Hartford rail line set to bring economic growth to CT

The new Hartford rail line could bring economic growth to the state (WFSB)

Connecticut's new rail line exceeded expectations this past weekend.

The rails were free and people got on board.

The line, which goes from New Haven to Springfield, MA was free on Saturday and Sunday.

The commuter rail is also creating some economic growth.

There was a total of 21,850 riders on the Hartford line over the weekend.

Sunday alone attracted 11,550 riders, surpassing the 10,300 who rode on Saturday.

Many wanted to check out the trains, and as for communities along the tracks, they are definitely on board with all of it.

Major plans are in the works for old factories that are built along the canal in Windsor Locks.

The old Montgomery Company has been vacant for at least 30 years, but now it's now being renovated into 160 apartments.

"I get people coming into my office and they want to know where the sign up list is for these apartments and I say ‘I am just the first selectman, I don't have anything to do with the project,’” said Chris Kervick, Windsor Locks First Selectman.

Kervick says the state's new rail line has sparked new interest in living there.

Many young people want to take the train to work and other places to avoid traffic and parking.

Windsor Locks is one of the stops on the new Hartford line,

An old train station, built in the late 1800's closed in the 1970's is also being renovated to welcome people to town.

Governor Dannel Malloy made the push for it.

"It will evolve and over time it will be quite successful,” said Malloy.

The start of the Hartford line could lay the groundwork for economic growth.

Businesses near the tracks could get many more customers.

Mike Barile, who owns a real estate company, feels this will be good for the housing market.

"There will be increased requests for rental properties. Should be a boost for residential properties, people looking to sell their homes, bring more people into Windsor Locks,” said Barile.

Another developer is interested in building a farmer’s market near the train stop, which is all very encouraging for towns that could use a boost.

"It definitely starts with transportation and that's what stimulates all of these other things, people talk about the cost of the Hartford line but Windsor Locks is proof positive it's working,” said Kervick.

The cost of the Hartford line was about $700 million, with much of it being paid for by the federal government.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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