Amtrak repairs planned in Connecticut

June 5, 2008 11:41:00 AM PDT
Portions of Amtrak service through New England will be disrupted for four days later this month because of renovations on an aging Connecticut drawbridge and scheduled maintenance elsewhere, railroad officials said Thursday. Amtrak will replace the span of the 90-year-old Thames River Bridge between New London and Groton from June 14-17. The work marks the final stage of a multi-year, $83 million improvement project on the bridge.

"The aged drawbridge will be replaced by a more efficient vertical lift bridge that rises between two towers," said Frank Vacca, Amtrak chief engineer. "Once this is complete, rail passengers will be able to depend on a reliably operating lift span for the better part of this century."

The number of passengers taking Amtrak trains over the bridge rose from 1.4 million in 2002 to 2.2 million in 2007. The bridge handles 36 passenger trains and two freight trains every weekday.

The railroad says it also will do maintenance over the same four days between New Haven and Boston. That work will result in cancellations of Acela Express service between New York and Boston and regional trains between Boston and New Haven.

A special northbound and southbound train will operate between Washington, New Haven and Boston by way of Springfield, Mass.

between June 15 and June 17.

Shoreline East commuter rail service in Connecticut will not be affected.

Amtrak is urging passengers traveling between Boston and New Haven to make arrangements with commercial bus lines Peter Pan and Greyhound.