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Used-Examination1439 t1_jcofmgk wrote

Amount of times they’ve talked about this project they would of been nearly done with it by now. The economic affects of this would be a net positive 100%.


SKIPPY_IS_REAL t1_jcpwwtg wrote

I agree, most other countries have managed to upgrade their rail network from the 1930's, it is about time we do too.


WheredMyBrainsGo t1_jdzgqij wrote

Yeah we had a better rail system in the 30s though lol. We have “precision scheduled railroading” to thank for that. And the reason this hasn’t been approved yet is because of rich nimbys in Greenwich.


updownsidewayz t1_jcr0625 wrote

came to this post to say almost exactly this but good luck finding support for new train projects with all the recent derailments.... trains=dangerous cars=much safer! /s best outcome we can hope for now is it still being talked about for another decade...


1234nameuser t1_jcors1r wrote

Lols, We can't even build housing, adequate roads or even a basic gas line for energy security.

A bullet train is just laughable and doesn't benefit CT...would probably lower states revenue.


Used-Examination1439 t1_jcosty6 wrote

Ironically it’s the rich that have protested in the past due to NIMBY. This would have direct and indirect economic growth with people having short commutes to major cities, and most likely turning New Haven into a medium size city in the long run thus helping lower income and middle income folks with higher paying jobs.


buried_lede t1_jcp2af7 wrote

More immediate effect would be that real estate in these places would skyrocket due to being within quick commuting distance to Boston and NY


1234nameuser t1_jcov97b wrote

Sounds like a great sales pitch. Selling sports stadiums too?


BobbyRobertson t1_jcp5yiz wrote

Sports stadiums are in no way comparable to infrastructure lmao


_343_Guilty_Spark__ t1_jcp5uj3 wrote

r/connecticut users arguing about economics while providing a grand total of zero sources. Classic


Marlinspikehall32 t1_jcougm4 wrote

It would bring economic growth to the city and allow people who live there to get higher paying jobs in NYC. I would love to work in NYC I would make double my salary. I would also love not to have to drive 95 to get to NYC. it would save gas money time and frustration


avtchrd345 t1_jcow274 wrote

I would love it too. I commute to the city few times a week on metro north now, so personally this type of project would benefit me greatly.

But I also recognize that basically every passenger rail in the country (possibly literally every?) is unprofitable. All infrastructure projects like this run ridiculously over budget. And while I’m sure there are significant economic benefits I don’t really think they are broad enough to ask all tax payers to subsidize the commutes of high earning knowledge workers.


eldersveld t1_jcp9ebc wrote

> to ask all tax payers to subsidize

So let's just have the mega-rich do it.


Extreme_Disaster2275 t1_jcpi4ud wrote

How much profit do I 95 and the Merrit make?


avtchrd345 t1_jcpol0m wrote

Fair. But the unprofitability isn’t the only point. Let’s just all establish that we’re on the same page that this “paying for itself” is definitely a fantasy. Even on an ongoing basis. Much less if one considers the capital investment.


Extreme_Disaster2275 t1_jcpr1gg wrote

As bad as 95 and the Merritt are, consider how bad traffic would be if they didn't exist and all we had was Rt 1 with it's hundreds of intersections and traffic lights. Would you say that 95 and the Merritt justify the capital investment? Now consider upgrading rail in order to ease the congestion on those roads.


avtchrd345 t1_jcps0hv wrote

This discussion is pointless. You can say you think it’s worth the cost and I can say I don’t think it’s worth the cost forever.


1234nameuser t1_jcovjmp wrote

Back in reality......tons of folks in New haven would be pushed into outer burbs due to lack of affordability.

CT cannot expand housing supply quick enough.

But yes, no doubt it'd be great for rich folks to have new toys.

Climate change loves the idea of your ridiculous commute.


Marlinspikehall32 t1_jcowblu wrote

I was responding to the question of why it would be good. But this would help provide more jobs in the area. New Haven has seen a huge expansion in housing(notice I didn’t use the word affordable). I expect the developers are expecting this to actually happen. But it would be bad for those that suffer when gentrification happens. Not wealthy myself but myself and my cohort would do better financially. Maybe allow me to be middle class instead of lower middle class living paycheck to paycheck


johnsonutah t1_jcrjul5 wrote

People already prefer the burbs over New Haven. You can’t even send your kids to school in New Haven, the education system there is so bad.

