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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

  by nomis
CT: OPINION: Lawmakers suggest new train system for eastern Connecticut
https://www.masstransitmag.com/rail/ne ... onnecticut
New legislation co-sponsored by Democrats from the eastern Connecticut delegation to the General Assembly proposes that the state Department of Transportation study the concept of two new passenger rail systems centered in the region.

One would simply extend the commuter rail system now operated as Shoreline East beyond New London to the Rhode Island border, where it could connect with existing Rhode Island commuter rail.

New passenger stations could be added in Groton and Stonington Borough.

The two lines come together in Groton, where there could also be a station connection for transfers.
For now, The P&W centric service is in another thread.
  by shadyjay
You could [relatively] simply extend SLE to Westerly. There is space in the yard there for a layover facility. You do have some fairly significant ADA issues to overcome... Westerly has an old subway that connects the two tracks, built long before ADA. Present setup is lifts, but you'd have a total of 3 to get from one platform to another, and all at an unstaffed station. There is parking adjacent to both platforms, however, but not good for the solo driver. There is space for expanded parking at Westerly as well. Mystic, again another low platform station with a grade crossing used to cross the tracks, and very limited parking. Groton, not sure where you'd put the station. Maybe you could do a "drop-and-ride" adjacent to the tower, and have shuttles to EB, Pfizer, sub base, etc meet there. Not really a lot of room for public parking.

And of course the sticking point is the drawbridges.... how many additional closures are permitted? Too many over Thames and Mystic and you're getting into USN/USCG/"Fairfield Navy" territory.

Is there a demand for commuter service from New London to Westerly? I-95 isn't too bad in this area (yet....) and honestly is a lot more straight-shot than the railroad. Let's hold off there until RIDOT decides it wants to go to Westerly as well, then they can foot the bill for the layover and SLE can piggyback on it.

I say let's get what we got now in good shape and go from there. Hartford Line still needs to be finished (double track Windsor Locks-Enfield) and the stations north of HFD and the infills built. SLE is almost there, but Madison still needs to be expanded and the M-8s testing finished. Not to mention various bridge projects which are bound to affect service for years to come (Conn-Saybrook, Conn-Enfield, Walk, others).

(edited to remove P&W line comments)
  by Ridgefielder
shadyjay wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 4:27 pm You could [relatively] simply extend SLE to Westerly. There is space in the yard there for a layover facility. You do have some fairly significant ADA issues to overcome... Westerly has an old subway that connects the two tracks, built long before ADA.
The ADA fix for Westerly would be to build a separate platform and track for SLE originating/terminating trains. There's plenty of room for it-- there's room for 4 tracks on the ROW through here, not sure if two were removed or if this was more NYNH&H future-proofing like the abutments and piers on the Conn River bridge. Would also avoid tying up the Amtrak mains with a local waiting for passengers.
  by Jeff Smith
Surprised there's no mention of Mystic; or would they consider that Stonington?
  by Ridgefielder
I assume a Groton station would be in the vicinity of the Tilcon facility that occupies part of the location of the old NYNH&H Midway Yard. In Stonington Borough the only sensible location would be where Alpha Ave. crosses the tracks on a viaduct. Not much room for parking there, though. And I could see The Borough squawking at the idea of people flooding in by rail...
  by The EGE
Groton's station was historically at the wye with the line to Worcester; it was dropped in the 1930s, though the stairs to the station are still there. A Groton station was served for three months in 1978 by the Clamdigger; the location of that stop isn't clear. A second stop at Poquonnock (Midway) at Depot Road primarily served the shops there and was closed around 1926.

I think your most likely Groton locations would be either off Bridge Street, or off Poquonnock Road. Bridge Street would be walkable from Groton city and nearby apartment complexes, and close to 95 and 12. Poquonnock Road would be closer to the modern commercial center. Both would have plenty of room for parking, and would be convenient for shuttles to EB.
  by conductorchris
While Westerly was not four tracked, it did have 3 tracks or more at the station, the remnant of the previous mainline before a line relocation. I imagine the relocation is the reason there is room for 4 tracks.