Commercial services will start in May 2018, and the project will double passenger services on the route.

The line will also connect with existing services including Metro-North, Shoreline East and Amtrak Acela high-speed services on both the New Haven Line to New York and on the Northeast Corridor to New London and Boston. There will also be direct bus connections to the Bradley Airport Flyer and CTfastrak, a bus rapid transit service in Connecticut.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) conducted a tender and cost-benefit analysis for operation of the service, and awarded Transit America and Alternate Concepts a $US 45m contract for five years, as well as 10 months of preliminary mobilisation work that is required in the run up to the launch.

The project involves the construction of two additional tracks on 99.7km corridor.

“We are getting closer each day to launching commuter rail services between New Haven, Hartford and our friends in Springfield,” Malloy says. “A service that we’ve needed in the central Connecticut area for decades and will finally allow an option to move people, goods and services with greater ease.”