WORCESTER – Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray was joined today by MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard Davey to announce that two express trains along the Worcester/Framingham Line will begin service between Worcester’s Union Station and Boston’s South Station beginning Monday, April 29.
Lieutenant Governor Murray also announced he will travel on the inaugural express train from Worcester to Boston on Monday, April 29 at 6:20 a.m. Lieutenant Governor Murray will be joined by Mayor Petty of Worcester along with members of the legislative delegation.
“After the state finalized its historic agreement with CSX Transportation, new opportunities are beginning to emerge for commuters and businesses in Worcester and surrounding communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “With the launch of this special express train, commuters traveling from Central and MetroWest communities to and from Boston during rush hour traffic will have a more efficient transportation option. I encourage commuters to take advantage of this new service."
Express service will include one trip from Worcester to Boston in the morning and a return trip from Boston to Worcester in the evening. The express train will depart from Worcester at 6:20 a.m., only making one stop in Framingham at 7:00 a.m. before arriving to Back Bay Station at 7:37 a.m. then South Station at 7:43 a.m. Return service will depart from South Station at 5:35 p.m. then stop at Back Bay Station at 5:41 p.m., making only one stop in Framingham at 6:13 p.m. prior to arriving in Worcester at 6:43 p.m.
“The announcement of additional express service between Worcester and Boston will not only help to improve the daily commute for so many, but will also demonstrate the great need for improved transportation access throughout the Commonwealth,” said Secretary Davey. “As we traveled around the Commonwealth in the fall, it was loud and clear that people want more service and it is great to have the opportunity to announce that today.”
There will be no changes to the current weekend service. For more information, as well as updated online schedules for the Worcester/Framingham line, visit www.MBCR.net and www.mbta.com. Pocket schedules are also currently available.
“I am excited to be a part of today’s announcement. With the addition of the express trains being added today, commuters to and from Worcester will have their commuting time significantly reduced creating greater opportunities for travel east and west,” said Mayor Joseph Petty. “I want to thank the Patrick-Murray Administration, especially Lt. Gov. Murray and Secretary Davey, for recognizing the need for these express trains to Worcester. These express trains, along with the further expansion of MBTA service to Union Station, are a vital component to enhancing economic development progress in our city. The transposition hub here at Union Station is a crucial component to the development of downtown Worcester and to serving the transportation needs of our residents.”
“The addition of two express trains continues the momentum, progress and growth commuter rail is bringing to our City,” said Worcester City Manager Michael V. O’Brien. “The enhanced link between the two largest cities in New England will serve as a catalyst for additional economic activity – future business and population growth and more real estate investment. This is a win for Worcester and the region.”
About Recent Increased and Improved Commuter Rail Service Along the Worcester/Framingham Line
In October 2012, Lieutenant Governor Murray announced the completion of the agreement with CSX Corporation, officially transferring ownership of the rail tracks and operations along the Framingham/Worcester line to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Following this finalized agreement, three new inbound and three new outbound trains were added between the Commonwealth and New England’s two largest cities, totaling 31 stops arriving or departing Worcester station starting October 2012. The Patrick-Murray Administration plans to reach 20 round trips by October 2013.
With expanded and enhanced service along the line, demand is expected to increase by 30 percent by 2030. More than one-third of those who currently ride the Framingham/Worcester line, board trains on stations west of Framingham. If all commuters who use this commuter rail line today instead drove cars to work each day, it could increase daily traffic on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Newton and Boston by up to 8 percent.
In addition to increased commuter rail service, through the finalized agreement with CSX, the Commonwealth now controls maintenance of the right of way and the dispatching transition so that all Worcester Line trains are dispatched from MBTA facilities, bringing an even greater public focus to improving reliability and on-time performance of the line.
Since taking office in 2007, improving the state’s transportation infrastructure has been a key priority of the Patrick-Murray Administration. As part of the Massachusetts State Rail Plan, the Administration has strategically invested close to $1 billion in the state’s rail system through competitive grants, public funds and private sector capital. These investments, some ongoing, represent the most significant improvements in the Commonwealth’s rail system as a whole in decades. The existing commuter rail service and the prospect of 20 round-trip trains to Boston has been the major driving force in the realization of more than $500 million of mixed used development now underway or in final planning for downtown Worcester and surrounding neighborhoods. In September, Lieutenant Governor Murray released a progress report titled “Transforming the Rail Network for Economic and Community Development” that provides an extensive overview of accomplishments achieved in Massachusetts as a result of the landmark agreement with CSX.
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