Jim Cameron Responds to Mark Boughton on Danbury Train Proposal
Journalist Jim Cameron and former Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton have been trading shots in the Danbury media over the Mayrbook Train Line Proposal and study. Cameron wrote an article in February called "The Maybrook Rail Line Study is a Waste of $1 million."
Boughton has been a proponent of the Maybrook Line that could connect Danbury, CT and Brewster, NY train stations. Cameron criticized the plan in his article, writing:
Rather than crawling down the existing Danbury branch to Norwalk and then on the mainline to New York, Maybrook trains would go west from Danbury and connect with the Harlem branch of Metro-North, then head south through White Plains and into the city.
But Boughton’s dream has about as much of a grip on reality as Gov. Ned Lamont’s wishful 30-30-30 plan (30 minutes from Stamford to GCT, etc). It just isn’t physically possible.
Boughton was asked about the article on the Ethan and Lou Show, he responded by saying:
"You know, I did read that piece by the way and apparently, everybody's an expert, everybody's an engineer, but you know I actually listen to the engineers and the experts who have looked at this and know that it will save. Whether it's 45 minutes or an hour, whatever, a significant time off their commute. I think that, I'm not really sure, this guy, he's against everything, he just wrote another piece against being against something else," said the Hat City's former mayor. "He's just a miserable person and I don't care what he thinks, who cares?"
Now it was Cameron's turn on the Ethan and Lou Show, Wednesday (3/10/21), we repeated Mark's comment and asked him what he thought. Here is what he had to say:
"Do I seem like a miserable person to you? So, let me give you the background, I'm a transit advocate. I served on the Metro-North Commuter Rail Council for almost twenty years. There is no bigger fan of supporting riders on Metro-North than me. And, I'm a little miffed that the former Mayor attacks me personally rather than talking about facts that I've presented. I mean, he's entitled to his opinion but he's not entitled to his own facts.
The facts are that it's really wasting money doing a study on this Maybrook Line when money should really be spent on improving the existing Danbury Line. Now, I've ridden the entire length of the Maybrook Line, 14 miles from Danbury to Brewster and I invite your listeners to cast a gaze off of 84 or Route 6 and 202 the next time they are driving that way and take a look. It's a single-track, rusting railroad that hasn't been used in weeks or months. Metro-North is even thinking of abandoning the route themselves.
And it's not going to offer what the Mayor promised as part of a political campaign to quote, shave an hour off of commuting time from Danbury, the math just does not add up. So, he's entitled to describe me anyway he wants but the facts are the same. We don't have the money we need to run the existing trains, let alone start wasting money on studies and possible expansion of that little, tiny railroad. You know, if you've got a hole in the roof of your house, you fix it first before you start talking about building a porch off, for a sun deck."
You can hear the entire Ethan and Lou discussion with Jim Cameron below. In it, Cameron answers to Danbury Mayor Joe Cavo who said we should see what comes out of the Maybrook Line study before passing judgement.
Thank you to Jim Cameron for taking the time to join us on the Ethan and Lou Show. Cameron writes for Hearst Media and his articles appear locally in the News Times and CT Mirror.
I'm calling for an end to Train Wars, I'm going to convene a Peace Train Summit. Ethan and I will gather together with Mark Boughton, Jim Cameron, Danbury Mayor Joe Cavo and the artist formally known as Cat Stevens and ride the Maybrook Line from Danbury to Brewster.
We will do so under the banner of unity and in the name of our shared love for trains. We probably won't do this but that would make one hell of a show.
Here are some of the moments that led to the Cameron interview. Below we shared what some of the Ethan and Lou listeners thought about the Maybrook Line.
Ethan and Lou Train Wars Segment
Mark Boughton reacts to Jim Cameron's article
Danbury Mayor Joe Cavo defends Maybrook study on the Ethan and Lou Show