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FRA Holds Public Hearings On Northeast Rail Corridor Improvements

The Federal Railroad Administration is holding public hearings on some potential plans to upgrade rail service in the Northeast Corridor from Washington, D.C. to Boston over the next 25 years.

Some of the FRA’s more expensive potential upgrades would bypass New Haven. One would include a high-speed rail line from Washington, D.C. to Stamford, but not as far as New Haven. Another would add a new high-speed rail line from New York to Boston. Trains would travel at 220 miles per hour on a path that follows the I-84 corridor—passing through Waterbury, Hartford and the University of Connecticut.

There’s also a proposal for a different high speed rail line that would go from New York City to Boston via Long Island by tunneling under the Sound and heading through Hartford. The most expensive of those plans would cost nearly $300 billion.

About 20 people spoke at the hearing at Gateway Community College. Many said those proposals were too ambitious and expensive. Ginny Kozlowski is with a non-profit that promotes economic development in southern Connecticut.

“To acquire the land and do all the environmental work, it’s going to be prohibitively expensive," she said. "I think it’s about dollars and cents, and we already have the infrastructure here that obviously needs to be in a state of good repair.”

Koslowski said she’s in favor of the cheapest of the potential plans the FRA laid out. It would cost about $65 billion and would add some new segments of track and improve existing sections of the northeast corridor.

The FRA said it plans to announce its final decision in the spring.

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