ACTON – December 20, 2012 –Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today joined Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) CEO & Secretary Richard A. Davey, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) General Manager and Rail & Transit Administrator Dr. Beverly A. Scott, and state and local officials to break ground on a new South Acton Commuter Rail Station, a project that will improve, expand and revitalize the busiest station on the Fitchburg Line.
“We are investing more than $150 million in state and federal funding to enhance transportation services along the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line, the oldest rail line in the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “Today’s groundbreaking for the South Acton train station is bringing this region one step closer to renewed transportation services for hundreds of commuters.”
MassDOT, the MBTA, and Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail Company (MBCR) worked closely with local officials and commuters to help meet the demand for improved service and amenities, while also reducing the MBTA’s operating and maintenance costs.
“I’m extremely proud that projects like this – that develop out of honest, open communication between the citizens of the Commonwealth and those of us in state government- are coming to fruition across the state,” said Secretary Davey. “The communities that are served by the South Acton Commuter Rail Station were integral partners in the design and development of this project and will benefit significantly from the work we’re doing.”
The design features new canopies, passenger shelters, benches, signage, a train approach warning system, variable message signs and enhanced security features including lighting, closed circuit television, video surveillance cameras, emergency call boxes and public telephones.
The station will feature a modern, updated design with new fixtures and services, and upgrades to the tracks that run through South Acton Station. The project will add a second mainline track on the southern side of the existing track, full-train length, high-level platforms on either side to allow for level platform-to-coach boarding and an enclosed overhead walkway over the tracks to connect the two platforms.
“Accessibility and ease of use is a main concern for any improvements we make on MBTA services,” said MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott. “We want all of our customers to be able to utilize our service in the best and most convenient way possible; whether it’s getting them to their destination quicker or giving them a more comfortable ride on board our trains.”
The improvement of the entire Fitchburg Line is a key component of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s growth strategy to invest in transportation infrastructure projects that promote economic growth and development throughout the Commonwealth. Improvements like these increase the quality and reliability of existing service and increase the speed of service that provides residents in the North Central corridor a more convenient way to get to work.
“I am thrilled we are beginning construction on the new station project in Acton,” said Representative Jennifer Benson. “It serves as a great example of a vigorous effort by residents to ensure their voices were heard, and an equally impressive response from the MBTA to not only listen but to engage in the planning and design. It is wonderful to see this project become a reality, as it will improve transportation options in Acton and beyond.”
“The train to Boston is vital for our community,” said Representative Cory Atkins. “Train travel reduces traffic and pollution on Route 2, and riding the train gives people time to work, read, or relax. I am pleased that construction is beginning at South Acton station so that more people can ride the train.”
The project will increase residents’ access to the station with improved parking, a second drop-off/pick-up area and shuttle service to and from satellite lots through the Minutevan Commuter Rail Shuttle Service. The parking lot will continue to be owned and operated by the Town of Acton, which will also be responsible for the maintenance of the new station elevators.
“The Town of Acton appreciates the MBTA’s willingness to work with the town to develop a train station design in keeping with the character of the community,” said Acton Town Manager Steve Ledoux. “We look forward to the design becoming a reality.”
Work on the South Acton Station is expected to be complete by mid-2014.