Funding For Train Station Stopped

train station rendering
2014 state rendering of proposed train station.

Pushed by then-Mayor Bill Finch and then-State Senator Andres Ayala, Governor Dan Malloy announced plans for an East Side train station a few months before his 2014 reelection. The initial price tag shot up. Now, it appears, funding has derailed.

CT Post reporter Brian Lockhart has more:

The Barnum Station had, in fact, been pursued by then-Mayor Bill Finch’s administration and local business leaders as an economic driver to lure new development and tenants to the troubled East Side.

During a DOT-hosted public hearing last year on the East Side, state officials sought to lower expectations about when the station would actually be constructed and open for business. They noted the design was only 15 percent complete and the operational date moved to 2021–depending on the availability of funding.

The price tag, which ballooned over the years from $48 million to $300 million in part because of demands to accommodate not just Metro North trains but Amtrak’s high speed ones, is challenging given Connecticut’s and Bridgeport’s budget problems.

Full story here.



  1. How many City projects, breathlessly announced by publicists paid by the taxpayer, referenced by the Mayor faithfully as part of his record (including those of his predecessor), have funding lined up and ready to go with a reasonably honest timeline held up in transparent fashion and steps to completion on an accountable schedule are there out there today?? And if the timetables are hit, what will the effect be on the City debt status in terms of expense on one hand and City operating budget revenues and expenses on the other?? Who will speak for City Hall on such a matter? Joe Ganim: isn’t this a story worth peddling to the voters in the burbs, if such a story exists? Ken and Nestor: How does the City operating budget have so many departments with variances in personnel and fringe expenses through five months of the year? Were department budgets padded unnecessarily last spring? And what about departments that have lost personnel but show no variance? Are the budget and assumptions in expense variances honest and complete? Perhaps that is a question for Budget and Appropriations to take up promptly? Time will tell.

    1. Lennie, you of all people knew that this is the kind of bull shit promises pols make during election cycles. You yourself participate in orchestrating one of these stunts 3 years ago. Listen carefully to your former client when she said, “This is your money,” in reference to the made-up $500,000 Black Rock Project. If Malloy and a Judge can’t be trusted with promises of funded projects, who the hell can the people believe? Lets take a ride down memory lane. Or is it lame memory?:

  2. I have faith in Christopher Rosario. I believe Bridgeport will have a 3rd train station. It will be an economic boon to the area and will spur economic development. I do hoe the Mayor makes this a priority. The new apartments built adjacent to Barnum and Waltersville schoole have truly transformed the area. A new train station will only continue to improve the troubled area and bring it back to life. This is not debatable. I respect others opinions. This is mine.

      1. Ron, I am going to assume your question was sincere. First, I think Jeff K. Gave a great dissertation.For me, “Synergy” is the key. I think Chris Rosario should give a presentation on this blog and a commentary in the Post. He has a great vision for the East Main Corridor and the train station. I will start by saying that “I ” believe the train station will bring new life and money to the area. There are already 500 new units of housing . That area has the largest stock of Victorian housing in the entire state. Millennials and young executives will move into the area. The synergy with downtown redevelopment and Steelepointe development as well as potentials casino’s will bring people to our city. Lower East Main Street has some of the best ethnic restaurants around. Washington Park is spectacular. The Seaview Avenue Corridor is prime and ready for serious development. Remmington woods has the potential of 450 acres of prime development. Bridgeport, for the first time will be prepared . Developers will appreciate the transportation available in the city. If you look at the bigger picture through optimistic eyes, Bridgeport has everything Stamford has. I worked in Stamfor for 10 years. I have seen the daily transformation of Stamford. I will continue to believe in this city and it’sfuture potential. ranted having a poor educational system is one of the biggest detractors as well as image. This train station will clean up an entire area. We are so used to being backroom operations for so many companies, we need to see the Eastend and downtown expanded. Even if the station was minimalistic, it would still be a positive for the area. People that live in that area need it. Future labor force coming into the area need it. If the city does not look 10-20 years down the road we will be stuck and continue to decay. I am hopeful that the lower East Main becomes a booming area again. People need to discover and rediscover the amazing housing stock. Yes there will be gentrication. We are desperate for gentrification, New business and new life . If we continue to see ourselves as a Welfare City we will become just that. The economy is turning around. You have to strike while the iron is hot. Bridgeport notoriously waits for the downswing in a market and New development become state funded section 8 housing, Like most condo’s built on the downswing of the the last real estate bonanza in the 80’s.. Thisis my take. You do not have to agree with it. It is what I have hoped and believed for this city for the past 50 years.

        1. Steve, I’m very serious, how does this railroad station help those who live on the East Side and those businesses? Steve where is the funding coming from to support what Jeff has listed? The residents on the East Side will not be using that railroad station to go to work. Those who would use the station will drive in and park their car and then return back and go back home, they are not going to go shopping or spending money on the East Side. What permanent jobs will this station provide beings, wow, what permanent jobs?

          1. The only permanent job(s) at the proposed railroad station will be security guards, unless someone has the cash and credit to open a news stand or a small restaurant. Both of you are correct, the city needs to look 10-20 years down the road, take the long view.

