DOT details plans for Enfield train platform

Adam Hushin, Journal Inquirer, Manchester, Conn.
·3 min read

Apr. 8—ENFIELD — Representatives from the state Department of Transportation presented updated plans to the Town Council on Monday for the train platform that would create a new stop in town for CT Rail and Amtrak trains.

The presentation provided further details for the platform that would be near the intersection of Main and South River streets and allow for north and southbound travel.

Bruce A. Olmstead, transportation supervising engineer for the DOT, said that initially plans included a platform on both sides of the tracks, but they found that a single platform on the east side would save money and could possibly be built much sooner.

"So it's a win-win for the town," Olmstead said.

The platform, which would be handicap-accessible and at least 200 feet long, would allow for four train cars to safely load and unload passengers. It would also have surface-heating capacity that would melt all snow and ice that might accumulate in the winter.

A utility building would stand next to the platform just to hold utilities needed for operation. It would not be accessible to the public. Plans did include an overhanging roof coming off of the utility building with some seating underneath so commuters can avoid any harsh weather while they wait. This overhanging roof would also be fitted with solar panels to assist in powering the station.

RAIN PLATFORM HIGHLIGHTS

TRAVEL: CT Rail and Amtrak trains will travel north and southbound from this new stop in Enfield. Tickets can be purchased on the platform.

SAFETY: An overhanging roof will protect commuters from any inclement weather. The platform will also be outfitted with security cameras and blue light phone systems in case of emergencies.

PARKING: Three new parking areas would be created totaling more than 100 metered parking spots.

Ticket vending machines would be stationed at this utility building for both train and bus travel.

"So you can get all of your vending done at one time and be able to get all of your connections and take this train ride to wherever you need to go," Olmstead said.

The plans featured a bus pick-up and drop-off spot adjacent to the platform, as well as three different parking lots totaling more than 100 metered parking spots. Olmstead said parking would be cheap — around $2 for a full day — and that Amtrak would use the money for upkeep of the station.

The platform would include display boards with live transit information and speakers to broadcast any important information. Security cameras and blue light emergency phone systems would be included for safety precautions.

Olmstead said officials are hoping to start construction in October 2022, and that it would take about a year to complete. He said that schedule may change if additional state or federal funds become available.

Town Manager Christopher Bromson said the town has money set aside for the project if it is needed, but it will be primarily funded with state and federal money.

"It's great for Enfield," Bromson said. "We're very excited to be part of this project."

Mayor Michael Ludwick expressed excitement as well, even talking about how the platform could eventually be expanded in the future.

"This is the beginning of something that's really going to take off," Ludwick said.

For now, Olmstead reminded the council that this plan is still in its early stages and is subject to final changes made by DOT and Amtrak engineers.

"At least tonight you get some idea of the general overall concept of how the station will look and how the station will perform," Olmstead said.

Adam covers the towns of Enfield and Suffield. For more updates, follow Adam on Twitter: @AHushinJI and Facebook: Adam Hushin.