Cost of New Haven-to-Springfield rail line jumps $135M

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HARTFORD  — A plan to expand commuter rail service from New Haven to Springfield, Massachusetts, will take about a year longer and $135 million more than expected, but Connecticut officials say they’ve secured a crucial commitment from Amtrak to keep work on schedule.

The Hartford Courant reports that the railroad says new tracks will be ready for trains to run by January 2018 at a cost of $570 million.

State transportation planners forecast as many as 750,000 passenger trips a year when the operation gets under way, and more than 1 million annually when the system is completed. It will start with 17 daily round trips between New Haven and Hartford, with 12 continuing to Springfield.

Amtrak, which owns the railbed, currently runs six daily trains on one track along the 62-mile route.