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Through the grapevine, we hear that the FRA will be holding a public meeting on Wed., Aug 31, at 4:30 at the Old Lyme High School... no word yet from Old Lyme Town Hall... ... See MoreSee Less

10 hours ago

Russ Todd, Suzann Gintoff Vautrain and 11 others like this

SECoastconfirmed.

7 hours ago
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From Politico's must-read morning transportation blog this morning:

"OLD LYME DOESN'T WANT NEW RAIL BRIDGE: Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal stirred up a mini tweetstorm last week - a tweet thundershower, if you will - referencing a fight that's been simmering along the Northeast Corridor as the FRA nears the end of its high-level environmental review of potential service changes to upgrade Amtrak's 457-mile route. One of those proposed modifications would include a bypass a few miles inland that would run right through the historic town of Old Lyme, Conn. - a prospect residents and preservation groups are staunchly opposing.

Blumenthal and some of his home-state colleagues wrote to FRA last month requesting an open meeting in the town, and an aide told MT the agency has committed to attending one by the end of the month. A final environmental impact statement, which will include FRA's preferred scenario for future planning, is expected in September, the aide said.

To be continued: An FRA spokesman said the agency has committed to attend a roundtable with congressional staff and state and local officials, though no date has been set. FRA held two public hearings in Connecticut during the comment period, and agency staff has met twice with the town's leaders, he said. What's more, he said, the agency has already committed to local leaders that if the bypass makes it into the final blueprint, it wouldn't be an "aerial structure" through the historic part of town, and officials are open to a tunnel.

The point of the bypass, the spokesman said, would be to add capacity and the opportunity for quicker service along an already well-traveled route that currently has a lot of curves slowing down trains. Based on Amtrak ridership data, an estimated 300,000 Connecticut residents travel north on the NEC into Rhode Island and Boston, he said"
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1 week ago

Debra Monaghan Nazar, Dini Mallory and 6 others like this

Daniel MackayGreat to see national media outlets picking up on this story. But FRA better get straight that their coming to CT means a public forum and a public interaction. A direct dialogue between SE coastal communities and the FRA is LONG overdue.

6 days ago   ·  2
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SECoastwe strongly oppose any meeting without meaningful and open public participation.

6 days ago
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We thought our readers might appreciate a short summary of the meeting at Old Lyme Town Hall on Friday, August 12 with Senator Blumenthal.

The meeting was arranged by First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder with Senator Blumenthal. Despite very short notice, the room was full. In addition to Blumenthal, local representatives included: Paul Formica, Devin Carney, Carl Fortuna, Jim Nickerson, Bonnie Reemsynder, Skip Sibley, Rob Simmons and Sam Gold of RiverCOG.

Senator Blumenthal opened the meeting asking all to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. He went on to say that while he is a strong supporter of improved rail, this plan is "destructive and unacceptable.” He stated that he opposed additional spending for a project that is destructive to the environment. He would like to devise a better alternative, with colleagues and residents of the region, on a bipartisan basis.

Blumenthal further announced that the FRA is planning a visit to the area very soon. He hopes this meeting will bring "common sense and rationality" to the discussion.

By way of encouragement to all of have engaged in the issue, he quoted Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”

Local elected representatives all commented on the destructive effects this plan would have on their districts. Rob Simmons, 1st Selectman of Stonington, commented that this plan would wipe out the number one tourist attraction in CT - the Mystic Aquarium and deeply affect Mystic, a town which welcomes 2 million visitors a year. He went on to strongly support modern rail safety measures, an issue also deeply important to Senator Blumenthal. Jim Nickerson spoke of a newly constructed apartment building, Costco and a recently discovered Indian burial ground--all would be destroyed. Devin Carney thanked Gregory Stroud and Daniel MacKay for their initial discovery of this threat way back in January (thanks, Devin!).

