Windsor Locks station
Windsor Locks station in January 2015
|Location||South Main Street at Stanton Road
Windsor Locks, Connecticut
|Owned by||Town of Windsor Locks|
|Line(s)||New Haven–Springfield Line|
|Platforms||1 side platform|
|Parking||100 spaces (free)|
|Passengers (FY2017)||15,155 11.1%|
Windsor Locks Passenger Station
|NRHP reference #||75001937|
Windsor Locks is an Amtrak train station in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, on the New Haven–Springfield Line. It is the northernmost Amtrak station in the state of Connecticut. The station today consists of an open shelter on a raised concrete platform. Bradley International Airport, the second busiest airport in southern New England, also in Windsor Locks, is 3 miles (4.8 km) to the northwest.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation has proposed that the upcoming commuter rail service called the Hartford Line stop at this station. The Hartford Line will operate between New Haven, Connecticut and Springfield, Massachusetts, with service scheduled to begin in May 2018. The current station is located approximately one mile south of the historic Windsor Locks station house; in a future phase of the Hartford Line project, all rail service would be transferred to proposed new high level platforms connected by an elevated walkway adjacent to the station house.
The Hartford and New Haven Railroad opened through Windsor Locks in 1839. The New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad, its successor, built a new station in the town center in 1875. The station building was closed by Penn Central in 1971; Penn Central and later Amtrak passengers continued to use the platform, but Penn Central used the interior as a signal workshop. Penn Central later attempted to demolish the station, but a local group succeeded in having it listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Amtrak bought the Springfield Line infrastructure, including the "remarkably intact" station, in 1976. Service moved to the current location - a new park and ride stop just south of Interstate 91 - in 1981.
The 2004 Recommended Action of the New Haven Hartford Springfield Commuter Rail Implementation Study included the construction of a new Windsor Locks station on the existing south-of-downtown site. A single high-level platform was to be constructed, with a pedestrian bridge leading to an added parking area on the west side of South Main Street. A second platform serving a restored second track would have been added later.
However, local preference was to move the station stop back to the original downtown site. Spurred by a 2000 arson that damaged the structure, the Windsor Locks Preservation Association (WLPA) was formed in 2004 to support repair and reuse of the building. By 2007, the WLPA and the town had secured $274,000 of the estimated $700,000 to purchase and repair the station, and serious consideration was being given to moving the Amtrak stop there as well. However, after years of unsuccessful negotiations about the sale and future use, the WLPA disbanded in 2011. The town took over negotiations and purchased the station from Amtrak in December 2014. In 2015, the town began planning renovations of the station building for future use as a "shared workspace".
Hartford Line plans from 2012 included two possible station sites: one at the existing station with an enlargement of the current parking lot, and one at the former location with a new parking lot. Either location would have 500-foot (150 m)-long high level platforms serving the current track plus a restored second track, with a pedestrian bridge connecting the two platforms. Funding for the new station and second track were not included in initial Hartford Line funding; when the service starts in May 2018 it will stop at the existing station. In February 2017, the state announced an additional $50 million in funds, including money to complete design of the relocated Windsor Locks station. Design work will be completed by 2020.
- "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2017, State of Connecticut" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2017. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
- "Gov. Malloy Announces TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts Selected as Service Provider for the Hartford Line". The Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy. The State of Connecticut. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
- "WINDSOR LOCKS, CT (WNL)". Great American Stations. Amtrak. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
- National Train Timetables Effective February 1, 1981 through April 25, 1981. National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak). February 1, 1981. p. 57 – via Museum of Railway Timetables.
- National Train Timetables Effective April 26, 1981 through October 24, 1981. Includes Northeast Corridor Schedules Effective April 26, 1981 through August 1, 1981. National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak). April 26, 1981. p. 57 – via Museum of Railway Timetables.
- URS. "Windsor Locks Start-up Conceptual Site Plan" (PDF). Connecticut Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 19, 2006. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
- URS. "Windsor Locks Full-Build Conceptual Site Plan" (PDF). Connecticut Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 19, 2006. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
- Walsh, Michael (October 2, 2015). "Historic Train Station To Be Given Second Life". Hartford Courant. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
- CDM Smith (February 24, 2012). "Station and Layover Site Concept Plans" (PDF). New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Environmental Assessment. Connecticut Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
- "CTrail Hartford Line Proposed Schedules" (PDF). Connecticut Department of Transportation. October 23, 2017. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
- "CTDOT ANNOUNCES $50 MILLION IN ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR NHHS RAIL PROGRAM" (Press release). Connecticut Department of Transportation. February 20, 2017.
- "Design Continues for New Hartford Line Stations" (PDF). New Haven-Hartford Springfield Rail Program Newsletter. Connecticut Department of Transportation. Summer 2017. p. 3.
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