MBTA Wachusett Commuter Rail Extension Project
Wachusett Commuter Rail Station and Westminster Layover Facility
The project consists of a new Wachusett Station, new Westminster Layover Facility, and upgrades to the existing rail line to accommodate the extension of commuter rail service 4 miles west from Fitchburg to Wachusett.
The new station will be conveniently located in close proximity to Route 2 at Route 31 in West Fitchburg. This project will:
- improve mass transit options to the communities west of Fitchburg,
- improve the region’s economy by reducing the commute time from the Montachusett Region to the Boston area job market,
- increase the supply of commuter rail parking for riders in the western part of the region, and
- improve the operation and capacity of the Fitchburg Line train Layover Facility.
The new Wachusett Station will have a fully-accessible, high-level platform which will allow direct platform-to-coach boarding. A new 360 space parking lot, to be operated by the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART), will be located in the 231 Industrial Park adjacent to the Omnova Solutions plant and will have access from Authority Drive. The parking lot will include a drop-off area for cars and buses, and will be connected to the platform by a sloped walkway. The station will include a passenger shelter, benches and windscreens, lighting, and landscaping. The station will be equipped with closed circuit television (CCTV) video surveillance cameras, police emergency call boxes, and public telephones.
The new Westminster Layover Facility will replace the existing Fitchburg Line Layover Facility in Lunenburg. The Facility will be located approximately 1.5 miles west of the Wachusett Station in the Westminster Business Park. Vehicular access to the Facility will be from Theodore Drive. The Facility will have 6 train storage tracks, employee parking area, maintenance building, electrical substation, lighting, fencing, and landscaping.
The existing rail line between Fitchburg Station and the Westminster Layover facility will be upgraded to accommodate the extension of commuter rail service to Wachusett Station. This work will include rail and tie replacements, bridge repairs, new crossovers, a new signal system, and freight clearance improvements.
The Project Design was completed in 2013. Construction began with site preparation for the station and layover facility in late 2012. A ground breaking signaling the onset of the Track, Layover, and Station was held in August 2013. Track, signal, and bridge rehabilitation is expected to commence in Spring 2015. Commuter Rail service to Wachusett Station is expected to commence in Fall 2016.