MBTA Commuter Rail
|MBTA Commuter Rail
MBTA Commuter Rail system map
|Locale||Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island|
|Dates of operation||1973–present|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) (Standard gauge)|
|Length||394 miles (634 km)|
|Headquarters||Boston, MA, USA|
MBTA Commuter Rail is part of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in Greater Boston in the United States. It is operated under contract by the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company (MBCR), a partnership of Veolia Transportation, Bombardier Transportation, and Alternate Concepts, Inc., a Boston-based firm. The current operating contract expired in July 2013.
It is the sixth-busiest commuter rail system in the U.S., behind New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia, and is tied for fifth-busiest with Philadelphia's SEPTA Regional Rail in terms of weekday ridership. Characteristic purple-trimmed coaches operate as far south as North Kingstown, Rhode Island, as far north as Newburyport and as far west as Worcester, both in Massachusetts. Trains originate at two major terminals in Boston, South Station and North Station, offering connections to Amtrak, local bus and subway lines. As of Q1 of 2013, daily weekday ridership was 127,500.
- 1 Current lines
- 2 Operational history
- 3 Service changes since MBTA takeover
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Fare policy
- 6 Ridership
- 7 Train operations
- 8 Proposed expansions
- 9 Freight service
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
- Greenbush Line
- Fairmount Line
- Providence/Stoughton Line
- Franklin Line
- Needham Line
- Framingham/Worcester Line
- Old Colony Lines consisting of:
- Kingston/Plymouth Line
- Middleborough/Lakeville Line - the CapeFLYER operates over this line Memorial Day-Columbus Day using MBTA equipment
Consolidation under MBTA control
Boston & Maine Railroad
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts's involvement with operating commuter rail began in 1967 when the Boston & Maine Railroad (B&M petitioned the Interstate Commerce Commission to discontinue all passenger services. Service north of the state line was discontinued, but most service in Massachusetts was preserved through a contract between the Commonwealth and the B&M, an independent railroad company. The Commonwealth and MBTA began to purchase several lines, like the Lowell Line between Somerville and Wilmington, from the B&M.
B&M filed for bankruptcy protection in 1970. All commuter assets with the exception of yard tracks and freight-only branches were sold to the Commonwealth on December 14, 1976, and B&M was contracted to operate the service using its diesel railcars.
New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad
The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad (NH, short for "New Haven"), the long-time operator of most South Station commuter trains, filed for bankruptcy for the last time in 1961. Two years earlier in 1959, NH discontinued passenger service on the Old Colony division in southeastern Massachusetts. NH was included in the Penn Central Transportation Company (PC) merger in 1968, which itself filed bankruptcy in 1970. MBTA purchased many PC southside commuter lines on January 27, 1973, including the Providence/Stoughton Line as far as the Rhode Island border plus the branch to Stoughton, the Franklin Line and Needham Line and the Framingham/Worcester Line from Riverside to Framingham, and abandoned lines and lines without passenger service, including the Old Colony mainline from Boston to Braintree and the Plymouth/Kingston Line, later restored. PC merged into Conrail on April 1, 1976; the MBTA bought the equipment but Conrail took over operations of the southside lines. The MBTA also purchased the Fairmount Line to restore it for passenger service as a bypass during Southwest Corridor (Boston) reconstruction.
New York Central Railroad
The Framingham/Worcester Line, historically part of the Boston & Albany Railroad (B&A), was merged into the New York Central Railroad (NYC) and passed to PC in 1968. As part of the Massachusetts Turnpike Boston Extension's construction in the 1960s, the Worcester Line's roadbed between Route 128 and Boston was sold to the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, with the proviso that the control of the railroad remain with NYC. Conrail inherited the line, a vital freight artery between Boston's Beacon Yard and Conrail's Selkirk Yard. The Riverside-Framingham section was sold to the MBTA in 1976 as part of its acquisition of PC commuter assets, but the section past Framingham remained in Conrail control. In September 2009, Conrail successor CSX Transportation and the Commonwealth finalized a $100 million agreement to purchase CSX's Framingham to Worcester tracks, as well as the Grand Junction Railroad plus lines that will be part of the South Coast Rail project, to improve service on the Framingham/Worcester Line. After several years of construction and negotiations, ownership of the line was transferred to the Commonwealth on October 4, 2012, with increased service on the outer section of the line beginning several weeks later.
