Commuter rail

By - 8/17/17 - 11:45 am

Harvard Kennedy School researchers tried to figure out the cost of a North-South rail link, find it would be between roughly $3.8 billion for a single-tunnel, two-track layout and $5.9 billion for a higher-capacity system with two tunnels and four tracks. Read more.

By - 8/10/17 - 12:01 pm

MassDOT reports it heard residents and elected officials who didn't like the idea of behemoth WiFi towers along commuter-rail tracks and has ordered the contractor building infrastructure for a new train-based WiFi network, BAI Communications, to come back with plans that use either existing utility poles or poles a lot shorter than 70 feet.

By - 8/2/17 - 5:52 pm
South Station crowds

The maddening crowds at South Station. Photo by Amy.

David Perry reports that South Station Meltdown, Take 2, is due to a problem in Tower 1, an Amtrak shed just outside South Station that handles switching trains onto the right tracks at the station. It's the second evening rush hour in a row that South Station commuters have found themselves with extra time to get a drink or three.

By - 8/1/17 - 6:25 pm
Sad commuters at South Station

Unhappy campers at South Station. Photo by Kerry O'Brien.

In the winter of 2015, the MBTA had a valid reason for delayed trains. Today? Who knows? But resigned riders are stacking up at South Station this evening. Read more.

By - 7/31/17 - 10:56 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today the MBTA didn't break any implied contract with riders when it cancelled or delayed scores of commuter-rail trains in the the Winter of Our Discontent. Read more.

By - 7/17/17 - 8:57 am
Waiting for the bus in Salem

Claire Blechman was among those having to transfer from a bus to a train in Salem, due to work on the Newburyport/Rockport Line that will keep it shut through Aug. 13.

By - 7/5/17 - 7:02 pm

The MBTA is blaming Amtrak switch issues near Readville for delays along the Providence Line now approaching 60 minutes.

By - 7/4/17 - 10:18 am

Transit Police report a man, believed to be about 21, was hit by an inbound Worcester Line train near where it crosses Parsons Street in Brighton shortly before 12:40 a.m.

Foul play is not suspected, police say.

By - 6/16/17 - 1:08 pm

MassDOT reports that ridership on the only only-in-Boston commuter rail line increased 25% during the first of two fare-free weeks in May - and 44% the second week - but then dropped back down to normal light levels when the fares came back.

By - 6/13/17 - 8:21 am
Train car on fire in Mansfield

Photo by Mansfield Police.

A freight car full of construction debris on the Northeast Corridor tracks in Mansfield erupted into flames around 4:30 a.m., Mansfield Police report.

Crews were able to maneuver the flaming car from the area of the Rte. 140 crossing to tracks off County Street, where the thing was still on fire as of 6:30 a.m.

By - 6/12/17 - 7:09 pm
Crowds at North Station

Claire Blechman shows us the hordes trying to get out of Boston from North Station shortly before 6 p.m., on a day when commuter rail tried its best to keep up with delays on the Red Line.

South Station replied, "Hold my beer," as Kevin Essington shows us: Read more.

By - 6/12/17 - 10:26 am

When the heat gets too hot, Worcester and Needham Line trains have to go extra slow because, of course, the tracks weren't designed to handle regular-speed trains in the heat. Or as Goodband-C puts it when talking about what is normally 33-minute ride on the Needham Line:

Crawling into South Station a quick 80 minute trip from Hersey.

By - 6/6/17 - 2:03 pm

All thanks to the Beverly drawbridge replacement and the Positive Train Control system installation work.

Weekday Service Plan for July 17 through August 13

By - 5/27/17 - 10:16 am
By - 5/22/17 - 11:43 am
Boston Landing station in Brighton

Roving UHub photographer Michael Halle was on hand to watch a train pull out of the new Boston Landing station on the Worcester Line this morning. New Balance paid for the station, which services both its large development along Guest Street and the rest of Brighton, which hadn't seen commuter-rail service in decades.

By - 4/29/17 - 10:04 am

The Dorchester Reporter reports that US Rep. Michael Capuano will spend roughly $50,000 in campaign funds to promote the Fairmount Line by letting everybody ride for free between May 8 and May 21.

Earlier:
Report lists ways to put the Fairmount Line on the map.

By - 4/27/17 - 2:33 pm
Proposed new South Station layout

Proposed expanded South Station.

A MassDOT environmental report details plans to expand South Station over nine years that would hinge on getting the Postal Service to finally abandon its giant facility along Fort Point Channel and moving the food-distribution companies of Widett Circle someplace else. Read more.

By - 4/27/17 - 12:44 pm
Possible MBTA map that would include the Indigo Line

Like literally put on the map.

The good news in a Boston Foundation report on the Fairmount Line is that a $200-million state investment in adding and improving stations and service meant a three-fold increase in ridership since 2012.

The bad news is that only means 2,257 riders on a typical weekday, because ridership in 2012 was so low - just 789. Read more.