Senator Lesser Meets with Connecticut Governor Malloy on Inter-State Rail Initiatives to Boost Regional Economy

“I am glad we have allies in Connecticut who understand the power of regional transportation to transform our economies,” Lesser said

HARTFORD — Sen. Eric P. Lesser met with Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and other Connecticut state officials at the State House in Hartford Thursday to receive an update on Connecticut’s plans to establish New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail service and discuss the importance of Sen. Lesser’s Springfield to Boston rail proposal to the economies of both their states.

Sen. Lesser’s also met with Connecticut Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman in her State Capitol office and Connecticut Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff of Darien. Lesser also met with Connecticut state Reps. Caroline Simmons of Stamford and Cristin McCarthy Vahey of Fairfield, who serves on the Connecticut House’s Transportation Committee.

At each meeting, Connecticut officials reaffirmed their support for regional rail infrastructure projects that would ultimately connect Boston to Springfield, Hartford and New York City.

“I am glad we have allies in Connecticut who understand the power of regional transportation to transform our economies. East-west rail will be a victory not only for Massachusetts but for our region, including Connecticut, and we have built broad regional support for this proposal. We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to bring Boston-Springfield high speed rail — and the new opportunities that come with it — to our region and our people,” Sen. Lesser said.

“Senator Lesser's district borders my state of Connecticut and shares many economic ties. We had a productive meeting where I updated him about Connecticut's work to bring commuter rail from New Haven and Hartford to Springfield, and I applaud his leadership on the vital link from Springfield to Boston, which would be a boon for all of Western New England,” Gov. Malloy said.

“We had a very productive visit with Senator Lesser at the Connecticut State Capitol. Connecticut is proud to be making progress on new commuter rail service between New Haven, Hartford and Springfield. The next step is for Massachusetts to complete the vital link from Springfield to Boston, and we are grateful for Senator Lesser's leadership and focus on that goal,” Connecticut Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff said.

Malloy previously sent a letter to Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker in January urging him to support enhanced rail service from Springfield through Worcester and onto Boston.

“Improved transportation connections will only strengthen our communities and increase economic growth significantly,” Malloy wrote in his January letter. “It is my hope that Massachusetts will consider adding this vital link for the Knowledge Corridor to Hartford, New Haven and New York City with frequent and reliable service to Boston.”

Connecticut is in the process of establishing new commuter rail service between New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield. The state plans to add enough service so that Springfield travelers can board trains every 45 minutes during the morning and evening peak hours and approximately every 90 minutes during off-peak periods.

Sen. Lesser’s proposal for high-speed rail service to Boston would build upon the ongoing work being done by Connecticut, and eventually would establish Springfield as a crossroads for north-south travel from New York to Montreal, and east-west service to Boston.

In January, Sen. Lesser reintroduced a bill in the Massachusetts State Senate to require the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to move forward with a feasibility study of Springfield-Boston high speed rail after the same bill passed both the House and Senate last year before being vetoed by Gov. Baker.