New Haven could explode with growth and prosperity but it can’t ever get out of its own way (local alderman politics), nor does the state sufficiently rally around it. I mean look at New Haven union station and the area around it - what should be a bustling economic center, linked by transit to one of the most prosperous metropolises in the world (nyc), yet it’s a joke.


-nocturnist- t1_jcquzwn wrote

I remember reading somewhere that the cost of putting in trains in the USA is 5-6x of what it costs in Europe. Mainly due to it being a private company project with endless costs.


Nexis4Jersey t1_jcomam9 wrote

I believe this plan despite the high ridership projections was scrapped. It did have the fastest travel times, but the news lied about the alignment on LI and whipped up a NIMBY tsunami...thus killing the project. A 105 billion is also for the entire proposal shown...which is close to 4,000 miles.


Whaddaulookinat t1_jcpv85u wrote

What killed this project initially was the inadequate intake for the trains at the terminals, massive new ROW needs, ctrail not having control over trackage, and the soil conditions under the sound. It was never a serious proposition.


Nexis4Jersey t1_jcqoi64 wrote

The Long Island portion was to create a 3rd set of tunnels under the East River with a connection to the Old Montauk Branch and Electrify that will speeds increased to 110mph it would rejoin the main line at Jamaica-JFK which would be its first stop. Then it ride along the Main Line breaking off at Floral Park onto a reconfigured Hempstead Branch interchange , then it would share that branch until Garden City. The Hempstead Branch would be grade separated. The line would continue above and below ground using the abandoned LIRR Central Branch before merging back into the main line by Farmingdale and riding that out to Medford before curving north along one of the highway rows to the Sound. The Sound portion could have been delt with an immersed tunnel.


avtchrd345 t1_jcooogr wrote

But it would probably come in 3-5x over budget like all of these types of projects do.


Nexis4Jersey t1_jcop3wb wrote

The CT transit / rail projects rarely go over budget , some even come under budget. New York and Massachusetts that's a different story...


CTNotPC t1_jcog2lu wrote

I would love to see this actually happen in my lifetime


blargleflarter t1_jcpal9b wrote

Finally, somewhere where my niche special interest can be informative!! Heartily agree with OP, trains are bitchin.

Mostly every agency and politician in the northeast agrees in principle that rail service needs to be better. the disagreement is over how much to spend over it and where the efforts should be focused on. But the conversation is happening, and there is common ground over the need to do something. That's new, and we shouldn't take it for granted.

But like all the other proposals for a high speed line under the Sound that have come before this one, it misses the forest for the trees. There's a bigger issue of equity that a high speed rail proposal has to be able to address.

Starting with the obvious, Connecticut is ridiculously segregated on a town by town basis that also just so happens to coincide with economic wellbeing and racial identity. A town like Fairfield, literally one of the wealthiest in the country, is right next to Bridgeport, one of the most under-resourced. and Bridgeport just so happens to be one of the most diverse cities in the state! that's totally coincidental, right?

High speed rail, or at least the North Atlantic Rail proposal, primarily serves major population centers in CT (New Haven, Hartford, mainly). Yet, most of the inter-regional travelers who would use high speed service are going to be, more likely than not, affluent. They don't live in the places that high speed service would serve, but in the catchment around these places (ie, suburbs). In other words, most of the people who use these services will either commute in if they live nearby or move into CT's cities in order to take advantage of the service and to avail of lower living costs than that in the destinations the train would serve. That's a recipe for gentrification and the displacement of present residents, folks.

Well planned transportation shouldn't reinforce the bad spatial traits of the past century which already cause us so many problems, from traffic jams to car-centricity. If we're gonna spend 100 billion on high speed rail, we might as well transform the places the project impacts for the better as part of the process and do it right, right?

I think that what CTDOT is doing by focusing on the improvement of existing transport infrastructure and the reasonable expansion of services is really important as a prerequisite to larger projects like high speed rail, and a necessary part of equitably planning transportation, which is what a state agency working for the benefit of all state residents should do. Without that baseline of improved and reliable commuter rail service (or bus service!), you'd basically have a reverse white flight back into the cities because of the new utility that HSR would provide and because of present suburbia's ability to afford its usage. But by building out and improving existing services, CTDOT is ensuring that the state's most vulnerable and under-resourced aren't the sacrificial lamb for this century's sexy infrastructure projects in the same way that they were for the 20th century's interstate construction.