            But that ain’t happening. With the mayor preoccupied by narcissism and the City Council distracted by intramural politics nothing is happening. What have we heard about? A proposed casino/hotel, an amphitheater, renovation of the Poli & Majestic Theaters, a railroad station. All fine and good but so what? The amphitheater and the Poli/Majestic are closeto fruition. The casino is a crock of shit,, a piece of spun sugar that will disappear as soon as you put it in your mouth. The railroad station is pointless. The funding stream dried up because it is unnecessary.

            Unless and until City Hall and the City Council put the people of the city of Bridgeport before personal agendas development is moot. The city’s ills–drugs, crime, poverty, industrial pollution, a dysfunctional public education system, high property taxes and little bang for the buck–are ignored. Little Joe Ganim ought to put away the looking glass, focus on improving the quality of life for the people of the city of Bridgeport. He was elected to serve US, not subsidize his political ambitions.

    1. My last years Salutations (2017) to Stevie A. still holds true a year later.

      Stevie Auerbach is a great cheer leader for this city, I kid around with him and sometimes piss him off, but he keeps coming back and raising our city’s flag.
      His Restaurant reviews are great! He pushed hard for Bill Finch and now for Joe Ganim, but all the time doing his part to bring this city back to greatness, and I take my hat off to him for that.
      Happy New Year Stevie A!

      1. Yeah, he pished hard for Joe Ganim. Now we’re stuck with a gubernatorial wannabe that has no time to address the city’s pressing problems. Thanks Steve. Now go get your fucking shinebox.

  3. BK,
    No funding for Congress St bridge? Thought there was a recent plan to change bridge design reducing expense from $30-60 Million down to $12 Million and that design was ongoing? What do you find? The re-design would let walking, biking and auto traffic pass over the waterway but have no capacity to raise or lower bridge for watercraft. However, if memory serves me correctly, the Army Corps or another body reported no such needs shown in past five years? True or not? Time will tell.

  4. No one I know from the East End thought that this was going to happen or really wanted it or thought it would spur growth. Most thought it was just a parking lot for Stratford, Trumbull and surrounding suburban communities so they can go to work in Stamford and NYC.

    You want to do something for the East End, build that bridge, Pleasure Beach that is.

    1. No one in Black Rock thought the East Side railroad station was going to happen. We all thought it was just so much hot gas from Wild Bill Finch.

    2. Donald Day, lets be real. When you have two State Senators who don’t give a damn about bringing anything for Bridgeport and while at it, prevent the current administration from implementing projects that will politically benefit them more so than the Senators, what else should be expected from the State/Governor’s office. Malloy knows that his boy Brodin can’t count much on Bridgeport as far as votes are concerned.

  5. Enhancement of intra-city transportation options/efficiency so as to create better utility of our existing, intra-modal transportation options in downtown Bridgeport would go a long way in conjoining the Steel Point and Downtown-area development efforts in powerful, synergistic ways — especially in the context of the planned, casino/entertainment draws… Local/regional ground, air, and water-based shuttles from strategic points (e.g., between Sikorsky Airport, downtown/the intra-modal center, and the other area train stations, and even, via helicopter, the NY and regional airports — using small heliports and a major, Sikorsky Airport heliport hub) would serve Bridgeport/regional development purposes better than a “third” Bridgeport train station… Setting up this transportation linkage system could happen through casino $-facilitated efforts per the establishment of private-sector operations in this regard… It would be an excellent thing for Bridgeport to create Acela capacity at the present downtown station in this regard… This could happen after the economic wheels of the city and state have been “greased” by the Bridgeport casino-stimulated local/regional development surge, with its (potential) huge, jobs- and capital-access creation.

    With proper creative, forward-thinking planning, there, the current momentum for a Bridgeport resurgence can be multiplied and applied to take us where we want to go (once we know where that is…), without the Dan Malloy, “third-eye” train station in the middle of land that should be ear-marked for much-higher, jobs- and tax-base-creating venues…).

    But, look out! Dan Malloy, Jr. (Luke Bronin) is probably looking to lay more voting-track with more “third-eye” train station promises to Bridgeporters…

  6. The intent of the Seaview Avenue Corrofor project was access to Remington Woods for development. One of the major challenges is the railroad viaduct (clearance). This railroad station would have addressed that issue. Maybe that is the real reason it was proposed.

    Many of us who commented when it was announced (without the awareness of the DOT) said the project was DOA. Clearly it was a campaign pipe-dream.

    Is there still a ‘Seaview Avenue Corridor Project’? Is there a need for more office and flex-space? Facilities in Trumbull are being occupied by not-for-profits and health clubs as corporations consolidate, downsize and disappear.

  7. Should have referred to INTER-MODAL Center not intra-modal… Of course, I absolutely intended to bring a focus to the need for enhanced INTRA-CITY transportation options per the need to feed consumer traffic to the various areas of the city that will want to be part of the huge increase in customer options in regard to the development of various consumer sectors in the business foci of the city, e.g., the East Side/East End business districts…

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