A bill about expanding train service north to New Milford has been discussed by the legislature's Transportation Committee. The bill was introduced by freshman Republican Representative Bill Buckbee.
New Milford resident Bill Devlin, an intrastate rail commuter, says the infrastructure is there, because of freight rail service.
Train service would not only link lower Litchfield County residents to New York City, but to the stops along the way. He notes that many residents hold jobs in Fairfield County and already use trains to get to those jobs. He would drive to Bethel to catch the train when he worked as a Darien High School teacher, switching at South Norwalk.
The train enabled him to keep his job by giving him a one hour commute in each direction to get work done.
He says historically where a train line has a stop, a cluster of small businesses pop up around the station. Devlin also pointed out that a New Milford train stop would be in the position of potentially serving weekenders who are going up to towns north of there. He also noted that train service would benefit parents, students and teachers at Canterbury School and other private schools in the region.
Devlin says there are disincentives to train travel in Connecticut, but nothing that can't be overcome. He specifically mentioned parking issues, train schedules based on New York City commuter needs, aging equipment and service interruptions due to bad weather.