Take what has happened with rail in CT recently and what will happen in the near term starting with Lamont's Time for CT plan. It's not funded at present, but odds are that it will receive federal funding relatively soon thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act that got passed and due to the New Haven Line being the busiest rail line in the western hemisphere. For between 6-8 billion, it will bring the New Haven line to a good state of repair while increasing travel times by 35 minutes. It's not high speed rail, but it's nothing to sneeze at, and would enable high speed rail to move forward sustainably. not bad for 6 to 8% of the high speed rail's proposed cost.

Similarly, you have the introduction of M8 electric locomotives on the Shore Line East which are reducing travel times and increasing service reliability. The line is also under study for extension to Westerly, RI and to Norwich, CT. Hopefully, all these improvements will encourage more people to use rail in eastern CT, and the more people who use rail, the more political pressure there is to make rail service better!

You also have the recently completed Hartford Line, which has exceeded ridership expectations even with the crappy refurbished diesel equipment it uses. CTDOT is currently working on a planning study for whether or not the line should be electrified. I'm not a betting man, but I would wager that it will indeed be electrified and have express tracks added, because electrification will all but ensure that whatever future high speed rail scheme occurs will travel between Hartford and New Haven, much to the state's benefit. The traffic and usage of the line will increase dramatically thanks to the greater frequency and reliability from electric trains, too, which in turn would allow for existing non-electric train equipment to be used on other rail lines. Electrification would also make 91 suck a whole lot less for the people who would continue to use it by causing a modal shift towards train travel within the corridor.

There are also CTDOT studies in progress around the feasibility of potential electrification of the Waterbury Branch of the New Haven Line. There was a study which recommended electronification of the Danbury branch under Malloy as well, but since it only would lead to a projected 5% increase in ridership I don't know how high on the priority list for the state that project is.

And how can you forget what the state is doing in terms of bus mobility and micro mobility? CT Fasttrak is quite literally the second highest rated Bus Rapid Transit system in the US next to Albuquerque's ART, and it's so successful that it's got a proposed expansion east to Storrs via i84's carpool lanes. Thanks to partnership with apps like Transit, CTTransit's buses are easier to track and use, and the routes and rolling stock are likely to be upgraded in the future following the current push to modernize stations. CTDOT is also trialing micromobility services (think like a on-demand minibus that comes and picks you up while serving the transport needs of others who have requested travel) that will give people the first reliable alternative to car ownership in a long, long time.

If we manage to bring our current railroads and buses to a state of good repair and do all these necessary upgrades we've been needing to do for half a century, then and only then can we start talking about regional high speed rail more seriously.

I for one can wait until we're able to do high speed rail to NYC right. The pizza's better here anyway.


kayakyakr t1_jcpdvl7 wrote

In the end, we need it all. What seems to happen is that we chase the ideal solution while passing up lessor opportunities.

I think your approach is a great start. Low on budget to make significant improvements.

We'll need the flashy new lines someday, but the high speed line is more effective when you can get places locally when you arrive and it's also more effective with fewer stops. A grade separated 200+ mph rail gets you between NYC, New Haven, Providence, and Boston in just a bit past an hour. From there, local transit should take over.

On that note, CT is ahead of our neighbours in that way. Public transit in Providence is horrid and transit in Mass is hyper focused on Boston to the detriment of anyone in the west or out towards the Cape.


blargleflarter t1_jcpieuj wrote

Can confirm Boston transit is horrid as well! I lived there for a year doing Americorps and on the day before I moved out the Orange Line train I was riding caught on fire. Good times.


CiforDayZServer t1_jcpvf1u wrote

I lived on the red line in 98-00 I thought it was fantastic, I don’t think I had a single issue the whole time I was there. The only funny T story I had was when I was visiting we got out of the wrong T station and asked a cop for directions to the aquarium, he told us to go back in take the green line to park street then the orange line to the aquarium. We did that, 20m later we get out of the Orange line and can literally see the corner the cop told us to get back on the T. It was a 3 minute walk at best lol.


