WALLINGFORD — Service out of the town’s new train station on North Cherry Street will officially begin Monday.
The state Department of Transportation will hold a grand opening on Monday at 12:30 p.m. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is expected to attend.
The station, 343 N. Cherry St., is opening in advance of the May 2018 launch of the CTrail Hartford Line rail service, meant to increase commuter rail service between New Haven and Springfield. DOT said the Wallingford station will be the first station to open as part of the new rail service.
Amtrak trains that currently stop at the existing train station, 37 Hall Ave., will begin stopping at the new train station Monday morning. The new train station is located about a mile north of the old station.
There are currently six round trips going through Wallingford daily. That will increase to 17 once the new rail line launches in May, said John Bernick, DOT’s assistant rail administrator. The Wallingford station will serve both Amtrak and CTrail Hartord Line trains. Amtrak will make nine round trips between New Haven and Hartford on weekdays, while CTrail will make eight round trips.
While the Wallingford station won’t have bathrooms, it “features amenities aimed at providing a high-quality passenger experience, including high-level platforms, an overhead pedestrian bridge, overhead canopies, automatic snow melting systems, a passenger information display system, electric vehicle charging and bicycle racks,” according to a DOT statement.
Construction of the Wallingford station began in December 2014 and cost about $21 million, Bernick said.
The station includes two parking areas with a total of 221 spots. Bernick said when the station first opens, parking will be free, but added that a paid parking system will be phased in.
Commuters will pay for parking by entering their parking space number into a centralized meter. Parking fees at each station will be $2 per day or $20 per month. Parking will be free on weekends and federal holidays, according to DOT. Bernick said someone who isn’t using the train can also pay to use the parking lots.
DOT released proposed fares for the CTrail Hartford Line last month and is now going through a 35-day public comment period to receive feedback.
A one-way trip from Wallingford to New Haven would cost $3.50 under the proposed fare schedule. A trip from Meriden to New Haven would cost $4.75, while a trip from Meriden to Wallingford would cost $3. From Berlin, a trip to New Haven would cost $6. Trips from Berlin to Wallingford and Meriden would cost $3.50 and $3, respectively. Hartford to New Haven one-way would cost $8. Springfield to New Haven would cost $12.75.
Bernick said the proposed fares don’t apply to Amtrak trains and are “only applicable to the new CT rail trains.”
“We are working with Amtrak to institute a uniform fare structure for trips between Springfield and New Haven on all trains,” Bernick said.
DOT also laid out proposed fares for discount one-way, onboard one-way, weekly, 10-trip, discount 10-trip, monthly, school monthly and UniRail fares.
DOT will hold three public hearings during the public comment period. The hearings will be held on Nov. 13 in New Haven, Nov. 14 in Hartford and Nov. 15 in Springfield.
"We welcome public participation, invite the public to learn more and to provide their thoughts on the upcoming Hartford Line service and fares,” state Department of Transportation Commissioner James F. Redeker said in a statement.