30,000 railroad ties to be replaced, buses to provide connecting service for some off-peak trains

BOSTON – October 9, 2018 – Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis), the MBTA’s operating partner for the commuter rail, will be replacing 30,000 railroad ties between Littleton/495 and Wachusett stations beginning on Monday, October 15. Through November, this weekday work will begin after 8:30 a.m. and be completed before 4:30 p.m. Work schedules were designed to minimize the impact on morning and evening peak service.

Inbound Trains 412, 414, 416, 418, 420, 422 will originate at Littleton/495 Station. Buses will replace these trains’ schedules between Wachusett Station and Littleton/495. Outbound Trains 403, 405, 407, 409, 411 and 413 will terminate at Littleton/495 Station with bus service replacing the remaining stops to Wachusett. All off-peak trains may experience minor delays during the project. T-Alerts and other communications will be posted to notify passengers of these service alerts.

This tie replacement project is necessary track maintenance to help ensure a smooth and comfortable ride for passengers, and to further improve service reliability. More than 200,000 ties have been replaced across the commuter rail network since Keolis began operations in 2014. Thanks to investments by the MBTA and Keolis, track work like tie and rail replacements have reduced the number of delay minutes associated with heat-related speed restrictions by 99 percent since 2014.

Railroad ties are wooden supports on which the rails rest. They are held in place by crushed stone called “track ballast” that also must be laid as the ties are replaced.