Connecticut Launches New Passenger Rail Service with Support from WSP and STV
Jul 12, 2018
The CTrail Hartford Line service was launched last month providing new rail passenger service through central Connecticut.
As program manager, WSP USA, a leading engineering and professional services consultancy, helped secure funding and managed the design, construction and service planning for the eight-year, $769 million New Haven-Hartford-Springfield (NHHS) High-Speed Rail Program. STV, a provider of design and construction management services for transportation infrastructure and facilities throughout North America, worked as a subconsultant to WSP on this vital rail corridor in New England.
“The launch of the CTrail Hartford Line, the first new rail passenger service in Connecticut in almost 30 years, represents a tremendous accomplishment for WSP and for our client, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT),” said Anthony Moretti, WSP USA vice president and Connecticut area manager.
“This was a transformational program that designed and constructed the largest service increase of any high-speed rail program completed in the United States. The team not only built a vital transportation lifeline for the region, but also created a new chapter for Connecticut’s rail history, one that is geared towards revitalizing communities throughout Connecticut and driving economic development to areas near transit. I am honored to have led this highly-skilled and dedicated team,” said Robert Yirigian, assistant vice president and project manager for WSP USA.
“This was a very complex project in terms of its scope, the number of stakeholders, and its technical challenges,” said Timothy Casey, STV’s senior project manager. “Introducing a viable rail transit alternative along this corridor has been a major transportation priority for the state for years. It’s gratifying to see this project come to fruition.”
WSP’s oversight of the NHHS Rail Program included the design and construction of 21 miles of double track from North Haven to Windsor, 30 miles of new or realigned track, 27 drainage culverts, 21 bridges, 2.4 miles of retaining walls, 15 grade crossings to improve safety, signal system improvements, and five rail interlockings.
New state-of-the-art train stations in Berlin, Meriden, and Wallingford were designed and constructed, along with new high-level platforms at Hartford Union Station and State Street Station in New Haven.
Ensuring reliable and safe operations for the new CTrail Hartford Line service was paramount. The program management team worked closely with CTDOT to support procurement of a service provider for the new service, as well as Ticket Vending Machines, and to develop schedules, a website, and a robust public outreach and marketing campaign.
Transit oriented development is expected to increase along the corridor, supported by the fact that even before the opening of the Hartford Line, approximately $400 million of development had begun or was completed in towns such as New Haven, Berlin, Meriden, Windsor and Windsor Locks.
The service on the line is provided by Amtrak as well as the new CTrail Hartford Line service provider, the joint venture team of TransitAmerica Services/Alternate Concepts Inc. The combined service is triple the pre-launch capacity with a total of 17 weekday trains between New Haven and Hartford, and 12 trains continuing from Hartford to Springfield. Trains will operate approximately every 45 minutes during the morning and evening peak commuting hours.
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