MBTA commuter rail shutdowns to begin in July 2017

At a board meeting on June 26, 2017, the MBTA provided more detail on its plans for installing new, federally-mandated crash prevention measures.

The following five commuter rail lines will be affected:

  • Newburyport/Rockport Line: weekends from July 8 to September 30 — a Salem Patch story provides details, and MBTA schedules are on their website)
  • Lowell Line: weekends from August 5 to October 1
  • Fairmount Line: from November 24 to December 24
  • Needham Line: Unknown by TRIPPS at this time – we’ll update this post when we learn more!
  • Haverhill Line: Unknown by TRIPPS at this time – we’ll update this post when we learn more!

Replacement bus service on the five affected lines will be provided by Yankee Line and Peter Pan Bus Lines. Originally, no replacement service was going to be offered, but public outcry in the spring of 2017 prompted MBTA officials to change their plans. Vocal pressure from riders also protected weekend commuter rail service in general when that feature was on the chopping block earlier this year.

More information on this topic and the plans for bus replacement service can be found in an excellent Commonwealth Magazine article by Bruce Mohl, who was at the meeting.

Note: Many thanks to a concerned commuter rail rider at one of our recent events, who asked about this topic and prompted our volunteers and staff to look into it! Thanks also to “Friend of TRIPPS” Marilyn MacNab, who did the necessary research to help answer this rider’s question.

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