WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — It was a celebration in Wallingford on Monday as Governor Daniel Malloy and other officials cut the ribbon on the new train station there — the first, completed train station that will be part of the new CTrail Hartford line.
The Governor says that line should be ready for train travel in May. It’ll connect New Haven to Springfield, Mass with connecting or direct service to places like Boston and Vermont. Along the way, it’ll pass through several Connecticut towns like Meriden and Berlin on the way to Hartford. It’ll also connect Connecticut towns with New York City.
Connecticut residents, like Ben Martin, see it as an easier way to get to work in Milford without using his car and dealing with the traffic headaches that go along with it.
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“I have commuted down there before without taking my car,” Ben said. “I either had to ride my bike down to New Haven and get on the Metro-North over to Milford, which takes about an hour and a half, or I have to take a bus down there, and then the train over which takes about an hour 15 minutes. So, if I can get down there in 20 minutes, and take a 10-minute ride to Milford, you’re cutting my commute either by a third or half.”
Governor Malloy says not only is it meant to make life more convenient for riders like Ben, the governor also hopes it gets cities and towns along the route on the right economic track.
“There’s a lot of talk at the Capitol and in city halls across the state about the need to make Connecticut more business friendly,” the governor said. “One of the best things we can do to make our state more business-friendly is invest in our transportation network.”
It cost $21 million just to build the Wallingford station. The state is spending $564 million on the entire line. The federal government kicked in almost $205 million. Connecticut leaders say the money is worth it. They believe the new rail line will serve as an economic engine that could be the catalyst to new jobs and new companies coming to Connecticut.
“This will absolutely help attract businesses and a workforce that we can compete with any other place and it will make our economy much, much stronger,” said Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman.