CTDOT: Hartford Line

Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

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gregorygrice
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by gregorygrice » Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:56 am

4400, the train that was cut arrived at Springfield at 6:20am. It was mainly cut due to low ridership and for reasons I stated above. It was replaced with 4450 which runs to Hartford.

njt/mnrrbuff
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:15 pm

I don't think that too many people who are working in Springfield start their shifts around the 7:00 hour. Springfield is as large of a city as Washington, DC or Baltimore. The ride from New Haven to Springfield isn't short either. I'm not saying that many people don't commute 62 miles each way especially if its a 90 minutes train ride. Many do. It's just that Springfield doesn't have as many job industries as any of the larger cities in the Northeast. Hartford has plenty of office buildings near the train station. That 4450 option is great for people who are working an 8:00 to 4:00 shift.

jxzz
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by jxzz » Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:42 pm

I would say, commute for 1 hour on a rail is not by choice for most people. But, reality kick in, family friends ties, housing price intimidation etc.
Lay off comes frequently nowadays. The commute to another city is attractive. Sometimes one might get salary raise and all the monthly pass cost is all covered, neat.

Actually, I commuted for a year from New Haven area to NYC, and now to Stamford. I am now used to Metro North, treat it like subway or bus. Actually it is better than bus. Shockingly, one day I was checking my google map for bus, Branford to New Haven downtown one of the bus line takes about 1 hour for full ride. Express train from New Haven to Stamford is only 50 minutes. CTrail Shore Line East from Branford station to New Haven Union station is only 15 minutes or less. It is completely off the chart on speed, geography verses distance.

lordsigma12345
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by lordsigma12345 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:58 pm

I was not surprised 4400 got cut. That train ran too early to be useful for most people’s purposes. Way too early for Hartford and also too early for anyone who may be commuting to Springfield to use it. It was a glorified dead head. I don’t see them trying to do a proper northbound commuter trip for Springfield without mass kicking in funding or until service frequencies are eventually increased long term.

troffey
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by troffey » Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:24 pm

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:15 pm
I don't think that too many people who are working in Springfield start their shifts around the 7:00 hour. Springfield is as large of a city as Washington, DC or Baltimore. The ride from New Haven to Springfield isn't short either. I'm not saying that many people don't commute 62 miles each way especially if its a 90 minutes train ride. Many do. It's just that Springfield doesn't have as many job industries as any of the larger cities in the Northeast. Hartford has plenty of office buildings near the train station. That 4450 option is great for people who are working an 8:00 to 4:00 shift.
Baltimore: 619,000 people
Washington: 633,000 people
Springfield, MA: 154,000 people. It's not a major city.

lordsigma12345 wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:58 pm
I was not surprised 4400 got cut. That train ran too early to be useful for most people’s purposes. Way too early for Hartford and also too early for anyone who may be commuting to Springfield to use it. It was a glorified dead head. I don’t see them trying to do a proper northbound commuter trip for Springfield without mass kicking in funding or until service frequencies are eventually increased long term.
The schedule for 4400 wasn't good for anyone. When this project was proposed, MassDOT was supposed to build a layover yard for both CTrail and Knowledge Corridor services. Then we elected Two Buck Chuck, and the project never got built or even discussed. That's where Massachusetts really dropped the ball for improved service on the northern portion of the line.

gregorygrice
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by gregorygrice » Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:31 pm

4400's main purpose was for people heading south on 4401. They sold the trip instead of making a deadhead.

njt/mnrrbuff
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:54 pm

Had Connecticut had better political power, the Springfield Line capacity and commuter rail project would have been done years ago. In addition, much of the Springfield Line would have been double tracked by now. The highway projects around Hartford would have probably been done by down. If Marc operated a Penn Line train between Washington Union Station and Baltimore Penn Station that departed the same time as Ctrail Train # 4400 did, that Marc train would probably do better with ridership during the week given the amount of industries being greater in the greater Baltimore area than in Springfield. Ctrail Hartford Line Train # 4400 was not only too early for people living between in New Haven and along the Springfield Line. There were probably no connections from Metro North at that hour.

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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by jxzz » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:08 pm

It is money issue. CT is not in good financial shape. Malloy gambled big on this rail line and spend north of $800 million, with mostly from CT, an small % from Fed. MA contributed almost nothing to this line.

I am surprised too that Shore Line East has been in existence for close to 30 years, and we only started this CTrail Hartford Line so late in the game. Hartford/Springfield metro population should be a lot larger than that east of New Haven.

