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Murphy Calls For Electrification Of Train Service Between Norwalk, Danbury

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy rode the Danbury line Friday morning to hear feedback from riders.
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy rode the Danbury line Friday morning to hear feedback from riders. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky

NORWALK, Conn. — The vision for the future of the Danbury Branch of Metro-North Railroad should include electrification, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said Friday after a ride on the rails with commuters from Danbury to Norwalk.

"The holy grail of this line is electrification," Murphy said after talking with commuters on the train Friday morning. "Ultimately this line needs to electrified in order for it to be modern and regular, more frequent."

Murphy’s stop in Norwalk was part of his continued Fed Up campaign to hear directly from Connecticut’s commuters about why they’re ‘fed up’ with Connecticut’s poor transportation infrastructure.

Murphy, who is a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, was joined by U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-5th District), a member of the House Transportation Committee at the event.

During their ride, they collected feedback from Metro-North passengers and handed out surveys to riders.

Esty said she talked with one man on the train who was on his way to help his mother move boxes. He was in no rush, but she said daily commuters need faster service to spend more time with their families.

“He said he’s got the time today, but most days our commuters don’t have the time,” Esty said. “They want to get there on time. They want to get home and see their kid’s baseball game.”

Future rail investment in Connecticut would be a boon to the area, but it couldn’t be done without widespread support, she said.

“It can be a real win for our state, but that’s not going to happen unless we work together,” Esty said.

Esty and Murphy were joined by Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker, Wilton First Selectman Lynne Vanderslice, Redding First Selectman Julia Pemberton and several members of the state legislature.

The Danbury Branch includes stops at Danbury, Bethel, West Redding, Branchville in Ridgefield, Cannondale, Wilton and Merritt 7 as well as in South Norwalk, where it meets up with the main New Haven Line, with service available from Grand Central to New Haven.

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