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Haverhill Line Rail Replacement

A length of empty Commuter Rail rail and tracks is shown from a vantage point next to the center of the tracks, between the rails, with the track disappearing into the distance at the top. Another empty track is to the right. The two tracks are flanked by gravel and trees, with grass at the left and a building at the right.

We're replacing rails on the Haverhill Line from late August through November 2021. This work will include delivery and installation of welded rail between Malden and Wilmington, MA. 

Status: Under Construction
Projected Completion: November 2021

Why We're Doing This Work

This rail replacement project will increase the reliability, resiliency, and safety of the line. It should also improve riders' and abutters’ experiences by reducing noise caused by trains traveling along this corridor. 

Project Features

This Commuter Rail modernization project is taking place in two phases.

Phase 1: Rail Delivery (late August – early September)

  • Two trains, each approximately 2,000 feet long and carrying 80,000 feet of rails (160,000 feet in total), will deliver rails along the Haverhill Line.
  • Rails will be distributed over the course of two weekends to seven locations along the Haverhill Line.

Phase 2: Rail Installation (September – November)

  • This phase, which will mainly impact Melrose and Wakefield, began September 7 and will continue through November 2021.
  • Rail will be replaced and track will be surfaced and aligned from Fells Interlocking (a half mile south of Wyoming Hill) to Melrose Highlands. Some ties will also be replaced as needed.

Building a Better T

As part of our $8 billion, 5-year capital investment plan, we're renovating stations, modernizing fare collection systems, upgrading services for our buses, subways, and ferries, and improving the accessibility of the entire system.

Learn more

Service Impacts Through November 2021

Work Locations

The project will take place along 11.5 miles of the Haverhill Line from the Fells Interlocking in Malden (about a half mile north of Oak Grove) to the Ipswich River Bridge in Wilmington (1.3 miles south of North Wilmington). Trains will operate on one track while work is performed on the adjacent track.

A map labeled “project extent” shows where work will take place from Wilmington in the northwest to Malden at the southeast. The section of rail to be replaced is in red. Close-ups of the northern end of the work labeled “Ipswich River in Wilmington” and the southern end labeled “Fells Interlocking in Malden” appear at left and right. The segment of rail line to be replaced goes northwest from Malden through Melrose, Wakefield, and Reading and ends in Wilmington.

The section of the Commuter Rail track that is being affected by the rail replacement project

Neighborhood Impacts

Expect traffic delays at grade crossings in Melrose, Wakefield, Reading, and Wilmington while slow freight trains pass by during the delivery weekends.

Contact Us

For all queries and comments related to the Haverhill Line rail replacements, please contact RailWorksHL@MBTA.com.

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Commuter Rail Positive Train Control (PTC)

A crew works on signal upgrades in Weston as a Commuter Rail train passes by

PTC can automatically reduce a train’s speed or even stop it to avoid a collision or derailment. It improves safety and reduces human error on the Commuter Rail.

Learn about the MBTA’s PTC system

Plan Ahead

On the platform in Park Street Station, a woman holds her smartphone with a Green Line train in the background.

Get service alerts via text or email.

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Building a Better T

As part of our $8 billion, 5-year capital investment plan, we're renovating stations, modernizing fare collection systems, upgrading services for our buses, subways, and ferries, and improving the accessibility of the entire system.

Learn more

Commuter Rail Positive Train Control (PTC)

A crew works on signal upgrades in Weston as a Commuter Rail train passes by

PTC can automatically reduce a train’s speed or even stop it to avoid a collision or derailment. It improves safety and reduces human error on the Commuter Rail.

Learn about the MBTA’s PTC system

Plan Ahead

On the platform in Park Street Station, a woman holds her smartphone with a Green Line train in the background.

Get service alerts via text or email.

Check alerts