We are pleased to let you know that the tie replacement and track de-stressing work on the Worcester Line is near completion and that the delays that you have been experiencing over the past few months will soon be easing.
As we announced back in March, aging railroad ties between Worcester and Framingham and between Newtonville and Wellesley Farms needed to be replaced. When the project officially wraps up next week, 38,400 railroad ties will have been changed out by Keolis engineering crews.
In addition, more than 60 miles of track will have been “de-stressed” in order to end the heat-related speed restrictions that have slowed down trains during hot summer days for many years. Both of these major track improvement projects will be completed by the end of June, enabling trains to operate at normal speeds and ending most heat-related speed restrictions. Heat restrictions will still be required occasionally when temperatures exceed 95 degrees, but the restricted speed limits will be raised from 30 mph to 40 mph.
Because of the delays related to these projects, we have been unable to fully test the new commuter rail schedules that were rolled out on May 23, 2016. During the month of July we will be closely monitoring the performance of your trains to determine if minor schedule adjustments are needed.
While work continues on other parts of the Worcester Line, most notably the construction of the new Boston Landing Station near the New Balance headquarters in Allston, none of these projects are expected to impact peak service on the line, although off-peak service could be temporarily slowed by speed restrictions near construction zones.
We know the past few months have been difficult and sometimes frustrating for those of you who regularly travel on the Worcester Line, and we apologize for the delays and inconvenience you have endured. The good news is that you will soon experience a significant improvement in the performance of the Worcester Line and heat-related speed restrictions will be much less of a factor in your daily commute.
Assistant General Manager for Commuter Rail
Gerald C. Francis
Keolis Commuter Services