The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) today announced that beginning Tuesday, January 22, 2019, six weekday trains will be restored to the Shore Line East (SLE) schedule. CTDOT also announced changes by Amtrak to reduce overcrowding on afternoon trains on the Hartford Line between New Haven and Hartford.
The Shore Line East trains will replace scheduled bus service that has been operating since April 2018. Additionally, two Friday-only trains will now operate every weekday to provide customers with additional travel options.
On the Hartford Line, in order to address persistent overcrowding on afternoon Amtrak trains, the DOT has worked with Amtrak to limit advance ticket sales through Amtrak’s reservation system. The change took effect on January 2 for Amtrak Train 475 (Hartford to New Haven) and Train 474 (New Haven to Hartford), making room for up to 72 CTrail Hartford Line ticketed customers on these trains. CTDOT and Amtrak are monitoring ridership levels and will consider additional changes to the reservation system as needed.
Shore Line East is the train service between New Haven and New London owned and operated by Amtrak under an agreement with CTDOT. In addition to New Haven and New London, there are stops in Branford, Guilford, Madison, Clinton, Westbrook and Old Saybrook.
The following SLE trains will be reinstated on Tuesday, January 22:
Westbound to New Haven -
- SLE Train 1627 – will depart Old Saybrook at 5:37 AM and arrive in New Haven at 6:22 AM.
- SLE Train 1645 – will depart Old Saybrook at 7:50 AM and arrive in New Haven at 8:35 AM.
- SLE Train 1675 – will now operate daily, departing Old Saybrook at 3:05 PM and arrive in New Haven at 3:45 PM.
- SLE Train 1687 – will depart Old Saybrook at 6:13 PM and arrive in New Haven at 6:54 PM.
Eastbound to Old Saybrook
- SLE Train 1604 – will depart New Haven at 6:55 AM and arrive in Old Saybrook at 7:36 AM.
- SLE Train 1626 – will now operate daily, departing New Haven at 2:10 PM and arrive in Old Saybrook at 2:58 PM.
- SLE Train 1638 – will depart New Haven at 5:10 PM and arrive in Old Saybrook at 5:56 PM.
- SLE Train 1656 – will depart New Haven at 7:11 PM and arrive in Old Saybrook at 7:56 PM.
Customers should check their particular train departure time as it may differ from the bus departure time.
“We are pleased to return these trains to the schedule, but our work is not yet done. We will work tirelessly to restore full train service on Shore Line East. This is our goal. Our customers deserve no less.” said CTDOT Commissioner-designate Joseph J. Giulietti. “And on the Hartford Line, we believe these changes will alleviate some of the ongoing overcrowding on weekday afternoons. We thank Amtrak for its willingness to make these changes.”
CTDOT has been working with Amtrak to accelerate necessary repairs to the aging diesel locomotive and rail car fleet on Shore Line East. In order to get rail service back to normal, some rail cars and locomotives were shipped out of state to other Amtrak facilities for repair. Work shifts were added at the SLE New Haven shop.
In addition, another diesel locomotive was overhauled and recently released for service on SLE. The returned locomotive is part of the $46 million diesel locomotive overhaul program, which will when complete restore 18 diesel locomotives. The newly overhauled locomotives can be identified by their new red and black CTrail paint scheme.
Shore Line East customers are urged to check the service website at www.ShoreLineEast.com or call 877-287-4337 for the latest information. Hartford Line customers should check www.HartfordLine.com or call 877-287-4337.