DOT announces steps to improve Shore Line East service

September 19, 2018

If you ride the Shore Line East railroad on a regular basis, you know there have been service problems over the last few months.

Mechanical problems have often canceled and delayed trains. Passengers have had to take Amtrak trains - or buses - to get to their destination after their Shore Line East trains were canceled.

Now, the state Department of Transportation says it is taking several steps to improve communication with Shore Line East rail customers and the reliability of the aging rail fleet.

“As a result of an Amtrak construction project and the ongoing rehabilitation of locomotives, the service has not been operating at levels customers have come to expect,” the DOT said in release.

On Thursday, DOT James Redeker and other CTDOT and Amtrak officials will be at New Haven’s Union Station from 4-6 p.m. to meet with SLE customers.

In advance of the meeting, the DOT has outlined several steps to improve service and communication.

“Amtrak, which operates SLE under contract to CTDOT, will expand the hours at the maintenance shop to three shifts, seven days a week in early October, and 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 be on standby at stations until more reliable service can be maintained.”

To improve communications, DOT management staff will be riding SLE trains for the next 30 days to monitor the situation and talk to customers.

SLE customer service hours will be extended until the end of evening peak through the end of October.

Customers are encouraged to call or email CTrides with any continuing concerns, so appropriate action can be taken.

Also, by the end of October, customers will be able to sign up to receive customized alerts by text and email to stay informed of the status of their train, instead of having to monitor @SLEalerts on Twitter for information.

. According to the DOT, an average of 1,927 passengers use Shore Line East each weekday and 778 use it on weekends.

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