High-speed rail for Connecticut $40 million closer to reality

Funding for a high-speed train project in Connecticut received a $40 million boost today from the federal government.

“This is great news for one of the most important and ambitious public transportation projects we have undertaken in years,” Gov. M. Jodi Rell said.

The money will be used to help build a second track through a 10-mile stretch between New Britain and Newington so trains can travel both ways on the route, and transportation officials say the track will relieve congestion on 1-91. Earlier this month, the State Bond Commission chaired by Rell, approved $26 million for the double-track project.

The federal funds came from a pool of $8 billion for high-speed trains. An additional $120 million was awarded to nearby high-speed train projects – including $70 million for Massachusetts and $50 million for Vermont.

“This $40-million is great news for one of the most important projects for Connecticut’s economic growth and transportation infrastructure,” said Tony Guerrera, chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

The state’s rail plan envisions upgrading the existing 62-mile track and nine stations between New Haven, Hartford and Springfield, Mass., and establishing a bus connection between the Windsor Locks station and Bradley International Airport.