Monday, July 29, 2013

More MBTA Fitchburg Line Weekend Disruption Coming

Lincoln — Joe Nolan, a community outreach official for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), confirmed Thursday that the MBTA will continue weekend commuter rail service from North Station to South Acton until Saturday, Sept. 7.

Originally, weekend commuter rail service was slated to be suspended beginning August 3 at several stops on the Fitchburg line, including Concord, West Concord and Lincoln, due to track work.

Beginning Sept. 7, weekend trains will only run from North Station to Brandeis/Roberts.

Weekend service has already been suspended along the Fitchburg line at stops including Fitchburg, North Leominster, Shirley, Littleton/Interstate 495 and South Acton, and Nolan said these stops, with the exception of South Acton, will remain closed on the weekends in August. The stretch includes a stop in Lincoln.

According to the MBTA, no weekend commuter rail service will be available in South Acton, Concord, West Concord, Lincoln, Kendall Green and at Brandeis/Roberts from Sept. 7 until Nov. 24.

No alternative transportation will be provided by the MBTA, according to the website.

Nolan said the MBTA doesn't expect the restoration of service in August to have an impact on the project's anticipated timeline.

"We were able to make efficiencies in the contract and the completion dates remain the same," he said.

The $200 million “Fitchburg Line Improvement Project” will improve reliability of service and reduce trip times for commuters. It is scheduled for completion by the end of 2015.

Nolan said the project includes construction of a second track between Acton and Ayer and two new stations in Littleton and South Acton.

In addition to these improvements, there will also be improvements to seven bridges and upgrades to the signal system and track improvements to allow maximum train speed to increase from 60 mph to 80 miles per hour.

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