Next Stop For CT Fastrack- UConn?

Discussion in 'Alumni stuff' started by Drew, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. Drew

    Drew Its a post, about nothing!

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  2. SubbaBub

    SubbaBub Your stupidity is ruining my country.

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    If they were smart they'd put in a rail or I suppose a bus way from Hartford through E Hartford, Manchester, Coventry to Storrs. Bonus if they made a similar connection from Hartford to Bradley either via Bloomfield/Granby or as a spur off the Hartford/New Haven line at Windsor.

    Or just move the entire campus to E. Hartford. Start building now and in 20 years the Ag Dept can have Storrs all to themselves.
     
  3. Drew

    Drew Its a post, about nothing!

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  4. mets1090

    mets1090 Probably returning some video tapes...

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    http://today.uconn.edu/2014/08/ucon...-for-first-tech-park-building-road-extension/

    First I've heard of this, though I'm sure it's been mentioned in conference realignment topics (seems like the type of thing AAU schools would like). Seems they're putting a brand new research facility in that same area and they're going to extend the road by the 3,400 feet mentioned in your article. Looks like an awesome expansion.
     
  5. Drew

    Drew Its a post, about nothing!

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    Having graduated in May, I can speak to the progress they've made on this. They're essentially going to develop a business park type development across from Villa Liquor Store and where the Bank of America branch is. It will house the tech park and will hopefully entice a few other businesses to open offices there as well as create a new entrance/exit to campus (which will be HUGE, especially during bball season). If UConn doesn't have the benefit of direct highway access what they can do to help is simple things like this, creating multiple entrance/exit points that allow for people to be very creative and use routes other than 195 to get to campus.
     
  6. mets1090

    mets1090 Probably returning some video tapes...

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    Funny thing is none of my friends ever took 195 to campus. We always took 384 to 44 and came in by the depot campus and Carriage.
     
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  7. Drew

    Drew Its a post, about nothing!

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    Update: Amtrak currently breaking ground on new rail routes from Hartford to Springfield. Really need to figure out a way to get this to go from Hartford to Storrs. A train that came to Storrs through the Storrs Transportation Center would be absolutely ideal.

    http://touch.courant.com/#section/2224/article/p2p-84117263/
     
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  8. pepband99

    pepband99

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    It's not impossible, but it's a massive, massive ask. Here's why:

    http://www.ct.gov/dot/lib/dot/documents/dpt/2013railcolor36x24_2D_09-05-2013.pdf

    The only way to access the rails closest to campus right now is via a north/south connection. CDOT owns the right-of-way that could link an east/west route, but it's been given over to the DEEP, guessing for railtrail or some other use.

    FYI - Amtrak used this route as a workaround for an issue with their Vermonter route in the 90s. Willimantic was even a stop (!).
     
  9. pepband99

    pepband99

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  10. Drew

    Drew Its a post, about nothing!

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    From page 55:

    "Hartford has many rail lines that connect to Amtrak’s Springfield Line. Potential service that could be operated on these rail lines includes the Griffin’s Line, Manchester Secondary (link Hartford with major stations at Mansfield (University of Connecticut) and Uncasville (Mohegan Sun Casino), Armory Branch Line, Terryville Secondary (Waterbury-Bristol-Berlin-Hartford), Middletown Secondary, and Suffield Line (Bradley Airport connection). Planning for improved service on the NHHS Line has included development of a transit connection from the Windsor Locks station on the NHHS line to Bradley Airport. Currently plans include a shuttle bus connection from the station to the airport terminal. Over the long term, the Department plans to assess the feasibility of creating a rail connection to the terminal."


    This is awesome. If they could swing this to work it is a complete and total game changer regarding access to campus. Imagine the crowds packing on a train from Hartford to Storrs for a big time basketball game and not having to worry about traffic/parking/driving? If you thought Teds/Huskies/Final Pour were packed before just wait until this starts.
     
  11. pepband99

    pepband99

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    The New London route has a shot - it wouldn't shock me to see this in 20 years.

    I'll be amazed if i see an east/west route in my lifetime.

    I wouldn't hold your breath.
     
  12. Drew

    Drew Its a post, about nothing!

