More than 3000 passengers had used the line by noon on the opening day, taking advantage of Connecticut Department of Transportation’s (CTDOT) offer of free travel over the weekend.
CTDOT developed the service through a partnership with CTrail and Amtrak.
The new service will operate at up to 177km/h with an average travel time of 1h 21min between New Haven and Springfield. The passenger service also offers intermediate stops in Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Windsor and Windsor Locks.
CTDOT says that in addition to more rail services within the I-91 highway corridor, the programme includes significant infrastructure improvements to make the service safe, reliable, convenient and comfortable.
CTDOT conducted a tender and cost-benefit analysis for operation of the service and in July 2017 awarded a joint venture of Transit America and Alternate Concepts a $US 45m contract to operate the service for five years, as well as 10 months of preliminary mobilisation work that was required in the run up to the launch.
CTrail also connects 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. The project involved the construction of two additional tracks on the 99.7km corridor.