The meeting was then opened up for comments from the audience. They were many and varied. Claudia Weicker spoke to the deep environmental impacts of this plan. Jennifer Hillhouse spoke of the natural beauty of the Old Lyme community, and it's enduring way of life. Others pointed to more sensible solutions, better routes, the advantages of new trains rather than new tracks.

The meeting closed after an hour and half. It was a thoughtful and productive meeting, and those in attendence appeared confident that Senator Blumenthal, and the delegation as a whole, are supportive of our efforts to remove the bypass from ongoing FRA planning.
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1 week ago

Mary Fiorelli, Lisa LeMonte and 23 others like this

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Dini MalloryBetter..

1 week ago
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Keith HallThink you mean Mark Nickerson

1 week ago   ·  3
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Susie Chism SculptureDo you think there is hope? What are the odds of making sure Old Lyme isn't railroaded?

1 week ago   ·  2

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Jennifer MorganBlumenthal quotes Margaret Mead..how about Abe Lincoln remember him ..."be sure to put your feet in the right place...then stand firm"

1 week ago
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Jennifer MorganOne could also say..." Be sure not to put the bypass in the wrong place..."

1 week ago   ·  2
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SECoast added a new photo. ... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago

Carla Holst, Maryanne Lange and 23 others like this

Roberta Ceruzzi VelezI've already gave money. I was told that a decision on the location of the train was coming in August. Has that changed????

2 weeks ago

1 Reply

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Stephanie Douglas RaglandOh how I would love to be there

2 weeks ago   ·  1
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Willard FinkleWe going?

2 weeks ago
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Curious what people submitted as public comment for NEC Future?

We now have a searchable version of NEC Future public comments freely available through dropbox. Just click each link. The files average about 50MB. You dont need an account. (Links below are safe. I promise!)

https://db.tt/Pklts0kQ
https://db.tt/PnA4aIjG
https://db.tt/ypZYS7hk
https://db.tt/IZSgE0if

Curious what people submitted as public comment for NEC Future?

We now have a searchable version of NEC Future public comments freely available through dropbox. Just click each link. The files average about 50MB. You don't need an account. (Links below are safe. I promise!)

db.tt/Pklts0kQ
db.tt/PnA4aIjG
db.tt/ypZYS7hk
db.tt/IZSgE0if
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2 weeks ago

Katy Klarnet, Chip Dahlke and 5 others like this

Katy KlarnetThanks for posting this. It wasn't easy, but I found the ONE comment that was supportive of Alternative #1 (out of 3200) which was quoted in the summary. It was from the Town of Groton's Planning and Development office and was broken into 2 parts - as if to suggest there were actually 2 positive comments (out of 3200) - and introduced with the wildly misleading statement, "many commenters (sic) support the visions articulated in either Alternative 1 or 2."

2 weeks ago   ·  1
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Old Lyme, CT -- (Friday, August 5) -- What’s the latest?.. Even as the FRA and Conn DOT continue to deny the existence of a completed blueprint, and of a choice of routes, the roll-out for the completed (or nearly-complete) plan has already begun, and it appears that the target date for announcing is now September (a slight delay).

So far, all available evidence continues to support our belief that this plan will closely resemble a blueprint already in place no later than the end of public comment in mid-February.

This blueprint was described as Alternative 2 with 2 modifications. The first modification would include a feeder spine from New Haven to Springfield to Boston. The second modification would include a Kenyon to Saybrook bypass, crossing the Connecticut river, and passing through Old Lyme and towns east along the coastline. It appears that the feeder spine would replace plans for a line from Hartford to Providence.

The roll-out began three weeks ago...

