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Needham Commuter Rail Line Saturday Train Service Suspended beginning August 3 through October 12

Posted on July 11, 2019

Connecting MBTA bus and subway services will continue to be available.

As part of the MBTA’s $8 billion, 5-year Capital Investment Program, the MBTA is beginning installation of the second phase of Positive Train Control (PTC) infrastructure along the Needham Commuter Rail Line. The work, which will require the suspension of Needham Line service on Saturdays only, will start on Saturday, August 3, 2019 and will occur through Saturday, October 12, 2019. (The Needham Line does not operate on Sundays.)
“Positive Train Control is a key investment that will result in a significant safety upgrade for our customers across the entire Commuter Rail network,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “While we continue our efforts to improve service by investing in vehicles, power systems, signals, and track, we are also integrating this new, state-of-the-art technology that brings Commuter Rail safety into the 21st century.”  
Needham Line customers seeking service on Saturdays during PTC installation are encouraged to instead use local bus and subway options: 

  • From Needham Heights, Needham Center, or Needham Junction, customers can instead take Bus Route 59 to Newton Highlands on the Green Line D branch or to Watertown Square. 
  • From West Roxbury, Highland, Bellevue, or Roslindale Village, customers can instead take Bus Routes 35, 36, or 37 to Forest Hills on the Orange Line, which serves Ruggles and Back Bay. 
  • Customers who typically board at Hersey Station are encouraged to travel to Needham Junction or West Roxbury Station as there are no connecting MBTA services at Hersey.

PTC is a federally mandated safety control system that automatically reduces train speeds when needed, reducing train collisions and preventing human error. PTC is one of the MBTA’s highest-priority capital programs and is being installed throughout the entire Commuter Rail network. 

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