Improvements Planned for MBTA's Newburyport/Rockport Rail Lines

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and Keolis Commuter Services (KCS) will hold several public hearings regarding the installation of Positive Train Control (PTC) infrastructure and a new Beverly swing bridge on the Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail Lines. Due to the current bridge’s age, the Beverly swing bridge occasionally malfunctions, becoming stuck in the open position, causing trains to be delayed. 

The commuter rail lines will have weekend closures between July 8 and September 30 for PTC installation. The lines will also be shut down north of Salem Station from July 17 to August 13 for the replacement of the 130-year-old Beverly swing bridge over the Danvers River. Trains between Salem Station and Boston’s North Station will be operating July 17 to August 13 on regular weekday schedules but will not operate on weekends from July 8 to September 30 due to PTC installations. 

The MBTA selected this time period for the closures because these weeks historically have some of the lowest ridership. Installing the swing bridge while PTC infrastructure is being installed reduces the days the trains will have service suspended.  

During the project work this summer, crews will also perform the following maintenance and enhancements to the lines:

  • upgrades to the Rockport layover facility;
  • preparations for replacement of the Gloucester drawbridge;
  • replacement of track and grade crossing signals to Cabot Street Crossing; and
  • replacement of approximately 10,000 railroad ties between North Beverly and Ipswich Station, and vegetation and drainage maintenance.