On July 14, the FRA announced that, as part of The Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative, the first modification (New Haven to Hartford to Springfield to Boston) had passed through its tier 1 environmental review. Although, technically, NNERI remains a separate state-federal project, this announcement means that NEC Future and NNERI are now in sync. For more on this, see: 
www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L18283

On July 28, the FRA released its comment summary for NEC Future. This is a formal step which anticipates the impending announcement of a preferred alternative (the blueprint). You can find both the summary and the public comments here: necfuture.com/project_docs/reports.aspx

To note, in section 4.1.3, the summary states that there is “support for Alternative 1 and 2, with modifications.” This further undercuts continuing denials by both Conn DOT and the FRA. For more on this issue, see Kim Drelich’s continuing coverage in the New London Day, beginning here: www.theday.com/local/20160701/organization-says-emails-show-fra-wants-bypass-through-old-lyme

On August 2, the Federal Railroad Administration held a webinar for MPOs (Metropolitan Planning Organizations) from along the Northeast Corridor, between Washington, D.C. and Boston. Interestingly, no mention was made of the Kenyon to Saybrook bypass in written comments, but the FRA did acknowledge the issue of Old Lyme in spoken comments. The webinar appears to have served three purposes:

First, to check a box. Weeks prior to the announcing a blueprint, the FRA can now say that they have held a meeting with the impacted regional MPOs.

Second, to set a target date and timeline for announcing and confirming the NEC Future blueprint. The FRA suggested a slight delay, with an expected announcement in September, followed by a mandatory 30-day waiting period, ending with a record of decision (legally confirming the end of the environmental review) in October.

Third, to request that MPOs along the Northeast Corridor submit “letters of consistency.” For the purposes of the FRA these letters will formally align existing local and regional plans with the overall NEC Future plans for the Northeast Corridor. These letters will likely play a role in determining future funding for transportation projects along the NEC -- a significant carrot and stick.

As we move forward, we are now seeing the state and national press returning to the issue of NEC Future in anticipation of the coming FRA announcement. Unfortunately, most of the press is still playing catch-up, and neither the FRA nor Conn DOT -- to mention two key players -- are doing much to bring them up to speed.

To that point, it does not help that the press is now culling through eight-month-old public comments. We see this in a continued focus on long discarded notions of three distinct alternatives.

We also see a remarkable lack of awareness of the strong, bipartisan, and unanimous opposition by our local, state and federal representatives, led by Senator Blumenthal, but including also Senator Murphy, Representative Courtney, State Senator Formica, State Representative Carney, and First Selectwoman Reemsnyder. For more on this opposition, see: www.blumenthal.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/blumenthal-murphy-courtney-stress-opposition-to-rail-through-old-lyme-urge-federal-railroad-administration-to-hear-community-concerns

As of August 5, despite specific requests by Blumenthal et al, the FRA has not responded to requests for a public meeting in New London county. Nor has the FRA responded to requests by Blumenthal et al, that the FRA remove (what he calls) the “half-baked and harebrained” bypass from NEC Future planning.

Pending Freedom of Information requests to the FRA, by SECoast, dating back to April 4, remain unfilled.

================

Please note: SECoast is a wholly-independent nonprofit special project of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation. 

If you find our information and advocacy helpful, please consider donating to SECoast through the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation. Donations are tax deductible, and 100% are devoted to the issue of high speed rail in Connecticut. We cant do this without you!

You can donate by mail:

Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation
940 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06517-4002

Just make checks payable to CT Trust, and note that your donation is for SECoast. Your donation will be routed entirely to the effort. 

Or click on the donate button at the top of our Facebook page.

SECoast with Old Saybrook, Connecticut and 5 others.

Old Lyme, CT -- (Friday, August 5) -- What’s the latest?.. Even as the FRA and Conn DOT continue to deny the existence of a completed blueprint, and of a choice of routes, the roll-out for the completed (or nearly-complete) plan has already begun, and it appears that the target date for announcing is now September (a slight delay).

So far, all available evidence continues to support our belief that this plan will closely resemble a blueprint already in place no later than the end of public comment in mid-February.

This blueprint was described as Alternative 2 with 2 modifications. The first modification would include a feeder spine from New Haven to Springfield to Boston. The second modification would include a Kenyon to Saybrook bypass, crossing the Connecticut river, and passing through Old Lyme and towns east along the coastline. It appears that the feeder spine would replace plans for a line from Hartford to Providence.

