Danbury Branch Electrification Feasibility Study - Welcome!



...to the Danbury Branch Phase II Study Website! The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) launched the Danbury Branch Electrification Feasibility Study to evaluate the feasibility of electrifying the Danbury Branch commuter rail line as well as other possible alternatives to improve rail service on the Branch. Phase I of this Study was completed in 2006 and the results are posted on this website. Phase II of this Study began in November 2007, and included further refinement of selected improvement alternatives, performance of a detailed evaluation to determine the environmental effects of the Phase II alternatives with the anticipation of publishing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and selection of a preferred alternative(s). In the Fall of 2012, the study became focused on a preferred alternative that would not extend beyond the existing Danbury Branch service area. It was determined in consultation with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) that an Environmental Assessment (EA) process (and not the EIS) would be the appropriate federal environmental documentation. This study website provides an additional tool to help keep the public informed of all activities in the study and EA process.

Project Update

9/30/2016: Final Report: Highlights of the findings of the final Danbury Branch Final Implementation plan can be found here Please contact Anna Bergeron of the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) for further information about the project: anna.bergeron@ct.gov

5/17/2016: Final Project Update: Over the past few years, and throughout the course of this study, there have been a number of improvements along the Danbury Branch Line. These improvements include the completion of a transportation signal system along the line which resulted in a 9% increase in ridership in 2015. Projects such as Positive Train Control and a parking expansion at Bethel station represent some of the future initiatives planned along the line. These improvements are part of Governor Dannel Malloy’s 30-year transportation program, Let’sGoCT, which outlines investments needed now to make our transportation system safer, more reliable, and more responsive to our 21st century life-styles and tremendous economic opportunities. Check out the Danbury Branch brochure for more information and highlights on completed projects and upcoming plans for the Danbury Branch Line.

09/12/14 - Project Update: The State of Connecticut is developing a statewide vision plan for transportation that will help shape the type and scale of transportation investments Connecticut makes over the next 50 years. Known as TransformCT, this process will help develop a Strategic Transportation Plan for investing in transportation over the long term. TransformCT will also analyze the Norwalk to Danbury Transportation Corridor to determine the long range transportation needs of the corridor. The Department of Transportation encourages you to submit your ideas about Connecticut’s transportation future, including your vision for the Norwalk to Danbury Transportation Corridor, on the TransformCT website. To submit your ideas and participate in the process to help shape Connecticut’s future, visit http://www.transformct.org/

05/21/13 - Project Update: As part of the Environmental Assessment process, we have posted the EA Technical Summary report to the website (click here). The draft Environmental Assessment document is in preparation and will be posted to the study website following review by CTDOT and the FTA. Formal notice of the EA document’s availability for review will be placed in the State of Connecticut’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Environmental Monitor (http://www.ct.gov/ceq/cwp/view.asp?a=987&q=249438 ). A series of public meetings to accept comments on the Danbury Branch EA will be held in the Fall of 2013. Dates and times of these meetings will be posted on this website and in other media within the Danbury Branch corridor.


04/13/12 - Study Update: The environmental technical memoranda that include analyses of the potential impacts to the alternatives considered in the Danbury Branch Improvement Program are now posted on the website. The environmental topics covered include: Topography, Geology and Soils; Noise and Vibration; Air Quality; Energy; Biological Diversity; Threatened and Endangered Species; Wetlands; Floodplains and Floodways; Surface and Groundwater Resources; Historic and Archaeological Resources; Prime Farmland and Active Farmland; Land Use; Hazardous Contamination; Public Recreational/4(f)/6(f) Lands; Socioeconomics and Environmental Justice; Scenic Roads; and Visual Resources. In addition, the Engineering Feasibility Report, Volumes I and II are also posted. Visit the Study Documents to learn more.

