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North Station Terminal Area Signal System Improvement Project

A yellow-painted riveted steel drawbridge hovers over an empty track at a North Station drawbridge. Signal lights with curved black metal over their tops shielding them from direct sunlight are next to the bridge at right.
Signals at a drawbridge at North Station (November 2021)

We are replacing the obsolete signal system that controls the movement of MBTA Commuter Rail and Amtrak trains in and out of North Station. A new, state-of-the-art microprocessor system will require less maintenance and reduce failures and train delays.

Although the project limits span about one linear mile, this area includes a complex network of tracks and switches that connect the station tracks at North Station, five major Commuter Rail lines, and the Boston Engine Terminal, where trains are stored and maintained.

Building a Better T

As part of our $9.6 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.

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Construction contract awarded: July 2019
Projected completion: Winter 2022
Budget: $45.2 million
Status: Construction

Why We’re Doing this Work

We’re upgrading the signal system to improve the reliability and resiliency of service at North Station. The new signals will improve efficiency and safety, and will support the future growth of the MBTA and Amtrak.

Project features

  • This project is part of a larger initiative to enhance train capacity at North Station
  • Work will be done in conjunction with a future project that will replace the drawbridge over the Charles River—both projects will allow use of all 12 North Station tracks
  • Includes installation of two new crossovers, to allow more train routing options

Service Changes

In summer and fall 2022, all Commuter Rail lines out of North Station will experience some service changes due to construction. These changes will affect riders on the Newburyport/Rockport, Haverhill, Fitchburg, and Lowell lines.

Check Commuter Rail service alerts for alternative service options

Contact Us

For all questions and comments related to North Station Signal System improvements, please contact the project team at NorthStationSignals@mbta.com.

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Building a Better T

As part of our $9.6 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

Related Projects

View all projects