Danbury Mayor Joe Cavo Defends Maybrook Line Train Proposal
An editorial piece was published in the CT Mirror on Tuesday (2/23/21) titled "The Maybrook Rail Line Study is a Waste of $1 million." In it, author Jim Cameron makes a case that the Mayrbook proposal will not save commuters the time proponents say it will.
The Maybrook Line connecting Danbury, CT and Brewster, NY used to be for cargo only. The proposed plan would see the cargo trains converted into passenger trains.
Passengers in Danbury would now connect to the Metro-North station in Brewster, switch trains and take the Harlem Line into the city instead of taking the train from Danbury, to Norwalk, onto the mainline there and into the city.
Cameron mentions that former Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton is a backer of the Mayrbook Line conversion and that the former Mayor believes the Maybrook Line could shave an hour off the commute for some. Cameron believes the Maybrook Line would amount to a savings of ten minutes off the commute and says the $1 million grant awarded to Danbury for the study is a waste of money by the State.
We gave the former Mayor his turn to respond, and respond he did. We wanted to hear from the current Mayor Joe Cavo. Where does he stand on the issue? When he joined the Ethan and Lou Show on Thursday (2/25/21), this is what Cavo had to say:
"Well, I'm really excited because in my time as Mayor since the early part of January, the million dollar study award was granted. The grant was appointed to a company to start the study and we're excited about the possibilities that the Maybrook Line could bring to Danbury and New Milford.
You know, for both commuter rail as well as time traveled to New York, less traffic on our interstates, especially at that interchange of 84 and 684. I just think that, we think it has a tremendous amount of possibilities and so we're excited about the study going forward and we'll be waiting anxiously to see the outcome of that."
Next, we brought up Jim Cameron's article in the CT Mirror, asked the Mayor if he'd read, shared some of his concerns and asked if he'd heard similar criticisms. Cavo responded:
"No, that's the first time I've heard something like that. But, you know here's the thought. The thought is, people a lot smarter than, like Ethan (Carey) and I, you know, who are paid to do these studies. They have the experience and they have the knowledge and the ability to gather the information and look at all of the factors that are involved in this. You have to look at is it faster to go by rail? How fast can the train go on the Maybrook Line?
You know, there were some issues, I think, initially in the early conversations about diesels aren't allowed to pull into Grand Central and only electric trains are. And so they talked about electrifying the track and making it have an electric train. But now, there's hybrid trains that are both electric and diesel. So, you can have an engine locomotive that would go on the open air part of the rail on diesel and when it goes to go over to Grand Central it will switch over to electric and satisfy the requirements to go into Grand Central. So there is just so much to it and that's why you start a study, that's why you have people who just do this all the time, you know, look at all the opportunities and all the disadvantages and then report back to you with what they are."
Later the Mayor said:
"You know, this is a grant from New York State for a million dollars, it doesn't cost the taxpayers, doesn't cost Connecticut taxpayers anything to do the study.
So, let's let it happen, let's find out, let's see if we can get some cars off the road, let's see if we can ease some of the parking in the Brewster and Southeast station and just be able to give more of our residents work and recreate."
You can listen to the entire Maybrook Line discussion with Danbury Mayor Joe Cavo on the Ethan and Lou Show Below.
Danbury Train Wars 2021