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Massachusetts To Connecticut: Give Us Our Rail Cars Back

Interstate Railfan
Wikimedia Commons
CTrail’s Hartford Line as seen in New Haven. The commuter rail has been using coaches borrowed from the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority since launching in 2018.";

Connecticut paid thousands of dollars to upgrade the old train cars it leased from Massachusetts to revive the Hartford Rail Line. Now Massachusetts wants them back.

The rail service between New Haven and Springfield almost did not launch on time in 2018. Connecticut lacked the cash to buy new rail cars, so the state leased 30-year-old cars from Massachusetts instead.

Joseph Giulietti, commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Transportation, says that lease is coming up.

“We’ve got a good relationship with Massachusetts, they understand, but they’re also in a position that, you know, they don’t want to extend a lease on their cars because they have a need for it.”

Giulietti says he’s shopping options to get rail cars elsewhere.

When the old Massachusetts cars first launched, passengers on the Hartford Line couldn’t use the bathrooms aboard. The CT DOT locked them after complaints they were not accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

The DOT eventually unlocked the bathrooms and paid to retrofit the cars with modern facilities.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.
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