The next step in the development of the Hartford line, which will significantly expand daily passenger rail service between New Haven and Springfield, takes place on Monday with the opening of a newly constructed passenger station in Wallingford.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) will officially open the new CTrail Hartford Line Wallingford Station to the public on Monday afternoon. The new station is located at 343 North Cherry Street, approximately one mile north of the existing station.
It will be opening in advance of the May 2018 launch of CTrail Hartford Line passenger rail service. Gov. Malloy and state officials announced last month that a one-way trip between Hartford and New Haven will run $8 when the expanded commuter service gets underway next spring. A trip along the entire length of the rail line — Springfield to New Haven — will cost $12.75.
The Wallingford station features amenities “aimed at providing a high-quality passenger experience,” officials point out, including high-level platforms on both sides of the track as well as elevators, stairways with an overhead pedestrian bridge to cross the tracks, and canopies covering approximately 50 percent of the platform length. There will be parking for approximately 221 vehicles in two surface parking lots at the station. There is also a passenger information display system, security cameras, electric vehicle charging, and bicycle racks. Limited seating on the platform is also available.
Construction began in December 2014 and cost approximately $21 million. New rail stations in Meriden and Berlin are under construction, and are expected to come on line prior to the launch of the expanded passenger service in the spring. DOT officials have previously indicated that all stations will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and none of the stations will have bathrooms.
Once underway, the new daily service will mean that from New Haven to Hartford, trains will increase from six to 17 per day. Between Hartford and Springfield, trains will increase from six to 12 per day. A new station in North Haven station is currently being designed, and is not due to be built and open until 2020. Stations in Enfield, Newington, West Hartford, Windsor and Windsor Locks stations are also part of the Hartford Line plans. Trains will arrive at stations in New Haven, Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin and Hartford every 45 minutes during peak hours and every 60 to 90 minutes during off-peak periods.
The DOT is accepting comments on the new fares through Nov. 27 by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or mail. In addition, there will be three public comment forums: at 5 p.m. on Nov. 13 at the New Haven Hall of Records; 4 p.m. on Nov. 14 at Capital Community College in Hartford; and 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 15 at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission in Springfield.
There is more than a rail station at work in Wallingford. The town has completed a Transit-Oriented-Development (TOD) Plan that features shifting existing industrial development to the north, freeing up space for mixed-use and retail development in Downtown, officials said. The existing Parker Place apartment complex near the station offers a precedent for TOD and is expanding 200 units. The Town is also making efforts to encourage and support TOD by creating a new Town Center zoning district and reducing off street parking requirements. Transit-Oriented-Development refers to a high density, pedestrian oriented, mixed-use development located within a short walk of transit stations. TOD plans are also anticipated at the other stations along the Hartford line.