The roll-out began three weeks ago...

On July 14, the FRA announced that, as part of The Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative, the first modification (New Haven to Hartford to Springfield to Boston) had passed through its tier 1 environmental review. Although, technically, NNERI remains a separate state-federal project, this announcement means that NEC Future and NNERI are now in sync. For more on this, see:
www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L18283

On July 28, the FRA released its comment summary for NEC Future. This is a formal step which anticipates the impending announcement of a preferred alternative (the blueprint). You can find both the summary and the public comments here: necfuture.com/project_docs/reports.aspx

To note, in section 4.1.3, the summary states that there is “support for Alternative 1 and 2, with modifications.” This further undercuts continuing denials by both Conn DOT and the FRA. For more on this issue, see Kim Drelich’s continuing coverage in the New London Day, beginning here: www.theday.com/local/20160701/organization-says-emails-show-fra-wants-bypass-through-old-lyme

On August 2, the Federal Railroad Administration held a webinar for MPOs (Metropolitan Planning Organizations) from along the Northeast Corridor, between Washington, D.C. and Boston. Interestingly, no mention was made of the Kenyon to Saybrook bypass in written comments, but the FRA did acknowledge the issue of Old Lyme in spoken comments. The webinar appears to have served three purposes:

First, to check a box. Weeks prior to the announcing a blueprint, the FRA can now say that they have held a meeting with the impacted regional MPOs.

Second, to set a target date and timeline for announcing and confirming the NEC Future blueprint. The FRA suggested a slight delay, with an expected announcement in September, followed by a mandatory 30-day waiting period, ending with a record of decision (legally confirming the end of the environmental review) in October.

Third, to request that MPOs along the Northeast Corridor submit “letters of consistency.” For the purposes of the FRA these letters will formally align existing local and regional plans with the overall NEC Future plans for the Northeast Corridor. These letters will likely play a role in determining future funding for transportation projects along the NEC -- a significant carrot and stick.

As we move forward, we are now seeing the state and national press returning to the issue of NEC Future in anticipation of the coming FRA announcement. Unfortunately, most of the press is still playing catch-up, and neither the FRA nor Conn DOT -- to mention two key players -- are doing much to bring them up to speed.

To that point, it does not help that the press is now culling through eight-month-old public comments. We see this in a continued focus on long discarded notions of three distinct alternatives.

We also see a remarkable lack of awareness of the strong, bipartisan, and unanimous opposition by our local, state and federal representatives, led by Senator Blumenthal, but including also Senator Murphy, Representative Courtney, State Senator Formica, State Representative Carney, and First Selectwoman Reemsnyder. For more on this opposition, see: www.blumenthal.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/blumenthal-murphy-courtney-stress-opposition-to-...

As of August 5, despite specific requests by Blumenthal et al, the FRA has not responded to requests for a public meeting in New London county. Nor has the FRA responded to requests by Blumenthal et al, that the FRA remove (what he calls) the “half-baked and harebrained” bypass from NEC Future planning.

Pending Freedom of Information requests to the FRA, by SECoast, dating back to April 4, remain unfilled.

================

Please note: SECoast is a wholly-independent nonprofit special project of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

If you find our information and advocacy helpful, please consider donating to SECoast through the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation. Donations are tax deductible, and 100% are devoted to the issue of high speed rail in Connecticut. We can't do this without you!

You can donate by mail:

Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation
940 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06517-4002

Just make checks payable to CT Trust, and note that your donation is for SECoast. Your donation will be routed entirely to the effort.

Or click on the donate button at the top of our Facebook page.
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3 weeks ago

Andy Russell, Melissa 'Bauknecht' Bunkelman and 23 others like this

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Paul HallwoodDid the DOT do a benefit - cost analysis of this? And what are the results?

