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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Keolis on schedule to return MBTA commuter trains to full service


Keolis Commuter Service, the operator of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA) commuter-rail service, announced Thursday that it will restore service on 42 additional trains on March 16 — a move the company described as a "major milestone" toward restoring full service by March 30.

The number of trains in service as of next week will be the largest number operating since the "recovery schedule" was put in place after record winter storms caused constant breakdowns and delays, Keolis officials said in a press release.

The company has returned 82 percent of normal train fleet to service, which will enable restoration of those routes weeks ahead of schedule, they said.

As of March 16, about 75 percent of the regular weekday schedule will be restored, an improvement from about 64 percent the previous week.

Also next week, Keolis will announce the next round of service restoration, scheduled for March 23.

"We told passengers that we were committed to adding trains back into the schedule as quickly as possible and we meant it," said Keolis Commuter Services General Manager Gerald Francis.

The winter of 2015 has been a nightmare for MBTA, which has struggled to keep trains running on its T subway service and commuter trains.

The MBTA fined Keolis more than $434,000 after nearly two-thirds of commuter trains were late or canceled in February due to extreme cold and snow, CBS Boston reported on its website. Keolis recently took out a full-page ad in The Boston Globe newspaper to apologize to its riders for recent service problems.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/13/2015