12/09/11 - Study Update: Work continues on the Danbury Branch Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The 18 environmental impact analysis technical reports have gone through extensive review during 2011 and are now nearing completion. Based on these technical findings, preparation of the Draft EIS is underway, and it is expected that this document will be available to the public in Spring 2012. There will be a public review period to follow. As part of this review, CTDOT anticipates holding a Study Advisory Committee meeting and Public Hearings by late Spring/early Summer 2012. Publication of the Final EIS and Record of Decision is expected following the review and incorporation of public and agency comments. The Study Team continues to be available to discuss this initiative, and the public is encouraged to send inquiries regarding the study to: info@danburybranchstudy.com

06/01/11 - Danbury CTC and Signalization System - Project Update: The Danbury Centralized Train Control (CTC) and Signalization System project is installing an electronic train monitoring, communication, and track control system on the Danbury Branch. The CTC system will allow the Metro-North Operation Control Center to monitor all train movements along the Branch, communicate operating orders to train crews via cab signals, and operate new remote controlled track switches and signals at the passing sidings. The CTC system modernizes the Danbury Branch, improving rider safety and allowing trains to operate more efficiently and frequently on the Branch. The CTC system is a prerequisite to the addition of Positive Train Control (PTC), a further enhanced rail traffic control and monitoring system that is mandated by the Federal Government and is to be implemented on all passenger rail services by 2015. The completion of the CTC system is also assumed as a baseline for all of the alternatives being considered under the Danbury Branch Improvement Program. The Danbury CTC and Signalization System is currently under construction, with an anticipated completion date of May 2012. For more information on this project, please click here or send an email to: DanburyCTC@urscorp.com

01/05/11 - The Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Report and Pre-DEIS Informational Video: The Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Report and Pre-DEIS Informational Video for the Danbury Branch Improvement Program were recently awarded the 2010 Sustainability Award by the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association (CCAPA). Speaking about the project, the CCAPA Awards Committee said, "through extensive inter-agency engagement and collaboration, the tireless efforts of dozens of committed professionals, and the creation of superb work products, a sustainable solution to the region's mounting traffic problems has been set into motion." The award was accepted by Dr. Floyd Lapp (SWRPA) and Mr. David Head (CTDOT) at an awards luncheon on December 3, 2010. The TOD Report can be found on the "Study Documents" page of the project website, and the video can be viewed here.

10/04/10 - Public Meeting Comments: A series of pre-Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) public meetings regarding the Danbury Branch Improvement Program were held in June 2010. Comment forms were distributed at these meetings, and an online version of the form was available on the project website. Comments were accepted through August 6, 2010. Additional public meetings will be held following the publishing of the DEIS in late Fall 2010. In the interim, comments will continue to be accepted via the project website. To comment now, visit the "Contact Study Team" page under the "Get Involved" tab. To see a summary of the comments received following the pre-DEIS public meetings, please click here.

06/28/10 - See ConnDOT's Danbury Branch EIS Video!: A video explaining the EIS process and the proposed alternatives is now available on this website. Click here to watch the video.

06/21/10 - Pre-DEIS Public Meetings: A series of pre-DEIS public information meetings were held on June 15 in Wilton, June 16 in Brookfield, and June 17 in Bethel. To view the presentation from these meetings, please click here. To view the newsletter distributed at the meeting, please click here.

05/28/10 - Upcoming Public Meetings: A series of pre-Draft Environmental Impact Statement public informational meetings regarding the Danbury Branch Study will be held on June 15 in Wilton, June 16 in Brookfield, and June 17 in Bethel. At each meeting, a brief presentation will be given to discuss the project’s purpose, need, and the five alternatives being evaluated to improve passenger rail service on the Branch. An informational video, maps, and boards will be on display. Study team representatives will also be available to answer questions. Comments may be given verbally or in writing at each meeting. For details on the date, time, and location of each meeting, please click here Public Meetings Announcement>>

05/12/10 - Upcoming SAC Meeting: The next Danbury Branch EIS Study Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 3, 2010 at the Ridgefield, CT Town Hall Conference Room from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM.

03/30/10 - SAC Meeting: The Study Advisory Committee (SAC) met on March 17, 2010 for an update on progress of the Danbury Branch EIS study. The project team gave a presentation on project status and schedule; representatives of CT DOT also gave an update on the latest progress of the Danbury Centralized Train Control and Signalization Project, a project that must be completed before improvements proposed in the EIS can be implemented. This combined presentation is posted on the webpage along with notes from the meeting. It is anticipated the next SAC meeting will be held in late spring and that a public Pre-Draft Environmental Impact Statement briefing will be held at the end of spring 2010. Please click hereSAC Presentation>>

03/09/10 - Upcoming SAC Meeting: The next Danbury Branch EIS Study Advisory Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at the Ridgefield, CT Town Hall Conference Room from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM. For the agenda, please click hereSAC Meeting Agenda>>

12/10/2009 - Project Update: The first stage of the Danbury Branch Alternatives Analsysis EIS project is nearing completion. This involves completion of all technical documentation regarding the existing conditions and identification of alternatives for improvements to the Branch. We anticipate posting all 18 of these Tech Memos on the website soon and plan to host the next Study Advisory Committee meeting in early 2010. A letter will be sent to all committee members advising of the meeting date and time, as well as availability of additional technical documents.