3 weeks ago

13 Replies

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Terrie LightfootThis route looks like it goes right through Rite Aid and the Shell gas station in Flanders/East Lyme and takes out W Society Rd which is still being worked on to withstand the traffic from the new, huge apartment complex that looks like it's about to be eliminated!?

3 weeks ago

1 Reply

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Ann RichIs there anything we can still do to stop this? It really seems like the FRA doesn't seems to care what anyone thinks. This really is "My way AND the highway!" Maybe it's time to create human blockades when they try to start construction?

3 weeks ago   ·  1

4 Replies

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Robert LevinDoes the route cross Cy river north of the current bridge? If so how far north?

3 weeks ago

1 Reply

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John AndrewsHow about Connecticut finishing route eleven ? Did anyone get stuck on Rte. 85 on Wednesday afternoon ? Wtfd to Colchester,bumper to bumper.I bet Colchester area lost some business Wednesday,; Many cars turned around.

3 weeks ago   ·  1
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Sharon S. StrykerWake up AND read/research this as outlined! Horrible behavior of ignoring the MOST AFFECTED RESIDENTS! Further discredits who public officials REALLY represent!

3 weeks ago   ·  1

1 Reply

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James PollowitzWhat does this do to the old Lyme historic district?

3 weeks ago

2 Replies

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Bruce PickI'm disappointed that I had to employ research skills to even begin to understand this article. It's as if the reader is expected to have a thorough background in the topic, whatever it is. For example, "FRA" is mentioned at the start. The full name is finally disclosed about half way through the piece. So at that point I figured out it has something to do with a rail line.

3 weeks ago   ·  1
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Bret HaskinsThe new route doesn't look horrible

3 weeks ago
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Jason BishopLeave my river alone! . That will be the final straw right there . Kiss my ass goodbye if that happens

3 weeks ago
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Patty Warner HeenanCt would not benefit. You couldn't get on the train unless your in ny. It saves travelers 25 mins. Fix the old.

2 weeks ago   ·  1
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Katie FrankeThank you for posting! I will share and hope that others will read!

2 weeks ago   ·  1

1 Reply

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It appears that the FRA is delaying their announcement of a preferred alternative from mid-August until September...

It appears that the FRA is delaying their announcement of a preferred alternative from mid-August until September... ... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago

So... with the final blueprint set to be released by mid August, are you still doubting the significance of these plans? Lets take a look at what Conn DOT Commissioner James Redeker, and his peers, wrote to the FRA on January 21, 2016...

So... with the final blueprint set to be released by "mid August," are you still doubting the significance of these plans? Let's take a look at what Conn DOT Commissioner James Redeker, and his peers, wrote to the FRA on January 21, 2016... ... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago

We will be giving out postcards, circulating petitions, and answering all of your questions about high speed rail, tonight and tomorrow, on the lawn of the Florence Griswold. I look forward to meeting you there!

We will be giving out postcards, circulating petitions, and answering all of your questions about high speed rail, tonight and tomorrow, on the lawn of the Florence Griswold. I look forward to meeting you there! ... See MoreSee Less

4 weeks ago

Jennifer Morgan, Russ Todd and 23 others like this

Russ ToddGreat to meet you today at the mid-summer festival and thank you for all of your efforts to inform our town on this important issue that will impact Old Lyme and the CT shoreline for decades.

4 weeks ago   ·  3

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Please take a moment and sign our online petition in opposition to building a new high speed rail line through the historic district of Old Lyme... just follow the link, it only takes a minute! www.ipetitions.com/petition/secoast/

Please take a moment and sign our online petition in opposition to building a new high speed rail line through the historic district of Old Lyme... just follow the link, it only takes a minute! www.ipetitions.com/petition/secoast/ ... See MoreSee Less

4 weeks ago

Christian Peltenburg-Brechneff, Mike Winslett and 23 others like this

Kelly Porter SouthworthSigned

4 weeks ago   ·  1
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Lorre BroomSigned

4 weeks ago   ·  1
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Linda Sexton-CarrierSigned

4 weeks ago   ·  1
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1 month ago

Jesse Brown, Mary Stone and 8 others like this

Jeffrey AndersenSatire worthy of Daumier -- incisive and to the point!!!

