The operator of a new commuter train service between Springfield, Massachusetts, and New Haven, Connecticut, which is due to open in May 2018, has been appointed.
A joint venture between TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts (TAS/AC) will run the ‘Hartford Line’, which will is currently under construction.
Existing rail services run between the two cities but the new one will run more frequently and at speeds of up to 110mph, cutting the travel time to 1 hour 20 minutes.
This has been made possible by installing a second set of tracks along the entire Amtrak corridor.
The announcement of the $45 million contract with the Connecticut Department of Transportation was made by governor Daniel Malloy on July 24.
The contract will last for five years, plus an additional ten months of preliminary work.
As the service operator, TAS/AC will be responsible for operating trains, maintaining stations and parking facilities, and performing various customer service functions.
Amtrak will remain responsible for maintenance of the railway infrastructure, including track signals.
Governor Malloy said: “We are getting closer each day to launching commuter rail service between New Haven, Hartford, and our friends in Springfield – a service that we’ve needed in the central Connecticut area for decades and will finally allow an option to move people, goods, and services with greater ease.
“Creating the Hartford Line is just one part of our efforts toward building a best-in-class transportation system for Connecticut residents that drives growth, attracts businesses, and stimulates job creation, all while improving the overall quality of life for our residents.
“For the sake of our economy and our future, we cannot sit and let our infrastructure deteriorate – we are stepping up, moving forward, and getting this project done.”
Correction: This article has been corrected to clarify that the Hartford Line will travel through Berlin, Connecticut, not Berlin, New Hampshire.