Shore Line East service to New London will see a big expansion this weekend as several additional trains will visit the city to bring in visitors for OpSail 2012 and Sailfest.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation has scheduled special service of 23 trains for the route between New Haven and New London. These trains will be in service throughout the course of the event, which runs from Friday through Monday.
“The DOT is pleased to partner with the OpSail 2012 CT organization to provide public transportation for this historic Connecticut event,” said Connecticut DOT Commissioner James Redeker. “These trains will relieve traffic on the I-95 corridor during this busy weekend and bring visitors right into the heart of all the OpSail activities.”
This marks the second time Shore Line East service has been expanded for the event. Last year, two special trains were scheduled to bring visitors to New London for the Sailfest fireworks display. These brought in a total of 550 people.
“Traveling by rail along Connecticut’s scenic coast is a great, hassle-free way to take in our unique shoreline sights and arrive at OpSail refreshed,” said John S. Johnson, chairman of OpSail 2012 CT. “And as we all know, traveling by rail gets cars off our highways, which is good for the environment. Besides, it’s fun to sit back and let someone else do the driving.”
The Shore Line East/One More Stop Coalition will be providing posters, pamphlets, and other information during the event. The organization seeks expanded Shore Line East service to New London.
“OpSail 2012 CT is the state’s largest summer extravaganza, and this Shore Line East service will highlight just what affordable weekend rail service to New London can mean to our tourism-driven southeastern Connecticut economy,” said Todd O’Donnell, a partner in who chairs the Shore Line East/One More Stop Coalition. “While this year’s OpSail is a truly special event, we’re seeing beyond July 8 into what could be an economic driver for this region.”
OpSail 2012 CT begins when a Parade of Sail visits Niantic on Friday. The ships will arrive in New London on Saturday and the festival will run through Sunday with music, ship tours, and other activities. The ships will depart on Monday morning.
The celebration will coincide with Sailfest, an annual event featuring fireworks, entertainment, a 5K running race, and more.
The eastbound trains during the festival will depart New Haven at:
- 5:20 a.m., 9:12 a.m., 12:02 p.m., 4:27 p.m., 5:42 p.m., 6:50 p.m., and 8:50 p.m. on Friday
- 9:10 a.m., 11:05 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 3:05 p.m., and 5:02 p.m. on Saturday
The westbound trains during the festival will depart New London at:
- 10:35 a.m., 1:13 p.m., 6:20 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9:05 p.m., and 11 p.m. on Friday
- 10:24 a.m., 12:20 p.m., 3:20 p.m., 6:35 p.m., and 11 p.m. on Saturday
Each trip takes about one hour.