1 month ago   ·  3
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Robin Breeding🙂 Thanks, Jeff!

1 month ago
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BREAKING NEWS!

BLUMENTHAL, MURPHY, COURTNEY STRESS OPPOSITION TO RAIL THROUGH OLD LYME, URGE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION TO HEAR COMMUNITY CONCERNS

(Hartford, CT) – U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and U.S. Representative Joe Courtney (D-2) today urged the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to meet with the Old Lyme community before moving forward with any plans for a new rail route through the historic city. The FRA has started a massive, multi-million dollar undertaking called “NEC FUTURE” to develop a vision that will meet the passenger rail needs of the Northeast in 2040, and it currently includes ideas to reroute Amtrak straight through Old Lyme. In a letter to the FRA today, the lawmakers reiterated their strong opposition to any proposal that would route a new rail line through Old Lyme and called on the Administration to attend a public forum there so that community leaders can explain how to meet our region’s rail needs while honoring historic preservation and environmental protection priorities.

“As the Federal Railroad Administration continues to develop its framework for critically needed investments in the Northeast Corridor (NEC), known as NEC FUTURE, we write to reiterate our call that you ensure the plan reflects the priorities of the people who live and work in the region. To that end, we express our strong opposition to proposals that would route a new rail line through Old Lyme, Connecticut, and we request that you attend a public forum there so that community leaders can explain how to meet our region’s rail needs while honoring historic preservation and environmental protection priorities.”

The proposed rail line realignment outlined in Alternative 1 of the NEC FUTURE Plan would shift the main rail line northward ahead of the Old Saybrook Station and run through several Connecticut and Rhode Island shoreline communities before reconnecting to the existing segment in Kenyon, RI. Blumenthal, Murphy, and Courtney have been vocal in their opposition of any plan that would reroute rail through Old Lyme. At a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation subcommittee hearing earlier this month, Blumenthal pressed Amtrak Vice President Stephen Gardner to ditch any plans to build a new route through Southeastern Connecticut that would be strongly opposed by residents of the region.

The text of the letter is available below:

Dear Administrator Feinberg:

As the Federal Railroad Administration continues to develop its framework for critically needed investments in the Northeast Corridor (NEC), known as NEC FUTURE, we write to reiterate our call that you ensure the plan reflects the priorities of the people who live and work in the region. To that end, we express our strong opposition to proposals that would route a new rail line through Old Lyme, Connecticut, and we request that you attend a public forum there so that community leaders can explain how to meet our region’s rail needs while honoring historic preservation and environmental protection priorities.

We strongly support comprehensive, bold efforts to strengthen the NEC rail network, which for too long has subjected our constituents in Connecticut and throughout the Northeast region to daily disruptions and delays on a system that has outlived its useful life. It is time to rebuild the network and ensure it is made safer and more responsive to the needs of the millions who rely on it to live, work and commute each day. In doing so, however, the needs and priorities of the communities that will be impacted by new rail routes must be taken into consideration.

We understand FRA is set to unveil a final Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on various alternatives to improve rail service in Connecticut later this year; state governments, local entities and rail operators may then use the EIS as a springboard for localized, project-specific plans. Unfortunately, the Tier 1 EIS now underway falls short on many fronts. One of the major proposals envisioned by NEC FUTURE would re-route Amtrak through the heart of many historic towns and communities in our state, including Old Lyme. We reject such a proposal, and call on you to ensure the final Tier 1 EIS is absent any scenario that sends rail through Old Lyme. Moreover, whatever alternative is chosen in the EIS must be accompanied by an impact analysis that fairly details the chosen alternative’s impact on the environment, the community, and historical properties.

