Keolis, MBTA Improve Newburyport/Rockport Line

Keolis Commuter Services and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) have reported a list of improvement projects on the Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail Line that were completed during the temporary shutdown of service between Salem and Newburyport/Rockport.

Weekday service has resumed and weekend service will begin on September 2. The weekday suspension was required because of the replacement of the Beverly drawbridge.

“I want to thank our passengers for their patience while our teams completed these important and much-needed long-term investments into the commuter rail network,” said David Scorey, Keolis Commuter Services CEO and general manager. “To help ensure service resumes as smoothly as possible over the coming days, we will have crews in place to make minor adjustments as the bridge and other new infrastructure experience the high volume of trains and boats during peak commutes this week.”

“The ongoing infrastructure work on the Newburyport/Rockport Line reflects the MBTA’s new approach to capital spending,” stated interim MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “This fiscal year alone nearly $800 million is targeted toward projects that will improve reliability and enhance safety throughout the system.”

In addition to replacing the bridge, construction teams completed the following work:

  • modernized track and grade crossing signals at Cabot Street and the Ashbury Street and Bay Road intersection;
  • replaced approximately 12,000 railroad ties and installed 2,800 tons of ballast;
  • upgraded sections of the Rockport layover facility;
  • performed pre-planning work for the replacement of the Gloucester drawbridge; and
  • replaced five culverts, and performed vegetation and drainage maintenance along the two routes.

Positive Train Control installment and other projects will continue during the remaining weekend service suspensions.