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Newburyport/Rockport Line PTC construction to finish one month early on August 27

BOSTON – Due to the high level of productivity being performed by construction crews, Positive Train Control (PTC) work being done along the Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail Line will conclude one month early on Sunday, August 27. This will be the last day for weekend shuttle bus replacement along this line with regular weekend Newburyport/Rockport Line train schedules resuming Saturday, September 2.

PTC is a federally mandated safety control system that automatically reduces train speeds when needed, reducing train collisions and preventing human error. In order to meet the federal deadline set to accomplish PTC installation, the entire commuter rail line needs to be shut down for crews to work as efficiently as possible.  

As a result of PTC work on the Newburyport/Rockport Line being completed earlier than anticipated, weekend PTC installation will begin several weeks earlier than scheduled on the Needham Commuter Rail Line. Needham Commuter Rail Line train service will be suspended on Saturdays beginning September 2 through November 18. 

Shuttle bus service will not be provided during these PTC-related shutdowns on the Needham Line on Saturdays. (Note: the Needham Line does not operate on Sundays.) Customers are instead advised to connect to other MBTA services at Needham Line stations. From Needham Heights, Needham Center, and Needham Junction, the Route 59 bus service connects to Newton Highlands on the Green Line D Branch and to Watertown Square. From West Roxbury, Highland, Bellevue, and Roslindale Village, Bus Routes 35, 36, and 37 connect to and from Forest Hills on the Orange Line with Orange Line connections also at Ruggles and Back Bay. Customers who typically board at Hersey Station are encouraged to travel to Needham Junction or West Roxbury Stations instead as there are no connecting MBTA services at Hersey.  

PTC work also continues on weekends on the Lowell Commuter Rail Line, having begun on Saturday, August 5, and scheduled through Sunday, October 1. Shuttle buses are replacing weekend Lowell Line train service with shuttle bus schedules available at

For more information on federally mandated PTC installation, please visit

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