CT DOT is conducting a series of presentations and hearings in the towns along the Danbury line this week , in which they're talking about "studying" (for the next 2-3 years!! They're good at that . . . ) five alternatives:
1. No build -- maintaining current system Current system management --
2. Improving the system without infrastructure improvements
3. South Norwalk to Danbury improvements -- minor alignment changes and electrification of Norwalk to Danbury
4. Danbury to New Milford extension -- extending line into New Milford and adding new train stations.
5. Partial electrification -- Electrification from South Norwalk to vicinity of Merritt Parkway in Norwalk with feeder bus/rail service to Danbury.
I notice double-tracking which I have heard discussed previously, is not on the list. Thank God, as it is a waste.
RE #1 - well, we can live with that, I guess, but they will not achieve growth on the line without some investment, particularly as I described in my "RE #2" below.
RE #2 - Don't know what that means. I hope they mean installing TCS (which is many many many years overdue) with controlled passing sidings at Wilton, Branchville, and Bethel Lower.
RE #3 - Somebody in DOT claims they can save 16 min, running time by electrifying. That is a pipe dream, a complete hallucination. As anybody (such as me) who remember the once-electrified service provided by the New Haven Railroad on this line will tell you, emphatically, reduction in running time by electrifying just is not there. A couple of minutes, perhaps --- but that's all!!! I am no longer a CT resident but it would make me very angry if they spent taxpayer $$$ electrifying the branch.
RE #4 - Although I have no idea what a credible ---- repeat, credible --- estimate of ridership is (I have heard guesses all over the map) , I bet running to New Milford is probably a very good idea.
RE #5 - this is so totally stupid I won't grace it with a comment.