The Northeast Rail Service Act of 1981 compelled Conrail to transfer all passenger services to local transit authorities. B&M won the contract for the southside lines; for the first time, all Boston commuter service was operated by one entity. After bankruptcy, B&M continued to operate trains under the protection of the federal bankruptcy court, in the hopes that a reorganization could make it profitable again. It emerged from the court's protection when Timothy Mellon'sGuilford Transportation Industries (GTI) bought it in 1983. GTI let the contract expire in 1987, after a bitter strike had shut down most of the northside lines in 1986.
From 1987 to 2003, Amtrak managed all of Boston's commuter rail. The relationship between MBTA and Amtrak was often rocky, and Amtrak did not submit a bid when the contract expired in 2003. MBTA observers saw Amtrak as having been a reliable manager and operator, but Amtrak sometimes experienced strained relations with the MBTA. Quibbles centered on equipment failures, crewing issues about the number of conductors per train, and responsibility for late trains. Because of these issues and Amtrak's repeated statements that the MBTA contract was unreasonable, few were surprised at Amtrak's decision not to bid again. Two tenders were submitted, from GTI and from the new Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company (MBCR). The latter won, taking over the operation in July 2003. The contract expired in July 2008 but had an additional five-year option; it was later extended three years to July 2011 and another two to July 2013. After concerns about on-time performance, the 2011 extension increased the fine for late trains from $100 to $300.
MBCR partners Bombardier Transportation and Alternate Concepts have other ties to the MBTA. Bombardier is the manufacturer of much of the rolling stock operated by the railroad, while Alternate Concepts is majority owner of Paul Revere Transportation, which operates bus lines under contract from the MBTA.
Service changes since MBTA takeover
Several significant improvements have been made during MBTA's period of stewardship, which started circa 1973. The Commonwealth's support for rail operations began in the 1950s with contracted operations and subsidies to railroads providing commuter service, and more so in 1964 with the advent of MBTA.
- The Commonwealth pioneered the concept of "Park and Ride" by providing funds to construct the Route 128 Station station on NH's Providence Line where it intersected with the Massachusetts Route 128, locally thought of as the "Boston Beltway". The station was established 1953 by NH President Frederic C. Dumaine, Jr.. It was simple in design, built as a parking lot next to the tracks.
- B&M's Eastern Route formerly operated across the bridge at Merrimack River and as far north as Portsmouth, New Hampshire on the Eastern Railroad alignment. Service past Ipswich to Newburyport was limited to a single daily round trip after 1967, and suspended in April 1976. Freight service to Newburyport lasted until 1984, and the line was formally abandoned in 1994 even as preparations began for restored service. After a brief period of abandonment, commuter rail service to Newburyport resumed on October 26, 1998, with an infill stop at Rowley.
- As part of the Northeast Corridor Improvement Program II (NECIP II) of the 1990s, the Providence Line was electrified using federal funds provided to Amtrak for its Acela Express project. However, MBTA does not operate electric equipment on the line, it would be unusable on other lines.
- As Big Dig environmental mitigation, MBTA invested heavily by restoring large sections of NH's Old Colony division, which was abandoned in 1959. Service along the two main Old Colony Lines was reestablished in 1997, and the Greenbush Line opened in 2007.
- After 1975, Framingham/Worcester Line service was cut back to Framingham, though other lines reached exurbs more distant from Boston than Framingham. As compensation for delays in the Old Colony Lines restoration, rush-hour service to Worcester Union Station was restored in 1994, with infill stations at Ashland, Southborough, Westborough, and Grafton stations were added in the MetroWest region between 2000 and 2002. The service was successful, resulting in reduced emphasis of Amtrak and commuter bus services operating in the same corridor.
- During the 1979-1987 reconstruction of the Southwest Corridor, Amtrak and MBTA trains were diverted over the Dorchester Branch, which had not seen passenger traffic since 1944. As part of this project, MBTA allowed Centralized Traffic Control to be installed, greatly increasing its signal capacity. Regular service was kept on the Fairmount Line after 1987 because the relocated service was popular with residents of Dorchester and Roxbury. As Big Dig mitigation, MBTA rebuilt existing stations and is adding four new stations along the line. The first of these, Talbot Ave, opened on November 12, 2012, followed by Newmarket and Four Corners/Geneva Ave on July 1, 2013.
