Interrupted train services on weekends this summer starting May 26; free shuttles to cover gaps

Above: The MBTA plans beginning Memorial Day weekend will have rail commuters from Southborough to Boston hopping on and off shuttle buses. (images from MBTA website)

Recent news about construction projects scheduled for the MassPike this summer might have had you thinking that taking the train to Boston will be a better bet. Turns out that won’t necessarily be true on weekends.

The MBTA has announced that work on the commuter rail line through Southborough will interfere with weekend service this spring and summer. They will be using free shuttle buses to cover gaps.

Southborough Wicked Local reports:

Work to install new safety equipment on the Framingham/Worcester line will bring some hiccups for riders this summer.

Buses will replace weekend commuter rail trains on portions of the line between late May and the end of July. The shuttles will run approximately every two hours, closely following the regular weekend schedule.

Between May 26 and June 17, free buses will replace trains between Worcester and Framingham. Riders can still board the train in Framingham and pay the regular fare to travel inbound.

From June 23 through July 29, free shuttle buses will replace train service between Framingham and Wellesley Farms. Riders can also take the bus to Riverside and catch the Green Line to travel into Boston via the subway. A one-way fare from Riverside costs $2.25 with a CharlieCard, or $2.75 without.

Weekend commuter rail service between Worcester and Framingham will remain free until the project finishes at the end of July. . .

The project, which kicked off last year, will bring another round of major construction between July 26 and Aug. 11, requiring lane reductions on the Massachusetts Turnpike and service changes for the commuter rail and the MBTA’s subway and bus routes.

Shuttle buses will replace trains on the Worcester Line on two consecutive weekends, July 28-29 and Aug. 4-5. Details regarding bus diversions were still being finalized, according to a project website.

Click here for SWL’s full article. (It also includes info on highway construction.)

Click here for more details on the MBTA website about the Framingham-Worcester Commuter Rail Line plans.

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5 years ago

Is this safety equipment and/or the WiFi with giant towers?
The quote above says safety but the link describing the details says the following:
“There will be crews working along the line to install poles, fiber optic cable, signal houses, and antenna. Due to the number of crews working on different activities in different locations, large stretches of track need to be shut down.”

Are they sneaking the WiFi work in under the guise of mandatory safety upgrades?

5 years ago
Reply to  Matthew

Hi Matthew,

They’ve stopped being sneaky about this project. In case you haven’t already seen, drive up onto bridge street and take a gander down the rails. They have come through with tree crews and evicerated about 8 feet of trees on both sides of the tracks in the past weeks. This was done during the time of day when homeowners will likely not be around to put up a stink about it. Lots of shade, habitat, and beauty gone in place of some lovely fiber optic towers.

No one in town seems to care at this point, leaving those of us near the rails primed to lose a lot of value in our homes. We had reached out to DPW and also Conservation when we saw the crews coming through, but no one seemed to be aware or be very interested.

5 years ago
Reply to  Beth Melo

Hi Beth,

We’ve had the same experience feeling in the dark, so I am not 100% if this is the same exact project, but the best resources come from North Andover, who was in the spotlight last year for delaying the MBTAs plans to build similar structures, they have a lot of links and info here:

And yes, the CSX (and MBTA) right-of-way is where this all took place. We were adamant about requesting they trim where possible, but they came back and took everything down.

John F Pelletier
5 years ago

For those above, this is for PTC or Positive Train Control systems. Will they being doing additional network stuff, likely as PTC provides better and faster connectivity between signals, switches, and existing communication boxes. Will it be the Wifi-project, I doubt it simply because the logistics would be simply amazing to plan that into the PTC project timeline… but I don’t know for sure of course…

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