Transit Projects

Rockport Commuter Rail Station Improvements

Rockport Station is at the terminus for the Rockport/Ipswich Commuter Rail Line. The station consists of a single 340-foot long platform with a canopy along the north side of the mainline track. The station also operates as a layover facility, storing two eight-car trains as well as two six-car trains overnight, providing layover power to the locomotives.  In addition to the mainline track, there are four stub-end siding tracks and one double-ended siding track connected to the mainline track.


The project will include electrical power upgrades that will allow the Rockport layover facilities to conform to the MBTA's layover standard, improve operating flexibility, and limit locomotive idling time while improving operational capabilities. Additionally, the project will include a regional transportation information kiosk, restoration of the parking area, and limited drainage work. 

The existing electrical substation at the Station does not have adequate capacity to supply auxiliary power to the four train engines in the storage yard at one time. The scope of this project will include an electrical upgrade that will supply auxiliary power to operate heat and air conditioning on operational service elements of the trains while the diesel electric engines are shut down. This will reduce the amount of time that the engines have to idle. 

Additionally, a new information kiosk will be installed for the regional transportation authority. This work represents the initial steps toward implementation of the Rockport station site improvements envisioned by the MBTA in consultation with the Rockport community. 

The power upgrade will expand the capacity of the power system at the station from 175-200 amps per locomotive laying over at the station to 600 amps. The current required amperage is 600 amps per the MBTA's current design standard at all new layover facilities. The proposed electrical power upgrade will allow the Rockport layover facilities to conform to the MBTA's layover standard and improve operating capabilities. The goal is to design and construct the substation and power duct banks such that they will be compatible with future improvements for the station. Further, the new substation will be located on the east side of Pooles Lane adjacent to Evans Field to avoid any conflict with historic underground artifacts on the site.

An information kiosk will be sited at the north end of the station's platform to provide information to commuters and tourists on available transportation connections and services. The kiosk is anticipated to be a metal and glass structure for protection from inclement weather. This structure will also include lighting. The kiosk will provide up-to-date information on local and regional transportation. The size of the structure is envisioned to be approximately 80 square feet.

The MBTA will coordinate with local bus service provider CATA in the design and placement of the information kiosk and specifics regarding the display of CATA schedule information material and technology. The kiosk will be designed so as to have the capacity to display real time bus arrival information should CATA's in-vehicle technology support the application in the future. 

Site restoration will include parking area grading and paving as well as a localized drainage system that will tie into the Town's existing system with a proposed improved drainage system. Reconstruction of ramps from the parking lot to the low platform and the low platform tactile strip are also included.

The scopes of this project support but have independent utility from a full rehabilitation of the Rockport Station and will be constructed so as not to preclude a future station rehab.


The design plans are being developed by Nitsch Engineering.

Full construction funding is expected to be in place in July 2015.

The current schedule is summarized as follows:
- 100% design submittal: October 2014
- Advertise for construction: 4th quarter 2015
- Completion of construction: 3rd quarter 2016 


- Town of Rockport
- Federal Transit Administration
- Keolis Commuter Services

Last updated: January 2015