State Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) is urging fellow lawmakers to make the Danbury branch line of Metro North a priority.
The branch line still uses diesel powered trains that push train cars to New York City and pull train cars to Danbury. It is not electrified like other branches on the system.
Senator Boucher, whose district covers Ridgefield, will be supporting a bill that improves performance, increases the number of trains and electrifies the branch.
“This line is critical to the people in southwestern Connecticut,” said Sen. Boucher. “The thousands of commuters who count on this line to get them to and from work every day deserve to have a working and suitable train system. Right now it is not up to par and that is a problem. It has to be a priority.”
For a decade lawmakers including Senator Boucher, ranking member on the Transportation Committee supported efforts to modernize the line.
“It has taken 14 years to modernize the signal system, while other lines were moved forward into the 21st century. Now it is time to go even further and electrify the Danbury branch so it is compatible with the main New Haven line,” said Sen. Boucher.
Back in 2010, the federal governments invested in the Norwalk/Danbury Branch Line after a long hard-fought battle to avert a shut- down of the line.
“Our continuing challenge is to completely modernize this branch line to meet not only today’s needs, but also future needs. For far too long, commuters who should have been using this line felt compelled to use the New Canaan, South Norwalk and Westport stations because of faulty, out dated equipment. This necessary upgrade will go far in alleviating stress on many other congested train stations throughout Fairfield County,” said Sen. Boucher.