08/31/2009 - We want your input! We have received many emails over the past year from people with an interest in the future of the Danbury Branch. To encourage even more input, we've added a new feature to this website. Click on "Get Involved" and you will have an opportuinity to provide your input or comments online regarding any aspect of this project. A record of all comments received will be included in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) public involvement record.

Study Advisory Committe Meeting was held on June 23, 2009: The first Study Advisory Committee Meeting of the Danbury Branch FTA Alternatives Analysis/EIS was held at the Ridgefield Town Hall on Tuesday, June 23, 2009. Nearly thirty committee members attended, including representatives from Metro-North Railroad, the South Western Regional Planning Agency, the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, the Connecticut Department of Transportation, the Connecticut General Assembly, the Connecticut Public Transportation Commission, the Connecticut Rail Commuter Council, Housatonic Area Regional Transit, Housatonic Railroad Company, the New Milford Rail Restoration Society, Providence and Worcester Railroad, as well as a number of towns along the Branch. The Town of Ridgefield, with the assistance of First Selectman Rudy Marconi’s office, hosted the meeting. Representatives from the URS Project Team were also on hand to give a presentation detailing the project’s status and next steps. A copy of the presentation is posted on this website. The next Study Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for Fall 2009.. More>>

04/20/09 - Draft Potential Rail Passenger Survey: Two types of surveys for the Danbury Branch EIS were developed and conducted. The first, a survey existing passengers on the Danbury Branch to ascertain their various characteristics, preferences, and desires was previously reported. The results of the second survey, a non-rail use telephone survey are presented in this report More>>

03/31/09 - SPRING UPDATE 2009: Work on the Danbury Branch EIS is continuing on schedule. A detailed project update and information on the next Study Advisory Committee Meeting is provided in a letter to all Study Advisory Committee members More>>

10/10/08 - NEW FACILITIES AT CANNONDALE STATION: The Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) today announced the opening of a new restroom facility at the Cannondale Train Station. The new stand-alone building was constructed as an upgrade to the Cannondale Station and is part of the state’s effort to improve and enhance amenities at New Haven Line stations.More>>

10/03/08 - RAIL SCHEDULE CHANGES: The Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) today reminded rail customers that beginning Sunday, October 5th, a new fall schedule will go in to affect for New Haven Line (NHL) and Shore Line East (SLE). The fall schedule will provide new rail service on the Danbury and Waterbury Branch Lines, and new eastbound evening service from Stamford to New Haven to reduce a 47 minute service gap in this critical commuter time period.More>>

The project’s purpose and need, the initial set of alternatives proposed for improving rail service on the Branch and the scope of work for the EIS phase were presented at these meetings. The Comment Period for this scoping process has ended. Results of the Scoping Meetings will be posted soon on this website. If you wish to contact us regarding this study, click here info@danburybranchstudy.com

Thank you for your interest in Danbury Branch EIS.

Click Here for the most recent Connecticut Rail Transportation Ownership and Service Map!

Learn About the Study Use the links above to access information regarding the Study. You can learn about the history of the Study, an overview of the Study, the schedule and upcoming meetings. You may also browse official Study Documents.

Get Involved Click on Get Involved to learn about public participation components. On this link you can contact the Study Team, join the Study Mailing List and find out about our outreach meetings and planned activities. Your questions and comments are very important to us and we look forward to hearing from you. We encourage you to visit the site often to share your thoughts, stay informed and learn about this important Study.

Stay Informed

This website is part of the Public Participation Plan being conducted for the Study and is being facilitated by the ConnDOT. This web site was first launched on August 22, 2003. It will be updated regularly during Phase II.