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Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Continues Major Construction Projects For Trolley And Commuter Rail Infrastructure


Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) five-year, $8 billion capital improvement program is well underway with track and signal work starting on the Green Line D branch and with the installation of Positive Train Control infrastructure happening along the Needham Commuter Rail Line.

The work on the Green Line D branch comes from the Track and Signal Replacement project, which will replace about 6.5 miles of signal infrastructure and 25,000 feet of track, including special work between Beaconsfield and Riverside stations and upgrading infrastructure to modern signal systems. In addition, work on the Brookline’s High School Expansion Project, adjacent to the D branch Brookline Hills station, has started, along with the flood control work as part of the Fenway Portal Project.

“Executing on this necessary work is key to our larger strategy of rebuilding the core track and signal infrastructure along the Green Line,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “While we acknowledge shuttle buses can cause an inconvenience to our customers, expanding the window of construction allows us to make more progress while reducing the overall construction schedule.”

MBTA’s Needham Commuter Rail line is also undergoing construction. The Positive Train Control project is implementing a federally-mandated, safety control system that automatically knows when to reduce train speeds. This is a high-priority capital program that is being installed throughout the entire commuter rail network.

“Positive Train Control is a key investment that will result in a significant safety upgrade for our customers across the entire Commuter Rail network,” Poftak said. “While we continue our efforts to improve service by investing in vehicles, power systems, signals, and track, we are also integrating this new, state-of-the-art technology that brings Commuter Rail safety into the 21st century.”

These projects will affect regular, scheduled service. The Green Line D branch work started July 8 and will continue through December 2019, affecting the trolley service 8 pm until 5 am, Monday through Friday. The Needham Line work will start August 3 and will continue until October 12, suspending all services Saturday. For alternate route information, visit the MBTA’s website here.