- Agreement with the state of Rhode Island allowed the Attleboro Line to extend to Providence, Rhode Island during the late 1990s. At first, only weekday service was provided. In the mid-2000s, a new agreement with RIDOT provided funding for weekends also. Service was extended further south to T. F. Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island in December 2010 and to Wickford Junction in North Kingston in April 2012. This is the first commuter service in Rhode Island south of Providence since 1981.
- In 2013, the CapeFLYER service began running from South Station to Hyannis on summer weekends, the first direct service from Boston to Cape Cod since 1959. Though a Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority service, the CapeFLYER uses MBTA equipment. Should this pilot service be successful, regular commuter service may be extended from Middleborough/Lakeville to Buzzards Bay.
- On August 12, 2013, MBTA broke ground on a 4.5 mile extension of the Fitchburg Line to a planned Wachusett station in West Fitchburg, which will include an 800-foot-long high platform on a siding off the main track and parking for 360 cars. The extension includes a train layover facility in Westminister.
- On November 14, 2013, MBTA began rehabilitating and rebuilding the tracks along 33 miles of right-of-way acquired to restore service to Fall River and New Bedford (See South Coast Rail).
During the period of MBTA control, services have also been curtailed:
- All former B&M service that extended north of the Massachusetts border were curtailed by 1967, except for experimental service from January 28, 1980 to March 1, 1981. Since then, restoration and extension of the Lowell Line to Nashua, Manchester, and Concord, New Hampshire and the Haverhill Line to Portland, Maine have been repeatedly discussed. In 2001 Amtrak commenced operation of the Downeaster between North Station and Portland under the auspices of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority. The Nashua service discussion is continuing in the context of the widening of Interstate 93 in New Hampshire.
- Passenger service on the Arlington-Lexington-Bedford Line ended on January 10, 1977. The Alewife Extension of the MBTA Red Line replaced the service as far as Alewife in West Cambridge. No commuter rail service reaches Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford, Massachusetts. The rail-banked line forms the Minuteman Bikeway and is a linear park in the vicinity of Davis Square, Somerville.
- The Fitchburg Line under B&M operations terminated at Ayer, Massachusetts, but was extended to Gardner, Massachusetts in January 1981. However, the service between Gardner and Fitchburg was ended at the end of 1986 after the parallel Massachusetts Route 2 was upgraded to expressway standards, reducing travel time between these cities.
- The southern half of the Woburn Loop still operated when the MBTA took over control, joining the Lowell Line at Winchester. Half the Lowell Line services terminated at Woburn Heights (10 miles from Boston), while the others stopped at North Woburn (now Anderson RTC) and continued to Lowell. Weekend service ended on September 7, 1980, and all services on January 30, 1981.
- B&M operated one daily round trip to South Sudbury (19.7 miles from Boston) over the former Central Massachusetts Railroad until November 26, 1971.
All service is provided by push-pull trains powered by diesel locomotives with a cab car on the opposite end. The fleet of locomotives comprises a mix of purpose-built passenger locomotives (such as the EMD F40PH) and freight locomotives rebuilt for passenger use (such as the GMD GP40MCs, originally GMD GP40-2LWs). All passenger locomotives are equipped with head end power (HEP). MBTA's locomotives were manufactured between 1978 and 2009 (and an EMD GP9 built in the late 1950s), with the newest being a pair of NRE 3GS21Bs used for switching duties. Forty MPI HSP46 locomotives are on order.
The fleet of active passenger coaches numbers 410 dating from 1978 to 2005, plusl 75 on order from Hyundai Rotem. Passenger coaches are either "Blind Trailer Coaches" (BTCs), with no cab controls, or "Control Trailer Coaches" (CTCs), with cab controls. All Kawasaki coaches are bi-level, as are the Hyundai Rotem coaches. The first new coaches entered service on April 24, 2013.
