not serve the people who are still traveling to the Harftford area for work.
In most cases I favor rail over highways and trains over buses but in this case I don't think the train will do that well
given that the people will still need to go somewhere besides the area around the Hartford station.
To restore this line to passenger operation would require basically all new track and stations as well. Today there is no track
between New Britain and Hartford without going roundabout through Berlin and that is a minus.
I well remember riding this line many different times over the years and would love to ride it again but spending a fortune
that Connecticut does not have on this would not make any sense whatsoever.
This line could have still been running if the state had seen fit to support service over it in 1960 but they did not and in
fact none of the states in the area offered help to the New Haven Railroad to keep the commuter trains operating. Yes the
State of Massachusetts did help with the Old Colony for one year but then they elected highways over rail and when they
decided to restore service to the Old Colony it cost them a fortune to extend the "T" to Braintree and commuter trains south
of that point. They would have saved a bundle if they had simply support the existing service back in 1959 and a whole
generation of residents could have used that service to get to Boston and back. Hartford is not Boston, it does not have
nearly the business that Boston has and doesn't have the public transportation that Boston has either. It's too late today to
use this line again.
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Re: bus way-new britain,ct

Postby Statkowski » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:13 pm

From Time Table No. 173, April 29, 1951; all times shown are Standard time:

Eastward
No. 128, departed Waterbury 5:30 a.m., arrived Hartford 6:19 a.m., arrived Boston 9:07 a.m. - Ex. Sat. and Sun.
No. 444, departed Waterbury 5:50 a.m., arrived Hartford 6:48 a.m. - Ex. Sat. and Sun.
No. 450, departed Waterbury 6:05 a.m., arrived Hartford 7:03 a.m. - Sat. only
No. 446, departed Waterbury 6:55 a.m., arrived Hartford 7:50 a.m. - Ex. Sat. and Sun.
No.136, departed Waterbury 3:33 p.m., arrived Hartford 4:50 p.m., arrived Boston 8:15 p.m. - Ex. Sun.
No. 472, departed Waterbury 7:26 p.m., arrived Hartford 8:40 p.m. - Ex. Sun.

Westward
No. 421, departed Hartford 5:07 a.m., arrived Waterbury 6:36 a.m. - Ex. Sun.
No. 131, departed Hartford 11:07 a.m., arrived Waterbury 12:20 p.m. - Ex. Sun.
No. 157, departed Hartford 3:01 p.m., arrived Waterbury 4:04 p.m., arrived Bridgeport 5:19 p.m. - Ex. Sun.
No. 463, departed Hartford 4:20 p.m., arrived Waterbury 5:28 p.m. - Ex. Sun.
No. 129, departed Hartford 5:18 p.m., arrived Waterbury 6:06 p.m. - Ex. Sat. and Sun.
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Re: bus way-new britain,ct

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:21 am

Statkowski wrote:From Time Table No. 173, April 29, 1951; all times shown are Standard time:

Eastward
No. 128, departed Waterbury 5:30 a.m., arrived Hartford 6:19 a.m., arrived Boston 9:07 a.m. - Ex. Sat. and Sun.
No. 444, departed Waterbury 5:50 a.m., arrived Hartford 6:48 a.m. - Ex. Sat. and Sun.
No. 450, departed Waterbury 6:05 a.m., arrived Hartford 7:03 a.m. - Sat. only
No. 446, departed Waterbury 6:55 a.m., arrived Hartford 7:50 a.m. - Ex. Sat. and Sun.
No.136, departed Waterbury 3:33 p.m., arrived Hartford 4:50 p.m., arrived Boston 8:15 p.m. - Ex. Sun.
No. 472, departed Waterbury 7:26 p.m., arrived Hartford 8:40 p.m. - Ex. Sun.

Westward
No. 421, departed Hartford 5:07 a.m., arrived Waterbury 6:36 a.m. - Ex. Sun.
No. 131, departed Hartford 11:07 a.m., arrived Waterbury 12:20 p.m. - Ex. Sun.
No. 157, departed Hartford 3:01 p.m., arrived Waterbury 4:04 p.m., arrived Bridgeport 5:19 p.m. - Ex. Sun.
No. 463, departed Hartford 4:20 p.m., arrived Waterbury 5:28 p.m. - Ex. Sun.
No. 129, departed Hartford 5:18 p.m., arrived Waterbury 6:06 p.m. - Ex. Sat. and Sun.


None of these trains were particularly heavy regarding passenger use. Trains 131 and 136 had RPO's for US Mail which
helped to pay their costs and 150 and 157 also had an RPO in an RDC-3 after the RDC's arrived on the Naugy.
By timetable 3 dated April 28, 1957 there was one commuter round trip 6 days a week. It carried two cars soley for the
travel between New Britain and Hartford. The railroad could not possibly make a profit on this service as it was operated
in 1957. Between 1951 and August, 1955 the mail paid a good share of the costs of providing service in this territory.
After August, 1955 the railroad made sure that the mail would not return and it never did. Railway Express returned between
Waterbury and Bridgeport for a period of time but not for too long, maybe a year and maybe not even that. By April, 1957
the express business was also handled by trucks.
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Re: bus way-new britain,ct

Postby coltsfoot » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:45 am

I posted that sort of out of 'satire'. How long has this crazy bus way been discussed with nothing happening ??


I can't speak as a guru for financial things but to me passenger service between Waterbury-Hartford would be a positive. Options of NYC and where else ?


This is not 1960. Once there was no interstate. (84)


The Interstate chronic has the habit of bringing 'development' along it's ROW. Much of the area around I-84 would be nothing if it were not for the Interstate. As the decades go by development increases.


Then the Interstate starts getting clogged.



Simply the population in that area is different in 2010-2020 than in 1950.
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