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    Does anyone know if there are plans that have been discussed/developed about potentially widening 195 to 4 total lanes or something similar? I love that UConn is adding onto the campus in terms of buildings and student/faculty population but the traffic around the area is truly unbearable.

    I spent the past weekend in Auburn, AL at Auburn and the campus is similar to UConn in that it is in a very rural setting (although admittedly much closer to the highway), however the roads through campus and the surrounding areas were all wide and 2 lanes going in each direction. Made it much easier to navigate people on football game day for them and during regular campus hours.
     
  13. SubbaBub

    SubbaBub Your stupidity is ruining my country.

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    I do and the answer is no. There is zero plan to expand 195. The state tossed it around during the stadium talk, but it never reached beyond "It would cost a lot".

    The political fix was in for a Hartford area stadium. When Pratt came through with the land, that was that.

    Bonus history lesson, no one every developed any infrastructure plans for the Patriots stadium in Hartford either. It was pure farce the entire way.
     
  14. UConn9604

    UConn9604

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    This is 100% true. Check out Google Maps, take a look at the footprint of Gillette, then try to figure out where that would fit at the Convention Center site. There's no friggin' way that would have worked.

    Here's the closest they got to an "infrastructure plan." A guy "in the know" told me the plan was to put all of the lots and garages on the East Hartford side and have everyone walk over, which would be great if the Founders Bridge walkway wasn't about 8' wide.

    http://www.trbimg.com/img-53208e98/turbine/hc-hc-stadium-rendering-jpg-20140312
     
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  15. SubbaBub

    SubbaBub Your stupidity is ruining my country.

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    Can confirm.

    - guy in the know
     
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  16. Drew

    Drew Its a post, about nothing!

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  17. SubbaBub

    SubbaBub Your stupidity is ruining my country.

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    I feel like a light rail would be better from Storrs. The traffic would be highly concentrated, meaning more than buses could handle. Princeton has a short rail link to the larger NJ Transit line. I always thought that would work well for UConn. AM/PM rush of faculty and staff from the eastern Hartford suburbs, Late night student trips to Hartford, game days are self explanatory. When you have a transit node that can serve nearly 100% of its users, then you want as much capacity as you can create. Everyone taking that line is going to Campus or within walking distance to campus. I'd wager a train trip to Hartford would be less than 20 minutes, even if you stopped in Manchester and East Hartford.
     
  18. Drew

    Drew Its a post, about nothing!

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    I have long been an advocate of this but I don't see something like his happening until they settle other rail issues first. Using Storrs and Wilimantic on a rail from Hartford-Providence would be absolutely ideal
     
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  19. Drew

    Drew Its a post, about nothing!

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    Found this interesting and didn't want to start a new thread:

    http://today.uconn.edu/2016/01/new-shuttle-service-between-storrs-and-uconn-health/

    "A new shuttle service is launching this month that will allow UConn employees and students to easily travel between the Storrs campus and UConn Health in Farmington each weekday during the next academic semester.

    The UConn Health Shuttle starts Jan. 19 with the beginning of the spring semester, and will be operated by UConn’s transportation services division. It will be free of charge for those who make a reservation and show valid UConn identification.

    UConn is reviving and revising the shuttle service, which had been provided several years ago, in light of the campuses’ growth and the increasing interdisciplinary collaborations developing between researchers, faculty, and students at Storrs and UConn Health.

    It will operate this semester on a trial basis, with its ridership and schedule assessed at the end of the academic year to determine how it might continue in coming semesters."
     
  20. Palatine

    Palatine

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    They call it fast track but the Hartford/Storrs service would just be a bus route.
     
  21. freescooter

    freescooter

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    Not exactly. The difference is that brt systems work more like rapid transit in that they have limited number of stops even on city streets.
     
