Sen. Boucher: Improvements to Danbury branch line welcome; Commuters to benefit

November 15, 2013

Senator Toni Boucher today issued the following statement regarding the improvements to the Danbury branch line signal system and the addition of more trains on the Norwalk to Danbury Rail commuter line:

“When I was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly more than a decade ago, I made the Norwalk to Danbury rail line my top focus. At that time, some considered the Norwalk to Danbury rail line expendable. It was even slated for closure. I saw it as a lifeline to some of the strongest job markets in the region: Danbury, New Haven, Bridgeport, Norwalk, Stamford, Greenwich and Manhattan. I knew we needed to work together to strengthen and improve this vital asset to our state economy.

“After over a decade of strong advocacy and multiple bills to focus attention on this important rail commuter line, a vital upgrade has finally been completed. With these improvements, the rail line will now contribute more broadly to Connecticut’s much needed economic recovery. The result will be additional available trips for commuters.

“The Rell and Malloy administrations have prioritized our rail system. They have wisely supported efforts to move this and other commuter-oriented projects forward. I thank them and Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker for keeping their focus on the people who always deserve our full attention: Connecticut’s commuters. This upgrade has been a long time coming, but our persistence is paying off.”

To Danbury Branch Customers: The Connecticut Department of Transportation’s signal upgrade is intended to improve weekday Reverse Peak and Off Peak service with the addition of three new shuttle trains making round trips between Danbury and South Norwalk. In the AM Reverse-Peak, a new northbound shuttle departs South Norwalk at 7:33 AM, getting customers to employment centers at Merritt 7 and Wilton before 8 AM.

  • New shuttles also depart South Norwalk at 10:08 AM and 10:40 PM. (The 11:15 AM from South Norwalk will depart 60 minutes later at 12:15 PM.)
  • In the Off Peak, new shuttles depart Danbury at 8:57 AM, 11:32 AM, and 7:25 PM.
  • The 12:40 PM from Danbury will depart 52 minutes later at 1:32 PM.
  • The last departure from Danbury will depart 36 minutes later, at 11:10 PM.
  • The 6:55 PM Peak train from Grand Central, previously connecting to a Danbury shuttle at Stamford, will become a 7:12 PM departure, now connecting to a shuttle at South Norwalk.
  • The last train to Danbury will depart South Norwalk 50 minutes later at 12:29 AM, giving those of you traveling from New York a post-11 PM departure on weekdays.

Danbury Branch “through” service will go from four trains to three trains. These additional changes are being made:

  • The 5:32 AM Peak train from Danbury will depart four minutes later at 5:36 AM and connect at South Norwalk with a main line electric train. Arrival at Grand Central is still 7:38 AM. (While this train will require a transfer, the running time has improved by four minutes.)
  • The 7:54 AM Peak train from Danbury, which was temporarily changed from a shuttle train to a through train in July in order to facilitate the Bronx Right-of-Way Improvement project, will remain a through train on a permanent basis.