Commuter Rail to Operate a Reduced Schedule Thursday

Commuter rail service available to those needing to travel; Passengers encouraged to dress warm and exercise caution as extreme cold continues with heavy snowfall

BOSTON – January 3, 2018 – Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis), the MBTA’s commuter rail operating partner, announced today a Reduced Schedule for Thursday due to the expected heavy snowfall, extreme cold and wind gusts.

The commuter rail published a pre-determined Reduced Schedule in November. Schedules online and in the Keolis app will be updated to show only trains operating during Thursday’s Reduced Schedule. On printed schedules, trains shaded in yellow will not operate Thursday. Express trains may make local stops as necessary.

Keolis will provide updates to passengers through Twitter at @MBTA_CR,, station signage and onboard announcements. Passengers can also sign up for T-Alerts at

“If you have to travel Thursday, the commuter rail will be operating a Reduced Schedule,” said Tory Mazzola, Director of Public Affairs, Keolis. “A Reduced Schedule allows our teams to safely clear snow and downed trees from tracks, and to properly maintain locomotives and switches throughout the network.”

According to recent National Weather Service forecasts, approximately 8 – 12 inches of snow is expected across the commuter rail network Thursday. Sustained winds of 35 mph or more are expected with gusts as high as 65 mph in certain areas.

During snow and other winter weather, Keolis uses these four symbols to communicate service level changes for commuter rail:

The extreme temperatures combined with Thursday’s storm could create delays and will require regular snow-clearing operations on the track and network. Delays are possible during a Reduced Schedule, and passengers are encouraged to check schedules before traveling.

The storm operation for commuter rail includes approximately 450 team members readying supplies and equipment, and scheduled to be pre-positioned throughout the network to respond quickly as necessary. Examples of preparation activities include:

  • Inspecting and testing approximately 350 pieces of snow-fighting equipment, including snow plow trains and snow blowers located throughout the network
  • Re-filling sand, salt and other materials at stations around the network
  • Inspecting track, grade crossings, signals, switches and switch heaters to ensure proper function ahead of the storm
  • Applying de-icer to coach car doors to help ensure easy operation