Maybrook Line Train Debate Rages in Danbury, Local Residents React
There is currently a $1 million study underway to examine the legitimacy of establishing a train connection between Danbury, CT and Brewster, NY. The Maybrook Line used to be a cargo connection between the Hat City and Brewster.
There are folks in both CT and NY that believe it will help commuters save time and think it will benefit the local economy. There are also people who say it's a waste of time and money. The more we talk about it, the more feedback we get from our Ethan and Lou Show listeners.
I had two individuals reach out to me recently about the issue and they did so independently. I'm going to refer to one of them as "Person 1." That person would like to remain anonymous.
In no way am I saying these are facts, I'm simply telling you what they told me. These people took the time and cared enough to send these and I think it's valid to present their opinions.
Jeffrey Smith (this e-mail was sent to one of my co-workers who got it to me):
I really don’t want to get involved or certainly credited for this but I have to weigh in about Train Wars.
The Maybrook line kind of meets up with the Harlem line. If you notice when you go over 84 west from Danbury, there is a set of tracks you go over and then another is the single line track to Wassaic. These 2 tracks meet up about a mile north. So a train technically could meet and go down to southeast or grand central. Now the conditions of these tracks are horrendous. I don’t think anything should be on it right now. And last I knew, we abandoned the line which is always subject to change.
However, with time and material, new rail and wood ties and it’s up to par fairly quickly and easily. Even adding electric should be easy enough to do since it not in operation at the moment or you could always start diesel and then move to electric later. Will this save people time in a commute? An hour? No, I don’t see it. It takes a train approximately 1:45 min to get to the Grand Central Terminal from Danbury and 1:30 from Southeast. The time going across will not help you travel south if you get what I’m saying.
That said, I do believe it is great to have the option for the area and to limit 84 East-west traffic. I know I would potentially use it instead of my drive, so I’m on board! I’d be happy to answer more questions if you like, but please do not mention me on air."
"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."
In our conversations with the current and former Mayor, I get the impression that there is a lot more to the Maybrook proposal than just speeding up commute times. I keep hearing about alleviating traffic issues and bolstering local business.
I'm learning as I go, I love trains but I'm not a "train guy", not an engineer, nor am I a person who has worked on transportation projects. I am a person that can tell you a lot of people are watching and waiting to see the results of this study.
We started talking about this on February 24 and everyday since I've gotten e-mail after e-mail from people asking for more information or providing their opinion on the topic. Keep the e-mails and direct messages coming, we will continue to follow the story where it goes.
UPDATE: We share Ethan & Lou listener thoughts in new segment (3/4/21)
We have talked about this a lot.
Boughton's reaction to Jim Cameron:
Joe Cavo's thoughts:
P.S. If this train line is ever put in place, I promise we will do an Ethan and Lou Show from the one of the train cars and just ride the rail back and forth all day.