It pays to read what the government puts out.
Lawmakers are fond of sticking something on page 1218 of proposed bills that turn out to be a windfall for one constituent who runs a casino, owns a farm or wants to sell something in China.
Department officials, meanwhile, put out studies about future projects. Take this recent one from the Federal Railroad Administration, about high-speed transportation from Boston to Washington.
Speeds of 200 miles an hour sound great!
Of course, we’d need new rail lines.
According to “NEC Future” — NEC meaning Northeast Corridor — a new 2-track infrastructure would begin in New Rochelle. It would run through coastal Fairfield County.
And it would terminate in Westport, west of the Greens Farms station.
This “preferred alternative” would be constructed “parallel to I-95, typically on embankment or aerial structure.”
According to Matthew Mandell — RTM representative, Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce director and Slice of Saugatuck founder — “we could be talking about a train running right along 95, above and over Tarry Lodge, Tutti’s, the Duck and out over the river.”
Or, he says, “maybe a bit more north through who knows what.”
First Selectman Jim Marpe is on the case. He wrote a letter to the Railroad Administration, noting “extreme concern” — at minimum — in Westport about the possible route.
Marpe cited impacts on coastal resources, property owners and the Saugatuck neighborhood.
Mandell says, “While this may be decades away, so was 95 at some point — and look what it did.”