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Duff: Norwalk-Danbury Trains Will Continue Running

A spokesman for Gov. Dannel Malloy could not say last week whether Metro-North's Danbury Branch would survive this year's budget battle. But state Sen. Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, is willing to throw in his two cents. As far as Duff is concerned, the train service that alleviates traffic on Route 7 will continue.

"In my opinion, closing the line is definitely off the table," he said in an email. "I don't see a scenario where I could support that."

Dropping Metro-North service on the Danbury branch, which runs between South Norwalk and Danbury with stops in Wilton, Ridgefield, Redding and Bethel, is part of the "Plan B" list that was presented to Malloy last week by the secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, as required by state statutes. While Malloy reached an agreement with state unions Friday, the state budget still has a $400 million shortfall that must be made up with cuts. Juliet Manalan, press secretary to the governor, said Friday it was too early to say whether the train line would be cut as part of Plan B. "Nothing on the original Plan B list of options is off the table until we know what the next round of options could be for the $400 million that's left," Manalan said.

"Closing the Danbury Branch would not seem to make sense," said State Rep. Terrie Wood (R-Darien and Rowayton). "We should be encouraging and empowering mass transit choices for commuters. That is the first thing that comes to my mind. That being said, looking at the ridership and statistics would be key in any debate."

Other local lawmakers did not respond to an email inquiry on the topic.

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