Rail Tie Work to Affect Needham Train Service
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company (MBCR) have announced temporary schedule changes on the Needham commuter rail that will go into effect on Saturday, June 11. The schedule adjustment is required to mitigate impacts caused by a rail tie replacement project that Amtrak is performing.
The work will take place on shared rail lines between the Back Bay and Forest Hills stations, a stretch Needham line trains use to get in and out of South Station.
The three-month project is expected to conclude in mid-September.
Needham line schedule changes are as follows:
All weekday inbound and certain weekend Needham trains will not stop at Ruggles.
- Train 600 – Departs Needham Heights 6:15 am (5 minutes later) arriving South Station 6:57am
- Train 602 and Train 604 are combined into one train designated Train 604. This train departs Needham Heights at 7:05 a.m. (20 minutes later than No. 602 and 25 mins earlier than No. 604) will arrive at South Station at 7:54 a.m.
- Train 606 – No change to departure time at Needham Heights, 3 minutes added Forest Hill to Boston arriving South Station at 8:45 a.m.
- Train 610 – No change to departure time at Needham Heights. Train will arrive at South Station at 10:18 a.m. (2 minutes later)
- Train 620 – Departs Needham Heights 2 minutes later at 5:02 p.m.
- Train 622 – Arrives at South Station at 6:20 p.m. (3 minutes later)
- Train 632 – No change to departure time at Needham Heights. Train will arrive at South Station at 10:51 p.m. (4 minutes later)
- Trains 608, 612, 614, 616, 618, 626, 628, 630 - schedule unchanged except these trains will not stop at Ruggles.
- Train 605 - Will not run, for the duration of this project. Customers may take Train 607, 20 mins later
- Train 607 –Will make all local stops except Ruggles
- Train 623 – Departs South Station at 5:25 p.m. 5 minutes later. Arrives at Needham Heights at 6:11 p.m.
- Trains 609, 611, 613, 615, 617, 619, 621, 625, 627, 629, 631, 633, 635 - schedule unchanged
- No schedule changes except trains 1608, 1610 and 1612 will not stop at Ruggles.
- Train 1605 – Departs South Station at 11:00 a.m. (10 minutes earlier). Arrives at Needham Heights at 11:37 a.m.
About the project:
Needham line trains converge with the Fairmont, Franklin and Providence/Stoughton lines to travel in and out of South Station at the section of the main line between Back Bay Station and Forest Hills where the work will take place. Normally, three tracks operate through this area of track. However, during the project, one track will be taken out of service entirely.
Temporary schedules are available at South and Back Bay Stations and on the MBCR and MBTA Web sites.
The ties being replaced by Amtrak were installed in the 1990s as part of their Northeast Rail Corridor Improvement Project. The concrete ties have been determined to have a systemic failure, similar to issues on the Old Colony Line. If not addressed promptly, the failures will lead to speed restrictions that would severely delay a significant volume of travel into and out of South Station for both Amtrak and MBTA commuter rail trains.
All work during this period will be performed during overnight hours, which provides a safe environment for workers, while expediting the project schedule. Daytime rail service is impacted because Federal Railroad Administration regulations do not allow train travel through the active project area at any time due to the size of equipment and of the project staging area.
In addition to customer communications provided by the MBTA and MBCR, Amtrak has created project hotlines at 800-288-1310 and email@example.com.