South Coast Rail Project
The South Coast Rail project will restore commuter rail service between Boston, Taunton, Fall River and New Bedford. Since rail service to the South Coast region ended in the 1950s, the South Coast Rail project will provide a new, modern public transportation connection for this long-underserved region to jobs and economic development opportunities. At the June 2014 MassDOT Board Meeting, the Board of Directors approved a Program Management/Construction Management (PM/CM) contract to support the MBTA in the development of the overall program. The tasks include preliminary design, final design oversight, environmental permitting and construction management.
The proposed South Coast Rail service will be an extension of the MBTA’s existing Stoughton Commuter Rail Line to the new terminal stations in New Bedford and Fall River. The route will extend from Stoughton Station along an inactive section of right-of-way from Stoughton to Taunton, then onto the active freight railroad corridor from Taunton to the terminus stations in Fall River and New Bedford. The project will include the reconstruction of existing Canton Center and Stoughton Stations and the addition of ten new commuter rail stations and two overnight layover facilities. The new stations will be located in North Easton, Easton Village, Raynham Park, Taunton, Taunton Depot, King’s Highway, Whale’s Tooth, Freetown, Fall River Depot and Battleship Cove. A new overnight layover facility will be located in both New Bedford and Fall River.
In addition to South Coast Rail itself, several infrastructure projects are underway along the rail corridor that will support the existing freight operations and help support the future South Coast Rail. Beginning in late 2014, MassDOT will completely replace four bridges along the future South Coast Rail right-of-way. This effort will provide immediate benefits for the expanding freight service and upgrade the rail’s capacity to support commuter trains in the future. A second program includes the upgrade and reconstruction of five grade crossings along the South Coast Rail route. The new crossings will be equipped with state-of-the-art safety warning devices, new track and grade crossing surfaces. The grade crossing reconstruction will result in rebuilding approximately 10,500 linear feet of track in Freetown and approximately 5,600 linear feet of track in New Bedford.
Information and Outreach
You can visit the full project website for more information. Find reports, fact sheets, documents, construction updates, meeting information and much more are available at www.mass.gov/southcoastrail. You can sign up to join the project database and learn more about the history of South Coast Rail.