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Officials push to get Bridgeport East Side train station back on track
https://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Of ... 560130.php
“The governor made a very strong statement the day he was inaugurated about investing in rail travel to improve Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure. We endorse this vision,” said a statement from [Mayor Joe} Ganim. “The city and state have already invested millions to develop the area around the proposed Barnum Station in anticipation that this new station would be built.”
Ganim said he and Bridgeport State Legislators had a conference call with officials from Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration to reenforce the city’s commitment to the station.
“The East Side and other adjoining neighborhoods have gotten their hopes up about the possibility of a new rail station and are looking to us as leaders to make it happen,” Ganim said.
“We understand the desire to advance the Barnum Station and will continue to work with the city and the General Assembly. As we set priorities for the next few years, all of our rail facilities will be evaluated for future enhancement,” said CTCOT Commissioner Joseph J. Giulietti in a prepared statement in the news release sent out by the mayor’s office.
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Initially I was in favor of the Barnum station, but I have changed my mind in favor of putting in island platforms at the existing Bridgeport station. It makes sense to link Waterbury with a one-seat ride to a major city center station with local and express service, neither of which a Barnum Avenue or Devon station furnishes, and which I think is worth at least some cost premium over either of those solutions. The area around the existing Bridgeport station doesn't seem massively more constrained than around Barnum Avenue, even though it is much nearer the center of the city. On the land side of the embankment, there is some room to shift the track closer to Water Street, which itself seems like it could be narrowed. It would be ideal to have a fifth bay platform for Waterbury trains--it really only needs 4 car lengths, but even with four platform tracks, fluidity is improved by cutting out crossover moves for express and semi-express service. It also becomes easier to have an express overtake a local between New Haven and Stamford once more than one train going the same direction can load at Bridgeport simultaneously. Moreover, flexibility to accommodate disruptions increases. From what I can see, eastbound Waterbury service usually crosses over to the eastbound track and back over; this seems like more trouble than it's worth. If NJT and Amtrak can manage dozens of contraflow moves for Raritan Valley service around Newark, I fail to see how a contraflow operation for Waterbury service would intractably gum up the works from Bridgeport to Devon. I would, however, like to see a cost estimate for a fifth track at Stratford served by a platform, as I think it could increase flexibility.