Photo by Wikimedia user Jehochman / CC BY-SA 4.0

Travelers on Metro-North and Hartford Line trains will be the beneficiaries of a big chunk of federal government funding aimed at fixing or upgrading key infrastructure on Connecticut’s passenger rail lines.

The $2 billion in federal funding is coming from President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and is part of a $24 billion plus-up for efforts to modernize the Northeast Corridor, the nation’s busiest collection of train routes running from Boston to Washington, D.C. The money is in addition to $400 million in state funds committed to the work.

“President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continues delivering for Connecticut and the entire region,” Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement issued by his office. “The Northeast Corridor is the busiest rail line in the nation, and improvements here mean more jobs, continued economic growth, and improved quality of life. Many of our railroad bridges are more than 100 years old, and this major investment of funding ensures that trains can operate with higher speeds and fewer disruptions well into the future. I applaud and thank President Biden and the members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation for working with our administration to secure this funding for our state.”

Four vital drawbridges in Milford, Norwalk, Old Saybrook and Westport – all around or over 120 years old – will be replaced with money from the federal grants to reduce risks that they might break or get stuck in the open position, severing busy commuting routes.

In addition, the federal funds will add infrastructure to dramatically add capacity and speed up the Hartford Line tracks.

“The Hartford Line unites the cities of Springfield, Hartford, and New Haven via passenger rail, expanding transit connections and economic opportunity for residents and businesses across our ‘Knowledge Corridor.’ I am thrilled to announce record infrastructure funding the Connecticut delegation secured for track repairs and expansions across the Northeast Corridor, including more than $100 million dedicated to Hartford Line improvements. These investments will support more frequent and reliable passenger rail service to better connect residents across the region,” Congressman John Larson (D-CT) said in a statement.

Other projects include replacing dated power and signalling systems on Metro-North’s New Haven line and developing a plan for future speed and capacity improvements for train lines between New Haven and Providence, Rhode Island.