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Shore Line East Riders' Association Press Releases, Newsletters and News articles

Shore Line East Riders' Association Press releases, News updates, and Newsletters

News Updates, as of June 30, 2000


June 29, 2000. Connecticut Department of Transportation and Amtrak plan to do their share to move some of the 1 million people expected to view OpSail 2000 at New London, Conn., July 12-15. CDOT's Shore Line East commuter service, which is operated by Amtrak over its Northeast Corridor between New Haven and New London, will offer additional trains on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The usually weekday-only operation also will run on Saturday, with several New Haven-New London round trips. OpSail 2000 is a traveling tour of more than 40 international tall ships which is visiting ports from Puerto Rico to Maine. New London Harbor, at the mouth of the Thames River, is home of the United States Coast Guard Academy (and its tall ship, the Eagle) and the U.S. Navy's submarine base in Groton. Amtrak's New London station is a natural destination for OpSail viewers, as it is located near the ferry piers on the Thames.

Additional information and train schedules:

OPSAIL 2000 CT SLE Schedules


Progress continues on new Shore Line East Stations

According to newspaper articles in the New Haven Register and Hartford Courant work on SLE stations in Branford, Guilford, Madison, Clinton and Westbrook is progressing on schedule and will be full operational by the spring of 2002..
Branford's new station will be located on eight acres of the former Malleable Iron Fittings site off Maple Street.
AS of June 27, 2000 plans were nearly complete for the new station next to the Westbrook Factory Stores. Construction should be completed by the fall of 2001. According to published reports the station will aesthetically match the outlet center with regards to colors and materials used.
Clinton, Guilford & Madison
Progress with regards to design and sighting continues on these three stations.

Shore Line East Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

On May 26, 2000 Shore Line East celebrated its 10th anniversary. As pointed out Shore Line East has survived Governor Rowland's two budget cutting threats, and the service interruptions during Amtrak's electrification work. With the upcoming construction on I-95 and the Q-Bridge Shore Line East will play a major role in providing alternatives to the congestion of I-95. Two new trains will be added later this year in anticipation of the construction work.

Third train to New London added

April 3, 2000. With the April 3, 2000 schedule train a third evening train to New London was added. The new train departs New Haven at 7:30 pm (making a connection with Metro North trains from NYC) and arrives in New London at 8:40 pm. Lee Carlson the Association's president was quoted as saying: "We’re always happy to see an improvement in service on our rail lines, since it is the only way we can alleviate traffic congestion on I-95, expecially when the bridge and roadway reconstruction in the New Haven area begin next year. What’s disappointing is that they have failed to advertise the new service, almost as if they’re hoping for it to fail. We’ve seen this type of behavior before. There has been very little effective advertising for the Shore Line East service in the print media for several years ... If we’re ever going to have a decent, integrated, well-patronized public transportation system in Connecticut, it must be made as user-friendly as possible."

News Updates, as of March 12, 2000

Monthly ridership up 10% during the past two months.

Monthly ridership during January and February rose nearly 10% over 1999. Average daily ridership for the two months was 1,132. On-time performance also higher, with over 97% of SLE trains on-time. For more complete statistics see our ridership and on-time performance page.

Proposed Branford station site won't need environmental cleanup.

According to published reports, the state Dept. of Environmental Protection has said that it "forsees no environmental issues associated" with the proposed Branford railroad station site. "Soil contaminants were identified at only a few locations, and at concentrations well below the DEP's remediation standards. Most locations sampled showed no evidence of pollution." The proposed site is on eight acres of the former Malleable Iron Fittings factory site off Maple Street. Tentatively construction will begin in the Fall of 2000, with completion scheduled a year later. The new station will have high level platforms canopies, pedistrian overpass, an elevator, and parking for 200 vehicles.

Old Guilford station demolished.

Amtrak unexpectedly tore down the 150 year old Guilford railroad station on February 23, 2000. According to published reports the old station was part of the plans for the new Guilford train station. The old station has not been used by passengers for a number of years and was in miserable condition. Currently SLE passengers board at a platform across from the old station. Sources at Amtrak said that the old station was torn down for "saftey reasons".

Reverse Commute plan in the works.

According to published reports, the Conn. Dept. of Transportation is studying the creation of instituting the option of beginning "reverse commuting" on SLE trains. Trains that currently carry passengers into New Haven in the morning, and out of New Haven at night would also carry passengers to the shore line towns and New London in the morning, and westbound toward New Haven at night. This service would serve people working at Phizer and Electric Boat in Groton (via a shuttle bus from New London), as well as people working in the shore line towns such as Clinton, Westbrook, and New London.

Amtrak begins Acela service and trains return to SLE.

Amtrak began its Acela service on January 31st with the introduction of two roundtrip Acela Regional trains between Washington, D.C. and Boston. These trains are the first regularly scheduled electric trains between these cities. This new service shortens travel time between NYC and Boston to 4 hours. For the SLE passengers the beginning of service also meant the return to all train service. The late morning and late evening trains that had been covered by bus service, returned to rail service. In addition the beginning of Acela service meant an end to most of the construction delays of the past two years.

Commuter rail bills before the Connecticut General Assembly

Currently there are two bills of interest to SLE riders before the Conn. General Assembly. As promised, Sen. Aniskovich has proposed Senate bill 231, that would eliminate fares on SLE. The second bill (House bill 5193) proposes the creation of commuter rail service between New Haven and Hartford. It has over 30 co-sponsers, including several local legislators. Please contact your legislators and tell them you support these two bills. For more information on the bills and their status go to the Conn. General Assembly search page. travel


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Created 11/28/1999 by E.C. Schroeder. Last Updated 6/29/2000
Contact: E.C. Schroeder at