Herzog/ACI JV to operate CT commuter line

Written by Railway Age Staff
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A joint venture of HerzogTransit Services subsidiary TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts Inc. has been selected as the service provider that will operate and manage service on the CTrail Hartford Line.

Through a “thorough service provider bidding process and cost-benefit analysis for the Hartford Line program,” the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) says it selected TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts (TASI/ACI). The companies are forming a joint venture solely for the purpose of serving the Hartford Line. Herzog earlier this year won a contract to operate Tri-Rail commuter rail services in South Florida.

Amtrak had been one of the prospective Connecticut operators.

The $45 million contract between TASI/ACI and ConnDOT will last five years, plus approximately 10 months of preliminary mobilization work that is required to prepare for the launch of the service. As the Hartford Line service provider, TASI/ACI will be responsible for operating trains, maintaining stations and parking facilities, and performing various customer service functions.

“The Joint Venture of TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts has the experience and background necessary to deliver passenger rail services that are equal to the nation’s best,” Scott Perry, TASI/ACI president, said. “We look forward to working with our partners at CTDOT and Amtrak to ensure a seamless launch and provide the more frequent, convenient and faster rail service that riders in this corridor want and deserve.”

The Hartford Line is currently under construction. It will provide more frequent train service between New Haven, Hartford and Springfield. The rail line is anticipated to launch in May 2018. Once launched, the line is expected to more than double the daily round trips currently offered in the corridor.

“We are getting closer each day to launching commuter rail service between New Haven, Hartford and our friends in Springfield – a service that we’ve needed in the central Connecticut area for decades and will finally allow an option to move people, goods, and services with greater ease,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said. “Creating the Hartford Line is just one part of our efforts toward building a best-in-class transportation system for Connecticut residents that drives growth, attracts businesses, and stimulates job creation, all while improving the overall quality of life for our residents. For the sake of our economy and our future, we cannot sit and let our infrastructure deteriorate – we are stepping up, moving forward, and getting this project done.”

The Hartford Line will act as a regional link with connections to existing rail services, including Metro-North, Shoreline East and Amtrak Acela high-speed rail services on both the New Haven Line to New York and on the Northeast Corridor to New London and Boston. There will also be direct bus connections to the Bradley Airport Flyer and to CTfastrak.

Amtrak will remain responsible for maintenance of the railroad infrastructure, including track signals, train dispatching and right-of-way security. Amtrak’s existing service will not be altered by Hartford Line service. CTrail trains will operate together with Amtrak trains on the rail line to provide Hartford Line service.

When the Hartford Line service launches, ConnDOT says a total of 17 roundtrip trains between New Haven and Hartford will operate each weekday, with 12 of those roundtrip trains continuing to Springfield. On weekends, a total of 13 roundtrip trains will operate between New Haven and Hartford, with 9 of those trains continuing onto Springfield.

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