NEC FUTURE is an important opportunity to comprehensively plan for the investments required to ensure that the Northeast rail corridor—the nation’s busiest—remains safe and viable for decades to come. The FRA is spending considerable resources on this plan, and we are eager to see a final product that is worthy of that investment of time and money. Accordingly, we urge you to put forward a proposal that can be supported by Connecticut and that bolsters historic preservation and environmental conservation instead of undercutting those values. We also ask you to commit to attending a public forum in Old Lyme so FRA and the community can discuss how to develop a long-term plan that reflects the values of our constituents.

We appreciate your attention to this important matter, and look forward to your response.
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1 month ago

Anne Hudson, Lynn A Johnson and 21 others like this

SECoastAnd to be clear. This is not just for Old Lyme. It's about protecting southeastern Connecticut. The key takeaway: "One of the major proposals envisioned by NEC FUTURE would re-route Amtrak through the heart of many historic towns and communities in our state, including Old Lyme. We reject such a proposal, and call on you to ensure the final Tier 1 EIS is absent any scenario that sends rail through Old Lyme."

1 month ago   ·  1
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Jenn MillerParsons Brinckerhoff and David Carol should be forever shamed

1 month ago

1 Reply

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SECoastAll the more reason to keep pushing until the FRA takes this bypass off the table!

1 month ago   ·  1
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SECoast is sponsoring, and Jennifer Hillhouse is organizing, a petition drive. Copies are currently available to sign at the Flo Gris, Art Association, the Tax Office at Old Lyme Town Hall, the library in Old Lyme, and at the Senior Center. There will also be an opportunity to sign at the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival...  

If there are volunteers interested in organizing petition drives in neighboring towns, please contact us ASAP!

SECoast is sponsoring, and Jennifer Hillhouse is organizing, a petition drive. Copies are currently available to sign at the Flo Gris, Art Association, the Tax Office at Old Lyme Town Hall, the library in Old Lyme, and at the Senior Center. There will also be an opportunity to sign at the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival...

If there are volunteers interested in organizing petition drives in neighboring towns, please contact us ASAP!
... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago

Charlotte Lyman, Russ Todd and 23 others like this

Tim HanserWhat is the petition requesting?

1 month ago   ·  1
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SECoast===================== We must not squander a once-in-a-generation opportunity to modernize rail travel along the Northeast Corridor, on plans destined either to fail, or to irreparably harm the historic towns, and estuaries of southeastern Connecticut. Twice, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a keen supporter of rail travel, called the proposed Kenyon to Saybrook bypass through Old Lyme, “half-baked and harebrained.” We agree. We urge you to remove this flawed coastal bypass -- both as a mapped route and as a concept -- from the NEC Future Preferred Alternative, and from any further planning by the Federal Railroad Administration along the Northeast Corridor. =================

1 month ago   ·  1
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William StammAlternatives?

1 month ago

1 Reply

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SECoastA digital version is available here: www.ipetitions.com/petition/secoast/

Sign to Oppose A High-Speed Rail Bypass Through Southeastern Connecticut1 month ago
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Here is an open letter composed by the Jeff Andersen, Ted Hamilton and the entire board of the Florence Griswold Museum expressing concern to the FRA, about reports of the inclusion of a Kenyon to Saybrook bypass.

=========================================

July 15, 2016


Rebecca.reyesalicea@dot.gov
Rebecca Reyes-Alicea
Northeast Corridor Joint Program Advisor
Federal Railroad Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Dear Ms. Reyes-Alicea:

Twenty-five members of the Board of Trustees of the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, CT met on Thursday, July 14, 2016 to unanimously express their grave concerns regarding recent reports that a Kenyon to Saybrook bypass will be included as part of the NEC Future Preferred Alternative expected to be announced in mid-August 2016. As you know, this plan calls for a high-speed rail corridor to come through the historic center of the Town of Old Lyme, with devastating consequences to its significant cultural, historic, and environmental resources.

