The Southeast, NY to Danbury, CT Rail Link Feasibility Study (the “study”) evaluated the restoration of passenger rail service on the southern Beacon Line, an approximate 11-mile rail corridor between the Southeast and/or Brewster Stations on the MTA Metro-North Railroad’s Harlem Line in New York and the Danbury Station on the State of Connecticut/Metro-North Danbury Line in Connecticut. Approximately five miles of the existing rail corridor is located within New York and six miles are located in Connecticut. The proposed rail service would operate alongside sections of the almost complete Maybrook Bikeway and generally parallel to Interstate I-84. The study undertook assessments of existing physical conditions, land use, environmental, economic and community-sensitive sections as well as other factors that could affect the development of the rail corridor.
The 48-mile Beacon Line was completed in 1882 between Beacon, New York, on what is now Metro-North’s Hudson Line, and Danbury, Connecticut, as a link between the Hudson River and railroads throughout New England. In the early 20th century, the section of the Beacon Line from Hopewell Junction east into Connecticut became part of the New Haven Railroad's Maybrook Line, which was a significant freight artery across the former Poughkeepsie Bridge. The 41-mile portion of the line from Beacon to the Connecticut state line was purchased by Metro-North in 1995. In addition, Metro-North has trackage rights on the portion of the line east of the Connecticut border, now owned by the Housatonic Railroad, as far east as Danbury.
Assuming specific environmental concerns can be successfully addressed through future, more detailed analysis, the study found that the Southeast-to-Danbury Rail Link is technically feasible and could operate without degrading other Metro-North services. A potential Rail Link, as defined by the study, would provide an improved transit option between Southeast, New York, and Danbury, Connecticut, carrying substantial numbers of existing and new riders, reducing commute times and traffic congestion on I-684 and I-84, and improving opportunities to enhance the local economies through the creation of jobs, new housing, and commercial development.
> Final Report
> Appendix A: Public Outreach
> Appendix B: Environmental
> Appendix C: Existing Conditions Field Survey
> Appendix D: Sample Alternative Service Schedules
> Appendix E: Cost Estimates and Funding