More than 60 stakeholders participated in the Naugatuck Valley Rail Conference at the Naugatuck Event Center this morning. Mayors, Municipal Chief Elected Officials (CEOs), area state legislators and state officials engaged in a productive dialog regarding the need to designate improved Waterbury Branch Line rail service as a priority in the state’s transportation planning.
The Municipal CEOS shared a regional vision that notes that while $90 million in improvements are already underway on the WBL, they are concerned that without additional locomotives and rail cars, that investment would be wasted. This would result in missing one of Connecticut’s best opportunities for economic growth and expansion. NVCOG’s Board unanimously endorsed the presentation that was provided during its January 10 monthly meeting.
A comprehensive review of problems with the existing WBL and the municipal CEOs vision to jump start local economic development directly preceded today’s timely dialog. Local officials have long strongly supported increasing service to benefit local economic development and quality of life.
For more information on regional rail transportation issues visit, NVCOG’s Route 8 & Waterbury Branch Line Corridor/Alternative Modes Study webpage.