In 1971, the Old Lyme Historic District was added to The National Register of Historic Places and, in 1993, the Florence Griswold House and Museum was designated a National Historic Landmark in recognition of its significance for all Americans. The Board of Trustees and leadership of the Museum are concerned that the essential integrity of the Town of Old Lyme and the reputation of this NHL as the Home of American Impressionism will be violated by the actions proposed by the FRA. Ironically, at the very time that the town is facing this threat, the Museum has just completed the acquisition of the final parcel of private land that was once a part of Florence Griswold’s historic estate. The unification of the historic site, and the enhancement of the visitor’s experience for the over 70,000 visitors who come here annually, will be forever diminished if this plan is chosen over other alternatives. The proposed train route will do untold damage to the setting of this National Historic Landmark and, indeed, the Historic District.

Our Board of Trustees stands in unity with our United States senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, with our U.S. House Representative Joe Courtney, and with our State Senator Paul Formica and State Representative Devin Carney in opposition to this plan. Further, we respectfully urge the FRA to take the following actions prior to the announcement of the preferred alternative expected in mid-August:


· Take the Kenyon to Saybrook bypass out of the plan for the Preferred Alternative, both as a concept and as a route on the map.
· Agree to hold a public meeting in Southeastern Connecticut, something that Senator Blumenthal and other elected representatives have urged the FRA to do, so that our citizens are given an opportunity to express their concerns and seek responses to many unanswered questions.

We write this letter in good faith and with the belief that you will take our concerns seriously. We look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,



Frank W. Hamilton, III Jeffrey Andersen
President Director

BOARD OF TRUSTEES
FLORENCE GRISWOLD MUSEUM

OFFICERS
Frank W. (Ted) Hamilton, III, President
David W. Dangremond, Vice President
Jane Rapport, Vice President
Lee Jacobus, Secretary
Andy Baxter, Treasurer
Lee Pritchard, Assistant Treasurer
James Carey, Counsel

TRUSTEES
Deborah Butler
Vincent J. Dowling
Dianne Embree
Monique Foster
Charles Hinckley
Paul Holt
Andrea Griffis Inglis
Helen Krieble
Sally Lawrence
Deborah Moore
John E. Noyes
Kathryn Parsons
Erica Tannen Semple
Clinton Standart
Carolyn Wakeman

CHARTER TRUSTEES
Mary Ann Rumney Besier
Charles T. Clark
Jeffrey W. Cooley
Hedy Korst
Robert D. Webster
George J. Willauer

HONORARY TRUSTEES
Maxwell M. Belding
Richard Booth
Wilson G. Bradford
David Hoffman
Clement C. Moore II
Marilyn Nelson
Dr. John Niblack
Marilyn Percy
William E. Phillips
Eleanor Revill
Samuel Thorne
Nelson H. White


Cc:
Administrator Sarah Feinberg, Federal Railroad Administration frapa@dot.gov
Senator Richard Blumenthal senator@blumenthal.senate.gov
Senator Chris Murphy senator@murphy.senate.gov
Legislative Aide Emily Smith Emily_Smith@murphy.senate.gov
Deputy Chief of Staff/Legislative Director David Bonine David_Bonine@murphy.senate.gov
Congressman Joe Courtney joe.courtney@mail.house.gov
Chief of Staff to Congressman Courtney neil.mckiernan@mail.house.gov
State Senator Paul Formica Paul.Formica@cga.ct.gov
State Representative Devin CarneyDevin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov
DOT Commissioner James Redecker james.redeker@ct.gov
Town of Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder
breemsnyder@oldlyme-ct.gov
Daniel Mackay, Director Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation dmackay@cttrust.org
CT State Historic Preservation Officer and Director of Culture Kristina Newman-Scott Kristina.Newmanscott@ct.gov
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