July 2, 2022

Daily Gets State Funding to Upgrade Shoreline East Locomotives; However, Weekend Service to be Cut

Shoreline East train departs for New London

State Senator Eileen Daily has successfully sponsored the approval of $1.7 million in state bond monies to contribute to a $20 million federal program designed to upgrade all 14 locomotives of the Shoreline East railroad. Shoreline East presently provides seven days a week commuter train service to Branford, Guilford, Madison, Clinton, Westbrook and Old Saybrook, to and from New Haven.

There is also limited weekday service to New London, Bridgeport and Stamford.

Daily said in connection with the state bond grant, “There is no question but that the best way to relieve congestion on I-95 and along our shoreline is with a reliable, suitable alternate means of travel.”

Ironically, new monies to upgrade Shoreline East locomotives comes at a time when the state Department of Transportation recently announced that Shoreline East weekend train service will be eliminated, effective 2011. Also, tickets on Shoreline East will be increased by 15%, effective next November.

In discussing the elimination of weekend service and the fare hike, a DOT spokesman noted that the current state subsidy for each Shoreline East passenger is $30 a seat. Also, there has been no fare increase on Shoreline East tickets since 2005.
However, should there be an agreement between state union leaders and the Governor on cutbacks by state workers, the Shoreline East weekend service cut and fare increase could be rescinded, the spokesman said.

In her remarks on the state’s contribution to upgrade Shoreline East locomotives Daily said, “The vitality of our Shoreline East railroad becomes increasingly important during difficult economic times.” She added, “These funds will help ensure the dependability of Shoreline East for the foreseeable future, and I am grateful to Governor Molloy and other members of the Bond Commission for their favorable consideration of this initiative.”

In discussing a state commuter traffic profile, a state transportation spokesman gave these highlights: Only 4% of the state’s commuters use mass transit, and of that 4%, 2% commute by rail and 2% commute by bus. Also, 3% of commuters walk to work, and 0.3% commute by bicycle.

Shoreline East conductor at Old Saybrook