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U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) late last week asked Amtrak to address overcrowding issues along the Hartford and Shore Line East commuter-rail lines.In a Nov. 9 letter to Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson, the senator noted that the railroad’s two-car trains on the Hartford Line aren't meeting ridership demands in the state. Blumenthal also expressed concern about Amtrak failing to hold up its pledge to cross-honor CTrail ticket holders and university transit passes.Amtrak owns the Hartford Line, which also is used by CTrail trains. Blumenthal cited a recent Connecticut Public Radio report of an Amtrak conductor asking CTrail and university transit pass holders to get off an overcrowded train and wait for the next one."This is simply unacceptable — leaving Connecticut students and paying customers to bear the burden of service shortcomings," Blumenthal wrote. The senator also noted that recent track work on the Shore Line East has caused "unreasonable delays" and cancelations. Blumenthal closed his letter by asking Amtrak to work with the Connecticut Department of Transportation on immediate and long-term solutions to resolve overcrowding issues. Solutions could include increased service and additional passenger cars to meet ridership demands.The senator asked Amtrak to detail its overcrowding plan by Dec. 7.Demand for Hartford Line service has been high since the line opened in June.
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