WALLINGFORD — Federal, state and local officials held a grand opening Monday to celebrate the first new station to open along the CTrail Hartford Line.
The station, 343 N. Cherry Street, replaces the one at 37 Hall Ave. It will provide service to existing Amtrak trains until CTrail launches in May 2018. CTrail will feature increased commuter trips between New Haven, Hartford and Springfield.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said the new station "marks a major milestone in the evolution of much-needed service."
“Creation of the Hartford Line,” Malloy said, “will provide those working, living, and traveling along this corridor with fast, safe, and reliable rail transportation – providing greater attraction for businesses, stimulating job creation, and improving our overall quality of life.”
State Rep. Mary Mushinsky, D-Wallingford, said the new station will “open a new chapter in downtown Wallingford’s economic and residential growth and prosperity that will be felt for generations to come.”
“This station, and the myriad upgrades compared to our former stop, should bring positive benefits to the people of Wallingford, and those who can now easily and comfortably visit from other locations,” said state Rep. Craig Fishbein, R-Wallingford.
The new rail line will increase the number of round trips between New Haven and Hartford from six to 17, said John Bernick, DOT's assistant rail administrator.
Amtrak will make nine round trips between New Haven and Hartford on weekdays, while CTrail will make eight round trips.
The Wallingford station is the first new station to open as part of the CTrail project. New stations in Meriden and Berlin are expected to open in the coming months. The Wallingford station cost about $21 million, Bernick said .
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.
The station includes two parking areas with a total of 221 spots. The lots are accessible via North Colony Road and North Cherry Street. Parking fees are $2 per day or $20 per month. Parking will be free on weekends and federal holidays. Payment can be made with credit card, debit cards, and cash.
The former station on Hall Avenue will be used to house several organizations, including the Wallingford Adult Education Center and the New Haven Society of Model Engineers Railroad Club.
DOT released proposed fares for the CTrail Hartford Line last month and is now going through a public comment period.
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.