Officials cut the ribbon at Union Station to officially open new commuter rail line

Hampden County

You’ll be able to begin taking the new Hartford Rail Line starting on Saturday.

22News was on board Friday’s inaugural train ride. The journey to Hartford only took about 40 minutes.

Transportation officials say this rail service will provide a quick and stress-free commute to Connecticut.

Congressman Richard Neal and transportation officials cut the ribbon Friday morning at Union Station in Springfield. The Hartford Rail line’s inaugural train departed Union Station shortly after the 11 a.m. ceremony.

The inaugural run included two trains, one which we rode from Springfield to Hartford and a second that went from New Haven to Hartford. The first train made stops in Windsor Locks and Windsor where more people came aboard.

The 22News Skyview drone captured images from the air as the train made its way to Hartford where Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy led a ceremony marking the opening of the Hartford Rail Line.

“It gives real opportunity for people moving in an out of the district for economic development and for jobs in this area,” the President of ACI, the company operating the Hartford Line, said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity.”

Congressman Richard Neal told 22News this is one more step to continued expansion of rail service for Massachusetts.

“I think there will be many people who will use this who will go back and forth to go to games in New York,” Neal said. “And I hope the study that’s underway will help us get us to Worcester to Boston and Pittsfield.”

The Connecticut Department of Transportation said this rail service will reduce traffic on I-91 and make it easier for people who commute to Connecticut for work.

“Now they have a comfortable ride where they can read sleep or do some homework or do some of work,” Deputy Commissioner Anna Barry explained. “And it’s an option for people who get stuck on highways or not able to go at all.”

The CT Rail Line train reached speeds of 80 miles per hour traveling on the newly built tracks. But Barry told 22News the Hartford Line’s Amtrak trains go 30 miles per hour faster than that.

A one-way ticket from Springfield to Hartford is $6 and $12.75 if you want to go to New Haven. You ‘ll have to switch trains in New Haven, if you want to get to New York City.

The new service connects Springfield to both Hartford and New Haven.

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