Commuters press Conn. to improve Waterbury rail

Rail road tracks (file).
Rail road tracks (file).

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut commuters on a Metro-North Railroad branch line are mobilizing to demand improvements.

Advocates will meet Wednesday with commuters on the Waterbury branch to sharpen their lobbying.

Jim Gildea of the Connecticut Rail Commuter Council says the 27-mile-long Waterbury line, which feeds commuters to the New Haven line linking Connecticut to New York City, is characterized by a lack of planning and investment and a buses too often used to substitute for broken down trains.

Judd Everhart, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, says tracks and bridges have been replaced and a parking lot and waiting room are being built.

The state also will spend up to $7 million for signals on the rail line, which will include passing sidings for north- and southbound trains to pass each other.

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