Alstom and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) on Aug. 9 confirmed a $315 million base order for 60 single-level commuter railcars, with options to build 313 more as part of the state’s railcar renewal program to replace its aging fleet of non-powered coaches and control (cab) cars. Delivery of the first cars is expected to begin in 2026. It is anticipated that power will be provided by six Alstom ALP-45DP dual-power (diesel/AC catenary) locomotives that are part of a larger order by Metro-North.
Based on Alstom’s Adessia platform, the new railcars will be prioritized for use on the non-electrified Hartford Line, as well as the non-electrified branches of the New Haven Line, CTDOT reported. They will feature a two-by-two seating configuration with foldable tables and access for riders using mobility aids; overhead luggage racks, workstation tables and a bicycle storage area; Wi-Fi access; real-time information on upcoming stops; power and USB access; panoramic balcony-style windows at wheeled mobility spaces; and “the most current cybersecurity safety features,” according to Alstom.
Additionally, each stainless steel 85-foot-long railcar will be designed for “continuous operation of up to 24 hours and 1,200 miles daily and will have at least a 40-year design life,” reported the state, which noted that the cars will be customized to meet Federal Railroad Administration requirements and tailored for CTDOT.
“The CTDOT Office of Rail is working hard to upgrade the trip for rail customers across Connecticut,” said CTDOT Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto, who took over leadership earlier this year from Joseph Giulietti. “We know they want more comfortable seats, Wi-Fi access, bike storage and ADA accessibility, and we’re taking action on those needs with steps like this. We’re pleased to partner with Alstom on the order of the next generation of railcars. This order is part of our ongoing capital program to purchase new railcars and improve the customer experience.”
“We are proud to be a part of this exciting new chapter for CTDOT and the people of Connecticut,” Alstom Americas President Michael Keroullé said. “We look forward to further building upon our relationship with CTDOT by providing extensive expertise ranging from passenger ergonomics, experience, and comfort to operational considerations and optimized maintenance practices for years to come.”
Passenger rail service in Connecticut is supported by CTDOT and consists of three main lines and three branch lines. The New Haven Line, operated by MTA Metro-North Railroad, runs between New Haven, Conn., and Grand Central Terminal in New York City. This line has three branches that extend to New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury, Conn. Shore Line East runs between New London, Conn., and New Haven, with some through-service to Stamford and connections to the New Haven Line. The Hartford Line operates between Springfield, Mass., and New Haven, connecting with New Haven Line and Amtrak Northeast Corridor service.