Whaddaulookinat t1_jcpmacd wrote

> transit in Mass is hyper focused on Boston to the detriment of anyone in the west or out towards the Cape.

And what we forget that transit outside the 128 loop is also, to put kindly, absolute dogshit


Whaddaulookinat t1_jcpkpuf wrote

I was about to make my own top level post but you pretty much summed up what were going to be my main points. It's shiny it's new it's "bold" plan but $105bn is A LOT of money and despite what we think out of NYS commuting into NYC is far more niche and will likely be until Midtown gets wildly rezoned which likely won't happen, we've pretty much seen the daily workforce maximum population of Mid Town and the Financial District/Battery just before the pandemic and that's about 2.5-3.5million people influx from out of Manhattan.

For much less money the FRA and state's could:

  • Fix the old swing bridges.
  • Ensure that the new Avelia Trainsets are the correct width that can handle the 6-8degree lean and not strike other trains.
  • Fix all the fouled ballasts
  • Rip out and replace the already out of date Positrak systems in CT, RI, and MA and get them certified quickly
  • Improving the existing Freight lines to upgrade and double track where feasible
  • Bribe the board of the MBTA so they quit, fuck off, and never touch transit systems again
  • Electrification of Hartford Line, Waterbury Line, and Boston/Worchester/Springfield, Providence/the Falls
  • On that point, more regional rail east west in RI, CT, and MA
  • Increase regional rail frequency
  • Light Rail in the regional centres and inner ring suburbs
  • Capital and operational upgrades to the bus system (gimme that sweet sweet signal prioritisation)

Only like, two, of those are "sexy" and none help with the LI issue but it would be a far better use than a high speed vaporware solution. And while a HSR project through central New England would be great, it just shows you how out of touch the people in charge are that they don't understand (or think that flashy and new is the way to get the feds to notice) how the people actually use the rail network in New England and that's as a regional people mover, not just a commuter service.


Nexis4Jersey t1_jcqn550 wrote

RIDOT needs to go aswell they've been quite hostile towards rail...despite the popularity of it in Rhode Island and the ever-increasing congestion in the states gateway areas.


tuss11agee t1_jcprq0d wrote

There was talk of Danbury extending to north to New Milford and also West to “Southeast” (if that isn’t confusing enough and connecting to Harlem line.

It takes 90 minutes to get to Manhattan from Danbury by car.

Train is like 2:15.

What else would people choose?


Nexis4Jersey t1_jcqmunb wrote

I don't know if building a line to Southeast would be any faster since you have to go north and then make a u-turn and head south so the travel times would probably be similar. The tracks along the Danbury Branch are 40-60mph , you could upgrade those to 70-100mph with some curve straightening and electrify the line thus shaving off 20-30mins. That would service the large employers and cities along route 7 and 95 which is higher then routing via Southeast/White Plains.


joeaguy t1_jcrfjv0 wrote

High speed rail with a few stops in big population centers only works if you can reach it. If the choice is gentrification and huge parking lots, then it is missing out on serving a lot of people. CT needs a better last mile. We have so many old rail lines that would make great light rail or rapid bus corridors to even out density without causing sprawl.


johnsonutah t1_jcrs54y wrote

HSR lines through CT that have stops in CT (doesn’t need to be many) would turbo charge our economy. As it stands, outside of certain parts of Fairfield County, much of CT is looked at as an economic no-go for employers because it just makes more sense to locate directly in Boston or NYC…

You’re so worried about equity but you seem to not realize that our cities will simply continue to languish unless something changes dramatically. I think the state could do better with what it has too (just take a look at the area around Union Station…where is the development…what a waste) - but the reality is that our recent favorable budget position is largely due to federal stimulus and we can easily go back to a scenario where we are struggling to make it balance every year.


