Joan Hartley

State Senator

Joan Hartley

Chief Deputy President Pro Tempore

An Independent Voice

March 26, 2021

Sen. Hartley Joins Governor Lamont, Local Legislators to Call for Increased Funding for the Waterbury Branch Line

State Senator Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury), Co-Chair of the Waterbury Rail Line Caucus (WRLC), joined Governor Lamont, Lt. Governor Bysiewicz, a bipartisan group of state legislators and municipal leaders representing parts of the Naugatuck Valley, state officials, and the Connecticut Commuter Rail Council to underscore the regional and economic benefits of increasing funding for the Metro North’s Waterbury Branch line to improve train service and reliability.

“Greater frequency and reliability of service on the Waterbury Branch line directly addresses an issue that is first and foremost in Connecticut, which is connecting people to their jobs, homes and communities,” stated Sen. Hartley. “I want to thank Governor Lamont for his recognition of the benefits an improved branch line which will have on the region and recommending an increase in funding. The funding and improvements to the branch line will trigger exponential economic growth throughout the Naugatuck Valley. I am proud to be part of a passionate collective effort of state legislators, town, and city officials who have worked hard to advocate for investments to the Waterbury Branch line.”

Click Here to Watch Sen. Hartley’s Remarks

The biennial budget recommended by Gov. Lamont would allocate $1,227,689 for FY 2023 to increase the number of trains servicing the rail line from 15 to 22 on weekdays and 12 to 15 on the weekends. These funds would further the completion of a $120 million capital project by the Department of Transportation to make a series of upgrades to the rail line including:

  • Modern bi-directional rail service
  • Bridge repairs to three major rail bridges in the Naugatuck Valley region including a bridge located in Naugatuck
  • Signal and communications upgrades

This proposed funding increase follows years of advocacy by the bipartisan Waterbury Rail Line Caucus to initiate and fund improvements that will provide better service to residents and tourists, plus lead to economic development in the municipalities around the branch line.