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Shore Line East expands train service

Published May 17. 2013 6:00PM   Updated May 17. 2013 11:49PM
Local rail service adding more weekday, weekend, Friday trains

Shore Line East is expanding train service to Old Saybrook and New London as part of a new spring schedule announced Friday by the state Department of Transportation.

The announcement was made before two Metro-North trains collided near Fairfield Friday night. It was unclear Friday how the accident would affect Shore Line East service. Shore Line East, which synchronizes its schedule to Metro-North's in New Haven, canceled several westbound trains to New Haven Friday evening, according to its Twitter feed.

The Shore Line East's expanded service includes new weekend train service to Old Saybrook, new weekday late-morning service to Old Saybrook and New London, and two special Friday-only trains between New Haven and Old Saybrook.

The expanded service, along with changes to train departure and arrival times, is scheduled to start today, though Friday's train derailment could disrupt some service.

"This service has been contemplated for some time and is based on needs that have been voiced in southeastern Connecticut by commuters, state and local officials and public transit advocates," DOT Spokesman Judd Everhart said.

Four new trains are being added to the weekday schedule, including two trains each to and from New London and Old Saybrook. Trains will depart New Haven at 9:12 a.m. for Old Saybrook and at 11:02 a.m. for New London. Trains will depart Old Saybrook at 10:55 a.m. for New Haven and depart New London at 12:15 p.m. for New Haven.

The two Friday-only trains will leave New Haven at 2:10 p.m. for Old Saybrook and depart Old Saybrook at 3:05 p.m. for New Haven.

Shore Line East is adding three trains to each weekend day, for a total of 19 trains to be operated each weekend day to and from Old Saybrook.

Additional weekend service to and from New London is anticipated in the near future. Amtrak, which owns the line between New Haven and New London, has submitted an application for the additional service to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Approval is required because of the rail bridges crossing water between Old Saybrook and New London. Bridges cross the Connecticut River, Niantic River and Shaw's Cove in that area.

Shore Line East trains are owned and operated by the DOT under contract with Amtrak to provide daily rail operations. It provides about 500,000 passenger trips each year, operating nine stations in eight towns, Everhart said.

Commuter operations began in 1990, serving seven stations along the 33-mile segment of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor between New Haven and Old Saybrook, Everhart said. The service was extended to New London in 1996. A second station at State Street in New Haven was opened about 10 years ago.

For a complete list of train times and services, visit www.shorelineeast.com.

g.smith@theday.com

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