MBTA advising Commuter Rail customers to plan ahead for Monday’s commute
The MBTA and Keolis Commuter Services are advising some customers to plan ahead and allow for an extra 15-20 minutes for Monday’s commute, particular within coastal areas along the Greenbush, Newburyport/Rockport, and Kingston/Plymouth Commuter Rail corridors.
Following this weekend’s storm surge, MBTA and Keolis have been working make system repairs, and to clear downed limbs and debris from parking lots, station platforms, and pedestrian walkways throughout the MBTA system.
While the MBTA is expecting to return to full scheduled service Monday morning, including ferry service, it is advising customers along the Greenbush, Newburyport/Rockport, and Kingston/Plymouth Commuter Rail lines to give themselves extra time.
The heavy rain, tidal flooding, and debris associated with the recent storm have caused challenges for vehicular traffic along roadways principally in coastal areas. As well, power outages and damage caused to rail infrastructure will require the Greenbush, Kingston, and Newburyport/Rockport Lines to operate on secondary power sources until the power grid is restored to full strength.
“While we are expecting to run full service on both the MBTA and the Commuter Rail systems, ongoing storm cleanup efforts may still hinder some people’s ability to travel,” said MBTA General Manager Luis Manuel Ramírez. “Because efforts to bounce back from the storm are still underway, we urge our customers to allow for extra time to reach stations, and to be mindful that storm restoration efforts may affect regularly scheduled service, especially in areas that were hit the hardest by the storm.”
Throughout the weekend, Keolis and MBTA crews worked around the clock to clear flood water, repair damaged infrastructure, and re-inspect the network following the severe storm that brought tidal surges over three high tides, 2-5 inches of rain and wind gusts up to 85 mph in certain locations.
Since the storm, Keolis and MBTA teams have been working to clear flood water, provide power where it was lost and repair critical infrastructure. Included below are highlights of the necessary work completed to help deliver a normal schedule for Monday.
- Eight train sets, which represents approximately 12 percent of the total fleet, were damaged during the storm from downed trees and other incidents. These 8 sets were repaired this weekend.
- Dozens of downed trees and branches landed on commuter rail tracks. All of these have been cleared and tracks in these sections have been re-inspected.
- Several sections of track were flooded, especially along coastal areas. Teams operated pumps and repaired or restored damaged infrastructure. There are no flooded areas on commuter rail tracks, and gates, signals and switches are operating with some operating on generator power still.
- Fifty generators were deployed to provide power where it was lost. In several South Shore communities power remains out, and generators are powering critical infrastructure to ensure safe operation.
- Receding tides along coastal areas washed out sections of rail, specifically the ballast underneath the rail. Approximately 100 tons of stone ballast was delivered to these areas and infrastructure was re-built this weekend.
- Approximately 25 crossing gates were damaged and have been repaired.
As teams finish repair work resulting from the severe storm on March 2, Keolis and MBTA teams are already tracking, monitoring and planning for a similar weather event expected on Wednesday.
Customers are encouraged to check schedules for any service-related updates. The MBTA and Keolis will provide updates via Twitter: @MBTA and @MBTA_CR, MBTA.com, T-Alerts, station signage, and onboard announcements. Customers who see or experience issues on the MBTA or Commuter Rail systems can also notify the T at 617-222-3200.
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