Prestigious_Bobcat29 t1_jcosgyu wrote

The cross sound tunnel is never happening, but the inland route between Hartford and Providence. Very well could


Frankie_Wilde t1_jcphcxr wrote

Rode a handful of bullet trains while traveling Europe. It's a damn shame that the most prosperous/powerful country on the planet doesn't have them


No-Ant9517 t1_jcpakhc wrote

We spend that much on new highway, a critical connection on the biggest economic area in the world seems like a good investment


silasmoeckel t1_jcol7wg wrote

High Speed rail finally but the alignment is awful.


bmeezy1 t1_jcpsv24 wrote

Downside , CT housing demand gets worse and the nimby crowd loses their minds over the need to build more


johnsonutah t1_jcrkb6f wrote

Flip side - CT’s cities would become more attractive places to live, resulting in a development boom & reinvestment. Burbs are burbs, cities are cities…except our cities don’t build up and are barely thriving.


lolreal213 t1_jcq1fcb wrote

Wouldn’t it make it better in the same way building highways in the 50s(to some extent) made housing cheaper


PublicPolicyAdvocate t1_jcr95ws wrote

as a recent homeowner i believe i have a fudiciary duty to be a NIMBY that i must uphold.

A tight housing supply and continued community homogeneity is good for my home's value, which is the single-biggest investment i'll likely make in my life.


BOB58875 t1_jcq429e wrote

My problem with the current plan for the project is the extremely high costs of long distance deep bore tunneling and the environmental impacts of going through the Scituate Reservoir, personally i think a better approach would be to split into two lines after New Haven, one heading up towards Hartford and Worcester to Boston, and the other heading eastward towards Providence to Boston a little to the north of the NIMBYs of the shoreline (think North Branford, Killingworth, etc).

With both of these routes using at grade, trenched, or elevated tracks whenever possible and only using deep bore tunneling when no other alternative is possible

As for Hartford to Providence (alongside Waterbury-Danbury-White Plains) I think that higher speed intercity Amtrak Regional service through Willimantic and Coventry RI via a restored Hartford, Providence, & Fishkill (a former rail line that ran from Providence to Fishkill NY via Hartford and Danbury) would be adequate for the distance and


[deleted] t1_jcqhss6 wrote

Making it easier to live here but work in NYC would drive home and rent prices even higher. People who live and work in CT will be driven out by those able to pay more. But the state probably prefers having residents with higher income.

We desperately need better overall rail infrastructure, but for everybody.


johnsonutah t1_jcrmwn1 wrote

Orrrr current ct residents will also have access to the job market in nyc…


MakeItFast2020 t1_jcqkkyi wrote

The problem with getting ANYTHING done in this messed up country.

Public works used to be a source of National and community pride, a convenience and upgrade to the public, and a boon to the economy. Now it’s just an excuse for bureaucrats and contractors to get paid.


helpslipfranks77 t1_jcr8oxh wrote

Would like a metro north train that would take us to the airports and citi field please.


johnsonutah t1_jcrk46x wrote

Doesn’t seem that expensive. That’s like 10 F35 planes for the air force lol.


alienwarezftw t1_jcskxhw wrote

The amount of derailments we have daily in America make me say please no. It works in Asia it won’t work here we’re too incompetent


RededHaid t1_jcpn8y4 wrote

The Inaugural ride would be such a cool thing to bring your kids to. If you don’t have kids, have some, and they can bring their kids to New York by train and tell them the story of how they said there’d be a tunnel under the Sound by then.


MakeItFast2020 t1_jcqk89z wrote

Sounds great, and then suddenly a one way ticket will cost $90. So much for commuting…


Boring_Garbage3476 t1_jcrx1p3 wrote

This idea is actually 170 years old. The Air Line railroad first attempted it. Took about 100 years to get most of the way due to money issues. It was completed by hooking up with the Providence and Worcester line. Honestly, I think it's a cool idea, but doubt there would be enough riders to pay off the investment.


Boring_Garbage3476 t1_jcryc7i wrote

Their line is also a little off. Hartford, Bradley, Storrs and Manchester are a little high on the map.


Nyrfan2017 t1_jcsr0m4 wrote

This is something the feds really should be focused on you want less cars on highway here is the answer


Mascbro26 t1_jcpb65o wrote

It would take 20+ years to build. This is a nice thought but too far out from a possibility for me to care.


Ziggy1433 t1_jcotf19 wrote

VERY poor ROI.


mynameisnotshamus t1_jcp44vc wrote

In the most simplistic terms maybe. It would increase the quality of life for a lot of people, would help to bring more jobs to CT, would help future proof the area. There are a lot of intangibles beyond hey this stuff costs lots of monies.


1234nameuser t1_jcowg1b wrote

Works great in connecting highly dense job centers, but there's nothing between NYC / Boston and the distance is just too far to make worthwhile compared to flight infrastructure.