Metro North to expand service on the New Haven line
The New Haven train line will soon be offering off-peak and weekend trains every half hour, according to an announcement by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Wednesday.
Malloy, joined by state Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) Commissioner James Redeker, New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) Executive Vice President Joe Brennan and other officials, announced that off-peak weekday and weekend trains on the New Haven Line will begin running every half-hour between New Haven and New York City, later this fall. This marks the first time the New Haven Line has offered half-hourly service for off-peak and weekend trains, which will begin once Metro-North implements schedule changes on Nov. 9.
Gov. Malloy also announced schedule enhancements for the Waterbury Branch of the New Haven Line, in response to recent customer demand.
“Back in 2012, we made a commitment to operate trains on the New Haven Line at least every half hour, and we are here today to announce that we are making good on that promise,” Malloy said. “With off-peak and weekend trains running almost around the clock, Connecticut riders will see more frequent, reliable and convenient service which is our end goal when deciding what kinds of investments to make in this commuter line.
“With this good news, the delivery of our new M-8 cars and the upgrades we are making to improve infrastructure and operations, we are continuing to move the New Haven Line to where it needs to be to best serve the tens of thousands of Connecticut residents who depend on this system every day,” Malloy said.
Three new midday trains will depart from New Haven on weekdays at 11:25 a.m., 12:25 p.m. and 1:25 p.m. Four new trains will depart from Grand Central Terminal at 9:34 a.m., 10:34 a.m., 11:34 a.m. (which will replace the 11:34 a.m. express to Stamford), and 12:34 p.m. Midday weekend service will also be enhanced as follows:
• Saturday: new trains depart New Haven at 2:25 p.m., 3:25 p.m., and 6:25 p.m.; new trains depart New York at 10:34 a.m., 11:34 a.m. 12:34 p.m., 1:34 p.m., 2:34 p.m., and 10:34 p.m.
• Sunday: new trains depart New Haven at 2:25 p.m., 3:25 p.m., and 7:25 p.m.; new trains depart New York at 11:34 a.m., 12:34 p.m., 1:34 p.m., 2:34 p.m., and 10:34 p.m.
“A modern and efficient transportation network is one of the key components of a competitive business climate, and more frequent service between New Haven and New York, along with other upgrades to the Metro-North system, will add more options for business travelers and improve service along the critical New Haven line,” said Joe Brennan, Executive Vice President of CBIA.
Metro-North operates the New Haven Line and its three branches — to New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury – under contract to the ConnDOT. The New Haven Line is the busiest single commuter rail line in the United States and provided a record-breaking 39 million customer trips in 2013.
“Knowing that a train will be available at least every half hour will make it much easier for customers – whether heading to New York for work or pleasure — to plan their travel,” said ConnDOT Commissioner Redeker. “I want to commend our partners at Metro-North for delivering on their commitment to full half-hourly service between New York and New Haven.”
Improvements to the Waterbury Branch are already in the works, according to Malloy’s office, including a new signal system and “Positive Train Control.” In the last four years, the state has invested almost $11 million in Waterbury Branch-specific projects to restore the line to a state-of-good repair.
On Saturday and Sunday nights, a new 10:10 p.m. train will depart Waterbury; this is two hours later than the current last train. In addition, one new train will depart Grand Central at 10:04 p.m. and Bridgeport at 11:41 p.m. – one hour later than the current last train headed to Waterbury. In addition to the new service, the trains preceding the last train are rescheduled to provide a more attractive interval between trains, reducing the current four hour intervals to consistent three hour intervals throughout the service day.
In addition to the new half-hourly service, schedules will be improved to address crowding on key weekday and weekend trains. Schedules and station information for the New Haven Line and Waterbury Branch are available at www.mta.info/mnr.