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Rail News: Positive Train Control

MBTA gears up to install PTC on Needham Line

The work will begin several weeks ahead of schedule, according to the agency.
Photo – MBTA

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) on Sept. 2 will begin installing positive train control (PTC) on the Needham commuter-rail line.

To facilitate the work, the agency will shut down the lines on weekends through Nov. 18. A public information meeting about the construction will be held Aug. 24.

The Needham PTC work will begin several weeks earlier than planned, agency officials said in a press release. That's because the agency is slated to finish installing PTC on the Newburyport/Rockport Line by Aug. 27, a month ahead of schedule.

Ansaldo STS in late 2015 was awarded a $338 million contract to install a complete PTC system throughout the MBTA's commuter-rail network

Meanwhile, the MBTA and its commuter-rail operator Keolis Commuter Services yesterday announced the completion of several infrastructure upgrades on the Newburyport/Rockport Line.

In particular, crews have replaced about 12,000 ties between North Beverly and Ipswich, Massachusetts, and installed 2,800 tons of ballast. Workers also replaced a 132-year-old rail drawbridge in Beverly, Massachusetts. 

Additionally, construction crews replaced five culverts and performed other vegetation and drainage maintenance along the line, Keolis officials said in a press release.

"The ongoing infrastructure work on the Newburyport/Rockport Line reflects the MBTA's new approach to capital spending," said Steve Poftak, the agency's interim general manager. "This fiscal year alone nearly $800 million is targeted toward projects that will improve reliability and enhance safety throughout the system."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/15/2017