Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Attention Worcester-Framingham MBTA/MBCR Commuter Rail Line Riders: Maintenance Work on the Rails Starts Sunday, March 9th

This was just announced this morning. When I first heard the report on WCVB-TV Channel 5 I thought "wow - they can make this announcement less than a week before the maintenance work begins?"

Commuter rail trains on the Worcester-Framingham line may be delayed upwards of a half-hour due to track work that CSX will be doing next week. The maintenance work begins this Sunday, March 9th and it is expected to run through Monday, March 17th.

Most of the work will supposedly take place during "off" hours - from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. The work will be done on tracks between Wellesley and Auburndale and between Worcester and Framingahm.

More work will take place in April when CSX will replace cross ties on the Worcester line.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette said that the MBCR released a statement yesterday related to the maintenance work. I did a quick search on the MBCR's website to see if I could find the statement and I didn't see it. I did notice they have the most current commuter rail "schedules" dating back to 2007, so they do a great making sure their website has current information.
The Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co., which runs commuter rail service for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, released a statement yesterday projecting the following delays:

  • On Sunday, trains traveling after 8 p.m. should expect delays of 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Between Monday and Wednesday, March 12, trains leaving South Station after 7 p.m. and trains leaving Worcester or Framingham after 7 p.m. should expect delays of up to 30 minutes.
  • On March 16, passengers on morning and early afternoon trains will be bused between Grafton and Worcester, while late afternoon trains are likely to be delayed 20 to 30 minutes.
  • On March 17, passengers on the 8:50 a.m. and 12:10 p.m. trains leaving South Station, and the 10:30 a.m. and 2:05 p.m. trains leaving Worcester, will be bused between Grafton and Worcester. Evening rush-hour trains can expect delays of 20 to 30 minutes.
No work is scheduled on March 13, 14 and 15.
The T&G said more information about the maintenance work could be found on the MBTA's website. I didn't notice anything related to the maintenance work posted on the T's website. I did see that the T is looking for participants for the Rider Oversight Committee.

The Boston Globe also reported on the maintenance work. While the Globe's article didn't contain as much information as the T&G's article, the Globe did include some stats for the Worcester-Framingham line's February 2008 performance.
Farmelant said 69 percent of the trains on the Worcester/Framingham line ran on time or less than five minutes late last month. Since the Feb. 19 schedule change, 94 percent of trains on the line have run on time, he said.
This still begs the question - why aren't the on-time performance stats released more consistently?

I'm sorry Worcester-Framingham commuter rail riders . . . it sounds like you are looking at some delays in the Spring.

On a slightly different topic, the Today show is looking for "the worst commute in America." Hmm, I wonder if the Worcester-Framingham commuter rail line is considered one of the worst commutes?

Good luck next week!


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