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SLERA Newsletter May 30, 1998




MAY 30, 1998


In case you hadnít heard the Shore Line East Commuter Rail Service turned 9 years old in May. Much has changed since the service initially began in May 1990. For example:    

SLE IN 1990 and 1998

1990 1998
SLE served Branford, Guilford, Madison, Clinton, Westbrook, Old Saybrook and New Haven SLE was expanded in 1996 to serve New London
Four round trips a day including one trip on an Amtrak. Today we are served by 6 morning trains into New Haven and 8 afternoon and evening trains out of New Haven.
Averaged 800 daily riders Average nearly 1200 daily riders
Trains pulled by engines over 40 years old Today pulled by two year old rebuilt engines
10 coaches originally built during the 1940ís. 21 coaches either new or rebuilt since 1990.
One way fare to Branford was $1 and to Old Saybrook was $4. One way fare to Branford is $2.25 and to Old Saybrook is $5.50.
Monthly fare to Branford was $26 and to Old Saybrook $74. Monthly fare to Branford is $46 and to Old Saybrook is $114.
Bus connections were available to downtown New Haven. Bus connections are available to downtown New Haven and Long Wharf.
All but one SLE train connected with Metro North trains to New York City. All SLE trains connect with Metro North trains to and from New York City.


On April 22, 1998 the Shore Line East Riders Association was one of three recipients from Connecticut of the Environmental Merit Award presented by the New England Office of the Environmental Protection Agency. The Merit Awards, presented annually since 1970, recognize demonstrated commitment and significant contributions to the environment. To quote the press release ďunder the threat of severe proposed budget cutbacks in 1995 and again in 1997, the all volunteer Shore Line East Riders Association has twice mounted a herculean effort to succcessfully retain and expand commuter rail serviceĒ. SLERA was represented at the award ceremony by its president, Lee Carlson, vice-president, Wil Aloe and its treasurer Gail Fearon. Congratulations to all who helped save the train.


During the week before Memorial Day Congressional Conference Committee agreed to the ISTEA (Intermodal Surface Transportation Effeciency Act, basically the highway and mass transit bill). Included in this bill is legislation which benefits users of mass transportation including SLE. The proposed legislation includs a provision making it easier and more cost-effective for employers to offer tax-free mass transit benefits to employees. (Basically flexible benefits). Employees would receive up to $65 a month in tax free benefits (no income tax or social security taxes). In addition employers would benefit since their payroll costs would also decline. This bill is awaiting final approval by Congress and a presidential signature. Stay tune for more information.


  • 1998 ridership -- Ridership continues to hover around 1100 daily riders. If you know anyone interested in trying SLE have them call Rideworks at 1800 (ALLRIDE) for more information.
  • Uni-rail -- If you havenít heard by now, there is a less expensive way to use Shore Line East and Metro North. If you are a monthly passholder make sure you have a Unirail ticket which combines MN and SLE monthly passes for $48 a month less than the cost of separate SLE and MN monthly passes. For more information call Metro North at 1(800)638-7646.
  • Business expos -- SLERA has manned information tables at both the Old Saybrook and Clinton Business Expos during the past year as well as at the Madison Surf?? Festival. This has been a good opportunity to pass out timetables and information about the Shore Line East, Metro-North, and Amtrak. We hope to have a table at the Guilford Fair this fall. If you have any suggestions of other local events please drop a note to our mailbox.
  • Construction -- No doubt you are aware of the ongoing construction by Amtrak in preparation for the introduction of high speed rail next year. This summer Amtrak is continuing to install poles, overhead wire and switching stations between New Haven and New London. Minor delays will continue all summer as work progresses. Electrification is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 1999 with service to begin in Octorber 1999.

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Created 12/6/1999 by E.C. Schroeder. Last Updated 12/6/1999
Contact: Edwin Schroeder at