State to borrow another $174M for rail project

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HARTFORD — State officials have approved borrowing an additional $174 million to finish the Hartford Line commuter rail project.

The Hartford Courant reports that the Transportation Department said the vote Friday by the State Bond Commission allows a January 2018 start of a high-frequency schedule of commuter trains along the I-91 corridor.

State leaders have long promoted the economic development prospects of rail service linking Hartford, New Haven and Springfield, Massachusetts.

Amtrak now runs six round trips on the route, but chiefly as a feeder for the Boston-to-Washington, D.C. route.

The new service will be for commuters and offer 17 daily round trips between New Haven and Hartford. Twelve will extend to Springfield.

The state has already put more than $244 million into the project and the federal government has committed $194 million.