Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Open Drawbridges Blocking Shore Line East Expansion

Three open drawbridges may be standing in the way of more Shore Line East commuter rail service to New London, CT, from New Haven, the New London Day reports.

The state of Connecticut is willing to fund the service expansion and Amtrak, which owns the Northeast Corridor tracks the trains will run over is willing to give operating slots. But the additional service, which would extend trains that now terminate or begin their runs on Old Saybrook, requires a new agreement between Amtrak and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) governing operation of three bridges over the Connecticut and Niantic Rivers and Shaw's Cove in New London.

Currently the bridges are left in the open position during recreational boating season (May 15 through October 15) and close when trains are approaching. The current policy limits daily train movements over the bridge to
39 Amtrak trains, two Shore Line East trains and two freight trains. If Amtrak wants to increase the number of trains that cross the bridges and close the bridges more often, it has to request authorization from the state DEP.

1 comment:

  1. There really should not be a problem. Recreational boat use under the bridges is only really heavy on Saturday, Sunday and holidays. Shoreline East service for computers is heavy during weekdays, Monday thru Friday during rush hours.

    In case of conflict, obviously, working commuters should get the first priority.

    As for commercial boats they are few and far between, where the bridges are.

    Jerome Wilson, Essex, CT.