NEW HAVEN -- The Connecticut Department of Transportation said it is taking several steps to improve both communication with Shore Line East rail customers and the reliability of the aging train fleet.
As a result of an Amtrak construction project and the continuous rehabilitation of locomotives, the service has not been operating at levels satisfactory to Shore Line East customers.
Several steps are being taken in response to specific feedback received from customers at public forums and train rides by CTDOT management.
Amtrak, which operates the Shore Line East, under contract to CT DOT, will expand the hours at the maintenance shop to three shifts, seven days a week, beginning in early October. They will also immediately increase over time allowances to repair out-of-service locomotives and rail cars.
In order to reduce the impact to customers when trains are unexpectedly canceled, buses will now be on standby at stations until more reliable service can be maintained.
To improve communications, CT DOT management staff will be riding SLE trains for the next month to monitor the situation and talk to customers.
Shore Line East customer service hours will be extended until the end of evening peak service, through the end of October. Customers are encouraged to call or email CTrides with any continuing concerns, so appropriate action can be taken.
And, by the end of October, CTDOT said Shore Line East customers will be able to sign up to receive customized alerts, via text and email, to stay informed as to the status of their train, instead of having to monitor SLEalerts on Twitter for information.