First run Friday for new Springfield-to-Connecticut commuter rail line

Hampden County

Starting this weekend, more trains will be riding the rails between Springfield, Hartford, and New Haven.

Friday will was big day at Springfield’s Union Station, and at other train stations along the I-91 corridor. A long-awaited commuter rail line linking New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield made its ceremonial first run Friday morning, and the weekend will feature two days of free rides for the public.

The $765 million project, which began more than a decade ago, included the construction of 21 new bridges and the layering of 21 miles of new track, with 105,000 railroad ties.

The service along the I-91 corridor will feature 17 daily trains. Eight of those will be operated by Connecticut, the others will be Amtrak trains. Hartford Line tickets, which cost $8 for a 45-minute trip from New Haven to Hartford and $12 for a trip from New Haven to Springfield, are valid on both.

The rail service will operate at speeds of up to 110 MPH, cutting the travel time from Springfield to New Haven to as little as 81 minutes.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on the Grand Concourse of Union Station before the inaugural train arrived at 10:55 Friday morning.

22News reporter Mike Masciadrelli has been riding the train, and will bring you the latest updates here on WWLP.com and on the air for a look at this new commuting opportunity.

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