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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Sat Oct 26, 2019 5:04 pm

Well, political and money issues do go hand in hand. Yes, the financial situation in Connecticut isn't too good right now. I agree that east of New Haven, the Shore Line East communities aren't densely populated. After New Haven and heading east along the sound, there isn't much in the way toward densely populated communities. I'm sure that other than the summer and the days before holidays, those Shore Line East trains don't have high ridership. I hate to say this but if the ridership isn't high enough on the off peak and weekend Shore Line East trains, then maybe CDOT should have buses replace them.

The Springfield Line service area is pretty densely populated. Once you leave New Haven, you have North Haven which hopefully will get their station back. Wallingford is a pretty densely populated but Meriden probably has more people living there. Even heading northward toward Hartford, the population in towns live Berlin are pretty high. Berlin also serves people from other towns like New Britain. Hartford has so many office buildings, universities, and attractions. North of Hartford and stretching up to the Connecticut River bridge, the Ctrail Hartford Line not only serves Downtown Windsor, but the Windsor Locks station isn't too far from Bradley Int'l Airport. I know that there is a plan for the Windsor Locks Station to move closer to the downtown area. There are probably many corporate offices near the Windsor Locks Station. The majority of the Springfield Line is in Connecticut but yes, it obviously runs into Mass.

jxzz
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by jxzz » Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:24 pm

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 5:04 pm
Well, political and money issues do go hand in hand. Yes, the financial situation in Connecticut isn't too good right now. I agree that east of New Haven, the Shore Line East communities aren't densely populated. After New Haven and heading east along the sound, there isn't much in the way toward densely populated communities. I'm sure that other than the summer and the days before holidays, those Shore Line East trains don't have high ridership. I hate to say this but if the ridership isn't high enough on the off peak and weekend Shore Line East trains, then maybe CDOT should have buses replace them.
No way to have bus to replace SLE. There is lots of support on SLE in CT. The talk in last year during budget crisis was to cut off peak and weekend service to save money. This did not succeed and SLE survived. I 95 is a lot busier highway than I 91. This probably because of heavier traffic to RI or NY along east of New Haven and vacation traffic.

SLE schedule recently increased peak and off peak service. CT still view SLE as 2nd important rail above Hartford line.

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GirlOnTheTrain
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by GirlOnTheTrain » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:07 am

I guess you missed all of the crying and complaining when they decimated Shore Line East service for track work. You're not going to rob Peter to pay Paul. The shoreline communities may not have as much population density, but I can guarantee you they have more money and political connections than the average resident of say, Meriden or Wallingford.
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jxzz
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by jxzz » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:46 am

GirlOnTheTrain wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:07 am
I guess you missed all of the crying and complaining when they decimated Shore Line East service for track work. You're not going to rob Peter to pay Paul. The shoreline communities may not have as much population density, but I can guarantee you they have more money and political connections than the average resident of say, Meriden or Wallingford.
Yep, the support on SLE is huge in CT. Population is only one piece of information. For the complain of lack of GCT big board connection info for HL, but SLE info is there. CtDOT said that , yes, HL ridership is higher than SLE, but the ridership of SLE has 10 times more metro north connections than HL ridership.

Historically, more Shoreline residents than Hartford Line residents to continue on Metro North. Further more, there are second home owners of NYers who only live in the weekend in shoreline CT towns, and commute back to the city to live in a crappy rental house during the weekday for jobs. These second home owners are not counted as CT residents, but they are certainly important SLE riders and welcomed population in shoreline communities.

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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Sun Oct 27, 2019 1:18 pm

Shoreline East is great for those people living in and around NYC who have second homes along the Connecticut Shoreline who don't want to have to deal with paying Amtrak fares. I live in Montclair New Jersey near NYC and every five years, I will make daytrips to New London, Ct. My brother went to college there and even after he graduated, I still appreciate New London. In the next year or two, I would like to make a daytrip there and I will likely take Metro North to Shore Line East both ways. I have traveled on 95 many times through Connecticut and when there is traffic, you aren't moving for a while. Even when you may be moving, you are still losing a lot of time.

Yes, I agree that multiple places along the Springfield Line don't have as many wealthy residents as along the Shore Line. Meriden seems like a good example. That city is becoming gentrified though, especially just east of the tracks. As for Wallingford, I would probably say it is more of a middle class community. I think Ctrail Shore Line East trains have better MNR connections than Ctrail.

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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by Rockingham Racer » Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:05 pm

I would think Amtrak fares are the least concern to people if they live in New York City and have second homes along Shore Line East.
They probably use helicopters and limos.

jxzz
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by jxzz » Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:06 pm

No, I do not think this is the case. Those second home buyers in Shore Line East towns from NYC are really not as wealthy as you might think. They are not poor, certainly wealthy in American standard.

But billionaires or millionaires do not live in these towns. They are in CT fairfield county, specifically Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, etc. I am aware that quite some residents near Greenwich do not use Metro North train that much even though it is available.

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