CLINTON, Conn. (WTNH) — The new Shoreline East train station is officially open now in Clinton. The improvements are more than cosmetic; they will allow for more weekday trains and faster train service through the area.
“This is a significant upgrade, more fitting in the model, more fitting of what you’ve seen on other train stations across the state,” Clinton Town Manager Karl Kilduff said.
The new station comes as an old nearby industrial site is transforming.
“Phase one involves a number of housing units available directly across the street from the train station,” Kilduff said. “Easily accessible by mass transit including bus, and now the new, enhanced train station behind us.”
The new station looks great, but it had to be redone for a very important reason. It used to have only one platform, so trains coming in on one set of tracks had to let people off down the train’s built-in stairs onto a ground-level platform, which took time and was challenging for people with disabilities. The new station has platforms on both sides.
“It’s going to mean that we’re going to be running more trains here because we have the ability now to not lose time with how long it takes to go down off a set of stairs onto a lower-level platform,” Connecticut Transportation Commissioner Joe Giulietti said.
More kinds of trains will now be able to use the station. These improvements will allow the number of weekday trains on Shoreline East to more than double, from 11 to 23.
Train ridership is not what it once was, though. More people are riding on the weekends, but weekday commuter trains are still only about half as full as they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. The high price of gas might change that, however.
“We know that public transit is always a good option, but it is an especially appealing option when gas prices increase,” Transportation Committee Senate Chair State Sen. Will Haskell (D-Westport) said.
The hope is that more frequent and convenient trains will get people back riding them again.