  22. Mr. Conehead

    Mr. Conehead

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    Amtrak's dream is to build an 'inland' route between New York and Boston just for Acela or whatever comes next. This would avoid putting more strain on the already packed coastal corridor between New York and New Have and avoid the stretch between New Haven and New London when the rail line looks more like a roller coaster than a straight line, which slows it down. This route would split off from the current 'shore' route in the Bronx and be added to the current Harlem MetroNorth route up to Brewster and then cut west to Danbury then Waterbury followed by Hartford and then Providence where it would link back-up with the current route. From Hartford, it would follow the existing line across the CT River just north of I-84 and head sraight across Manchester to Bolton Notch where it would turn south following US 6 all the way to Willimantic and would not travel through Storrs. I don't think there has ever been rail service near UConn's campus with the nearest line the freight route that splits off from the afor mentioned line in Willimantic following Route 32 north to Mansfield Depot. The best UConn could hope for is an express bus service from Willimantic to Storrs linking the two. Another issue is that is Amtrak found the $100 or so billion needed to build such a route, it would would be an express route with limited stops (NYC Penn Station, Danbury, Waterbury, Hartford, Providence, Route 128, Boston Back Bay, Boston South Station) to cut travel time to about 3 hours. No stops in Willimantic. So the question would be if that route would also run regional, non-express trains.
     
  23. ct06111

    ct06111

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  24. Mr. Conehead

    Mr. Conehead

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    Thanks. I had not seen a stop for 'UConn' before. There is no existing nor former rail line that goes east/west through Mansfield, just north/south. Best guess is that a station would be built in Mansfield Depot along the existing north/south fright line there that runs between Amherst MA and New London CT and then use bus service to connect it to the main campus a few miles away. From Willimantic, there is an existing rail line that it can use to get to Providence via Norwich and Plainfield. Going in the other direction, an entire new railbed will need to be put in place between Mansfield Depot and Bolton Notch as there is nothing there now.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Corridor_Rail_Line
     
  25. Palatine

    Palatine

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    That's just an express bus route.

    Without a dedicated lane it is not BRT.
     
  26. pepband99

    pepband99

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    1) The "Air Line" came awfully close. http://www.abandonedrails.com/Air_Line Any East/west route is likely to be in this general vicinity.
    2) A "UCONN" stop is likely mandatory to even think about trying to push this through. I doubt we will see this in my, or my children's, lifetime. It would be awesome, though.
     
  27. CL82

    CL82 It's going to be ok - calm down and enjoy the ride

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    Neat, and thanks 2 U and Aaron M. I lived in Colchester in the early 80's, right at the end of that unusual north/south branch. The Colchester train station was at the end of the line, right next to my house. It was a package store in the 80's. I used to walk the rails towards Amston (the junction of the branch with the Air Line)with my beagle. I used to ask locals just where did the line go? I was always told "It went to UCONN". Now I know.

    Jay
    Madison, CT
    11/24/2013
    ____________________
    The line did go to UCONN ... The Dodd Library which stores the archives and memorabilia of the late and great New Haven ... 150 years of tradition unhindered by progress !
    Interesting.

    Sign me up for option two, if they add a stop at the Rent.
     
  28. SubbaBub

    SubbaBub Your stupidity is ruining my country.

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    Draw a circle that is one mile in diameter, find the spot on the map the fits the most people in that circle. Put the station/stop in the middle of that circle. It's not rocket science.

    For this example, people means places people want to go. Home, work, commercial, school are all examples. For a rail, you need to shift the station toward the economically viable track corridor, but there really isn't that much more to it. UConn is big enough to warrant a spur if the main track doesn't end up there. So, would the casinos.
     
  29. Mr. Conehead

    Mr. Conehead

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    Thanks, I did not know about the entirety of the Airline. One issue I can see is that Amtrak does want to include Providence on future high-speed line and this route would bypass it by basically cutting through northeastern CT to connect Hartford with the existing MBTA commuter rail line that currently ends in Franklin MA.
     
  30. Mr. Conehead

    Mr. Conehead

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    I am no civil engineer nor rail specialist; but, one issue about building a spur from Willimantic to Storrs is elevation. Anyone remember driving up that hill between the mall and campus in the winter? Looking at Google, Willimantic is about 200 feet above sea level. UConn's campus sits on the 600 foot contour. That about an 400 foot elevation increase in 8 miles, which works out to just under a 1% grade. Its' doable (basically anything over a 2.5% grade becomes a challenge); but, would be expensive. That's likely the reason the local rail line though Mansfield follows the Willimatic River parallel to Route 32 with a stop in Mansfield Depot, which sits about 360 feet above sea level.