Connecticut is moving forward with ambitious and forward-thinking plans to improve passenger rail service along the I-91/New Haven-Hartford-Springfield (NHHS) corridor. The Hartford Line rail project represents a broad partnership between the State of Connecticut, Amtrak, and the Federal Railroad Administration, as well as the states of Massachusetts and Vermont. The new service will increase the number of connections from Vermont, western Massachusetts, and interior Connecticut to the Northeast Corridor, New York City, and beyond. With this level of direct and connecting service linking the region, towns along the Hartford Line will attract transit-oriented development, becoming ideal places to live and relocate businesses that depend on regional markets and travel.
Critical to this initiative is the design of 11 new or upgraded high-speed passenger rail stations. Station planning and environmental documents were completed in 2012, and the Connecticut Department of Transportation has moved forward with station, track, bridge, and infrastructure design along the Hartford Line corridor, which stretches 63 miles in Connecticut. The new stations will consist of two 500-foot-high level platforms providing safe and convenient boarding onto passenger trains. The platforms will comply with ADA requirements and will provide numerous passenger amenities, including real-time train schedule displays, platform signage, waiting shelters, closed-circuit security cameras, LED platform lighting, and an innovative, built-in snowmelt system to keep the platforms dry and prevent snow accumulation. Platforms will be connected with stair towers and pedestrian overpasses to facilitate safe crossing of the high-speed rail corridor. The overall station design has been developed, in conjunction with the individual towns along the corridor, such that it fits well into the traditional New England Main Street context. This context-sensitive design approach integrates high-speed rail service in the northeast and establishes an easily recognizable identity for the corridor.
VHB is a key member of the team that is serving the Connecticut Department of Transportation on this initiative. Our responsibilities include development of site/civil, drainage design and/or permitting support for the Enfield, Windsor Locks, Berlin, Meriden, Wallingford, and North Haven stations, culminating in the preparation of construction documents. VHB is also tasked with Construction Phase Services related to our site/civil and drainage design tasks.