Baker-Polito Admin. announces enhancements to Worcester/Framingham Line
Posted on October 7, 2015
WORCESTER - Today, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced a series of comprehensive changes to the MBTA's Commuter Rail schedule that include the addition of non-stop train service between Union Station in Worcester and Boston, beginning in May 2016.
Upon implementation, one non-stop train will depart Union Station at 7:55 a.m. and arrive at Back Bay Station in less than one hour. Schedule modifications are also being made to add two additional zone express trains in both directions daily.
"For the first time ever, non-stop train service between Worcester and Boston in under one hour will become a reality," said Lt. Governor Polito. "The new schedule will give commuters more options on an improved schedule that reflect the needs of today for both our residents and our economy."
The non-stop service results in a net savings of time of approximately 30 minutes for Worcester riders. The existing Commuter Rail schedule for the Framingham/Worcester Line trains typically result in a trip between Worcester and Boston that takes approximately an hour and a half, and can stop as many as 16 times on its way to South Station.
Upon full implementation, the Worcester/Framingham Line schedule will consist of 11 Boston-bound trains in the morning during the peak weekday commuting window. Of that total, seven trains will originate in Worcester's Union Station, with one train making all local stops on the line; five trains running zone express; and one train running non-stop to Back Bay Station. The current schedule only includes three zone express trains within that window.
In the evening hours, the new schedule will include nine trains leaving South Station with six ending at Union Station. Of those six, five will be zone express, and one will run non-stop from Back Bay Station. Three additional trains leaving South Station will end in Framingham.
Other Worcester/Framingham Line improvements are ongoing and consist of "de-stressing" the rail, which will reduce the need for speed restrictions during periods of sustained, extreme heat; installation of new rail, and efforts to make the Commuter Rail system more resilient during winter weather.
"Between updating the schedule and ongoing efforts to prepare the rail system to be in a better position to withstand inclement weather, we are taking major steps toward delivering on our promise to provide kinds of service our customers deserve and expect," said MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola. "While our work is far from done, we want to show our customers the continued progress as we continue to strive for a higher standard."
The new Commuter Rail schedules are undergoing revisions and will be published in November, to take effect later that same month.