Esty Applauds Decision to Expand Rail Access in Central Connecticut, Abandon Coastal Route Proposal
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) today praised the Federal Railroad Administration’s announcement that it is no longer considering a new high-speed rail route along Connecticut’s coastline. Instead, the FRA announced that it will undertake a comprehensive approach to study how service can be improved between Connecticut and Rhode Island, while providing much-needed upgrades along existing corridors.
“I’m grateful to the FRA for listening to the input of Connecticut residents, who were overwhelmingly opposed to the initial proposal to expand high speed rail along Connecticut’s coast,” Esty said. “I hope today’s decision paves the way for an inland high-speed route through central Connecticut, which would be transformative for local economies throughout our state. I will continue to push for an inland route that connects to the communities of Connecticut’s Fifth District.
“We can’t power a 21st-century economy on 20th-century infrastructure. It’s time for Congress to work together on a bold, bipartisan infrastructure plan to create jobs and provide every American with the world-class transportation systems they deserve. That plan should include high-speed rail, which would enable faster travel to work and school for millions of Americans and help businesses across the country create new jobs.”
Esty is the Vice Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. She has repeatedly written to the FRA to encourage them to abandon the coastal high-speed rail route proposal in favor of an inland route. She has also written repeatedly to House leaders and the Administration in support of greater funding for rail generally.
During a committee hearing last month, Esty pressed FRA Associate Administrator Paul Nissenbaum to listen to the concerns of Connecticut residents about the coastal proposal, telling him, “I think it’s really important to leave the door open for Connecticut to be at the table to consider an inland route, which would not have the same level of opposition and could get us to much higher rates of speed than is ever going to be possible [along the coast].”