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Right of Way (ROW) Training

A GLX inspector in a hard hat and high vis vests smiles next to new train tracks

The MBTA Right of Way (ROW) is the property over which trains and authorized rail equipment operate, and 10 feet from the centerline of track in any direction. The ROW includes sidings and yards, where trains and construction equipment are stored. It does not include carhouses, where trains are maintained.

Anyone who needs to access the ROW is required to take an eight-hour, in-person training course and receive a ROW Certification Card. This includes all employees, contractors, firemen, police, press, and anyone else who is requesting access. You must first take the in-person training course to become eligible for the online ROW recertification.

Successful completion of this course will serve as proof of completion of ROW training. It is also an acknowledgement of the responsibility to work safely around the many hazards that exist on the ROW.

ROW certification serves as the initial step to gaining access to the MBTA ROW. There are additional steps needed before being granted access to Heavy Rail, Light Rail and Bus Safety Flagging.

This course does not pertain to Commuter Rail.

Sign Up for Training

ROW training is free. Complete the registration form and email it to After that, you’ll receive a confirmation email with your training date, location, and an additional form for you to fill out and return to us before attending class.

External contractors can request training via email with the following information for each trainee:

  1. Full names
  2. Companies
  3. Email addresses
  4. Start dates
  5. Contract numbers
  6. MBTA points of contact

Requests must be approved by the MBTA Training Department prior to attendance. Walk-ins are not allowed. You must fulfill all the course requirements to receive a ROW card.

Training Procedure

The eight-hour, in-person training class is offered four days a week (except for national holidays):

  • Mondays, 7 AM – 3 PM
  • Tuesdays, 7 AM – 3 PM
  • Wednesdays, 7 AM – 3 PM or 10 AM – 6 PM
  • Fridays, 7 AM – 3 PM

The in-person training consists of two sections: first, a classroom session, and then a practical component accessing the Right of Way.

The assigned training location will be provided in the confirmation email you will receive after registering.

There will be limited training offerings in Spanish in the future. Email to find out more.

Training Course Requirements

ROW Training attendees must:

  • Report to the class you registered for. Walk-ins are not allowed.
  • Bring a valid photo ID to class
  • Pass a written exam*
  • Participate in all class assignments, activities, and acknowledgements
  • Be prompt for all classes. Attendees can and will be turned away for tardiness.

*If you fail the exam, you'll have one opportunity to retake the test. If you fail the exam again, you must re-register and retake the course.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Requirements

All participants must have required PPE to attend in-person training:

  • Hard hat
  • Safety glasses
  • Work boots (composite toe with a defined heel)
  • Upper body safety reflective garment
  • Lower body safety garment
  • Regulation flashlight and whistle (non-metallic)

Learn more about approved PPE 

MBTA employees: Employees are eligible for safety footwear at no cost. Ask your supervisor how to obtain MBTA-approved PPE.

External contractors: Use this link to purchase approved footwear from Saf-Gard at discounted prices. Allow up to three business days for boots to be delivered.

Applying for ROW Recertification

Attendees who successfully complete the in-person class will receive a A ROW Certification Card. This card permits work on the ROW for two years. You must apply for online ROW recertification after the two-year period.

To register for the the online, four-hour recertification course, email

Once your ROW Certification Card expires, you are no longer eligible to access to MBTA ROW. You must register for the ROW Recertification online course. Upon completion of the course, you must pick up your newly issued ROW Certification Card before you are eligible to access the ROW.

If your ROW Certification Card has been expired for more than 12 months, you will need to re-register and retake the 8-hour, in-person training class.

To pick up your recertification ROW card, visit the Transportation Training Department between 7 AM – 3 PM at 275 Dorchester Avenue, Boston, MA 02127.

If you have lost your ROW certification card, contact for a replacement.

Contact Information

For questions or comments, you can email or call the Subway Training Department at (617) 222-5377, ext. 3410.

Right of Way (ROW) Safety

Learn more about how the MBTA is improving ROW Safety


Learn more about safety at the MBTA

Right of Way (ROW) Safety

Learn more about how the MBTA is improving ROW Safety


Learn more about safety at the MBTA