FAQ

FAQ

CTDOT is committed to engaging with stakeholders like you throughout this project. The questions listed here are some of the more common questions received from members of the public. If you have an additional question or concern not addressed here, please reach out through our Contact page. We’d love to hear from you!

Q. What is TIME FOR CT?

A.  TIME FOR CT is an actionable plan to deliver safe, reliable, and fast train service for Connecticut based on a comprehensive analysis. TIME FOR CT is an $8 – 10 billion investment that is the down-payment for higher-speed rail service throughout Connecticut. The plan is built on three pillars: service, infrastructure, and fleet that together will result in faster trip times across the Connecticut rail network, expanded and more direct service between Connecticut cities, updated and rebuilt track, signals, and structures, and new state-of-the art rail cars. 

Q. When will I start to see improvements?

A.  TIME FOR CT includes initial travel time savings of up to 10 minutes between New Haven and New York City as early as 2022.

Q. How much faster will my train be?

A.  Customers traveling between New Haven and New York City will save 10 minutes each way starting in 2022 with savings increasing up to 25 minutes by 2035.

Q. Is there anything in the TIME FOR CT plan related to service on the Shore Line East route, or for rail in general in eastern Connecticut?

A.  The TIME FOR CT rail plan is to improve travel time on the New Haven Line but there will be benefits for all connecting Shore Line East and Amtrak passengers who travel through this section in reduced travel times to reach destinations such as Stamford and New York.

Q. What are the ridership numbers for the Shore Line East for the previous five years?

A.  Calendar years:

  • 2016 = 828,721
  • 2017 = 786,331
  • 2018 = 597,363 (Forced busing impact)
  • 2019 = 660,477 (Forced busing impact)
  • 2020 = 155,871 (COVID impact)

Q. What projects are necessary to achieve the additional 15 minutes of travel time savings?

A.  The following are the most critical projects to realize the additional 15 minutes in travel time savings.  There is not an individual accounting of travel time benefits associated with each. The full $8-10 billion program is necessary to achieve the travel time benefit with an appropriate level of service reliability.

  • Optimization of superelevation and improving FRA track classification/track conditions from FRA Class 4 to FRA Class 5 and 6  
  • NHL curve speed improvements ($347 million)  
  • TIME-1 Bridgeport-Stratford ($250 million) + TIME-2 Greenwich area ($50 million) 
  • Fixed and Movable bridge programs ($3.85 billion) 
  • 4th Track @ Milford ($150 million) 
  • Station Platform lengthening (reduces dwell time and eliminates need to ‘double-stop’ at stations) ($500 million) 

Q. Will express service align with connecting trains from SLE, Hartford Line, and New Canaan Branch?

A.  Yes, future services will be aligned to enhance connectivity (minimize transfer time) between all rail lines and the New Haven Line.

Q. Are there any improvements in the TIME FOR CT program for the Hartford Line or the broader Capitol region of Connecticut?

A.  Yes, future services will be aligned to enhance connectivity (minimize transfer time) between all rail lines and the New Haven Line. The TIME FOR CT rail plan is to improve travel time on the New Haven Line but there will be benefits for all connecting rail to the Hartford Line for CTrail and Amtrak passengers who are traveling through New Haven to Stamford or New York.

Q. Will my stop in Stratford benefit from the travel time savings by the Super Express trains to New York?

A.  The Super Express train from New Haven to New York will be launched in 2022 and will include stops in Bridgeport, Stamford, and New York. Stratford passengers can board trains in Bridgeport to realize the time savings of these new express trains.

Q. What are the component costs of the $8-10 billion program?

TIME FOR CT Estimated Capital Cost by Program

Program/Projects 

Estimated Cost  

($2020s)* 

Track (track, roadbed, drainage, interlockings) 

$922 million 

Bridges (fixed, movable) 

$3.85 billion

Stations (NHL only including WBL and DBL) 

$715 million

Signal & Traction Power Systems (signals, catenary, substations) 

$390 million

Fleet (includes CTrail and Metro-North rail cars & locomotives) 

$1.24 billion

Shops & Yards (NHL + CTrail

$1.00 billion

SUBTOTAL 

$8.117 billion

*estimate subject to change

NOTE: An additional $130 million annually is needed for ongoing capital maintenance to keep the railroad in a state of good repair.

Q. Does TIME FOR CT include potential direct trains to Penn Station that will be possible upon completion of the East Side Access project?

A.  TIME FOR CT is working with Metro-North to provide Connecticut residents direct service from the New Haven Line to Penn Station following start-up of the Long Island Rail Road’s direct service into Grand Central Terminal.

Q. Have any new rail yards for fleet storage been identified to benefit the Hartford Line service? What are the capital costs for the specific improvements outlined in TIME FOR CT?

A.  TIME FOR CT work includes investigating expansion and modification of existing rail storage and maintenance facilities for the new fleet of equipment that will be in service on the Hartford Line.

Q. I don’t commute to New York City, how will I benefit from TIME FOR CT?

A.  TIME FOR CT will provide benefits to customers throughout Connecticut by increasing train frequencies between key Connecticut markets like Stamford, Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven. New modern, fully accessible cars will improve the customer experience for all riders and infrastructure investment will improve reliability throughout the system.

Q. Who’s paying for TIME FOR CT?

A.  TIME FOR CT will be financed through a combination of state and federal sources.

Q. What accessibility improvements are planned?

A.  TIME FOR CT includes plans to make all of the rail stations in Connecticut ADA-accessible; that includes high-level platforms on five (5) Waterbury Line stations and improvements to Hartford Line and Shore Line East stations as required.

Q. When will the new coaches be put into service and where can we expect to see them?

A.  CTDOT expects to finalize an agreement with a rail car manufacturer this summer; the first rail cars are expected to arrive in Connecticut in 2025. The initial order of rail cars (60) will replace the CTrail coaches in service on the Shore Line East and Hartford Line.   Subsequent options for additional cars, pending funding availability, will be used to expand CTrail service on the SLE, HFL, Danbury, and Waterbury branches.