Boston's Commuter Comeback

by Lawrence A. Williamson, Project Manager; Sverdrup Civil Corporation, Boston, MA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1994, Vol. 64, Issue 1, Pg. 66-69

Document Type: Feature article


More than 30 years after its abandonment, the Old Colony Railroad in Massachusetts is being revived through a –480 million rehabilitation project to serve residents southeast of Boston. This 80 mi rail network, one of the nation's earliest systems, began running 150 years ago. Although all other metropolitan areas of Boston have commuter rail service, it has not been available to the 32 communities of the Old Colony area for the past 30 years. By the end of 1996, however, commuter rail service will return to this south shore region of the rail service along the existing Old Colony railroad lines. The rehabilitation of the Main, Middleborough and Plymouth lines encompasses 62 mi of right-of-way reconstruction, construction of 14 stations, four park-and-ride lots, layover facilities at each line terminus point, a centrally located maintenance facility, improvements to 18 roadway intersections, and rehabilitation or replacement of 42 bridges. The Federal Transit Administration and the Commonwealth of Boston are funding this –480 million project.

Subject Headings: Commute | Boston | Massachusetts | United States

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