As of February 2012 MBTA operates 90 locomotives, including five leased from MARC, one under repair and three undergoing overhaul. Another two locomotives are rostered but out of service. Forty locomotives are on order, with the first scheduled to arrive in June 2013.
|2009||MP||MPI MP36PH-3C||010-011||Purchased from Utah Transit Authority's FrontRunner.|
|1995||MK||M-K GP40WH-2||51,59,61,66,67||Former MARC engines leased from MotivePower on a month-to-month basis All retired in late 2012 due to various issues with some of the units.|
|1957 - 1960||EMD||EMD GP9||902,904||Not used for passenger service; 902 is now stored and inoperable.|
|1978 - 1980||EMD||EMD F40PH||1000-1017||Rebuilt by Bombardier 1989-1990. 1016 has been retired and is now stored inoperable.|
|1991 - 1993||MK||M-K F40PHM-2C||1025-1036||Rebuilt by MPI 2003-2004.|
|1987 – 1988||EMD||EMD F40PH-2C||1050-1075||Rebuilt by MPI 2001-2003. 1073 scrapped after 1990 collision.|
|1973 – 1975||GMD||GMD GP40MC||1115-1139||Rebuilt by AMF in 1997.|
|2013 - 2014||MP||MPI HSP46||2000-2039||On order; expected delivery 2013-2014. 2001 is at the Boston Engine Terminal, not used for passenger service.|
|1971||EMD||EMD GP40||3247||Not used for passenger service.|
|2009||NRE||NRE 3GS21B||3248-3249||Not used for passenger service.|
As of January 2013 the MBTA operated 410 coaches, with 75 on order. Those whose designations start with BTC are conventional coaches, with CTC are cab cars. Cab cars occasionally appear in the middle of a consist.
|Year built||Builder||Model||Fleet ID||Seats||Notes||Image|
|1978–79||Pullman||BTC-1C||200–258||114||Coaches 203 and 215 have been retired. Coach 219 is modified to fit skis. Rebuilt 1995–96|
|1987–88||MBB||BTC-3||500–532||86||These, and their CTC-3 counterparts, are the only rail vehicles produced by the company, an aerospace firm.|
|1989–90||Bombardier||CTC-1B||1600–1652||122||Coach 1648 has been retired. Cab controllers have been deactivated in coaches 1600–1624, making them BTCs.|
|2012||Hyundai Rotem||BTC-5||800–846||179||47 on order for delivery through 2013. The first coaches arrived for testing in November 2012. The first units entered service in April 2013.|
|2012||Hyundai Rotem||CTC-5||1800–1827||173||28 on order for delivery through 2013. The first unit entered service in April 2013.|
The Commonwealth inherited non-standard equipment from predecessor railroads. These included:
- Numerous Budd Rail Diesel Cars, including 86 from the B&M, New Haven Railroad and SEPTA. The RDC fleet was de-powered in the 1970s and turned into locomotive-hauled coaches by Morrison Knudsen. These became known as "Boise Budds", after the location of the MK shop where the work was done. The RDC fleet was phased out during the 1980s and replaced by 1989. Remaining examples serve on the Grand Canyon Railway and Hobo Railroad; a derelict pair sit on a disused track near North Station, and a single unit has been restored and is displayed at Bedford Depot.
- In 1978-80 MBTA acquired 19 rebuilt EMD FP10 units, transferred to Metro North Railroad in 1991-1993. EMD GP-9s were also operated in Boston suburban service. One of the EMD GP9's is still retained as a work engine (MBTA #904),one of the six GP-9s received from SEMTA in 1987.
- Ex-GO Transit stainless steel coaches were operated as an interim solution pending delivery of the CTC-1/BTC-1 order.
- From 2002 to 2004, MBTA leased some retired Amtrak F40PH's while the F40PHM-2Cs were getting rebuilt.
- Free wi-fi is provided on most trains. The program started with a $262,000 pilot on the Worcester Line in January 2008.
- The Ski Train to Wachusett Mountain is equipped to carry skis and snowboards.
- A coach with bicycle racks runs on the Rockport branch in summer.
- Bathrooms are in MBB cars (usually behind the locomotive), BTC-4C Kawasaki cars, and Rotem cars.
Station fares are not individually priced, but are assigned a zone based on distance from Boston. There are 11 zones (1A, then 1 through 10) with an increasing fare to or from Boston the higher the zone number. Zone 1A fares are the least expensive and cost the same as rapid transit ($2.00), while the Zone 10 fares are $11.00 per ride. Travel between suburban zones without going to Boston is charged an "interzone" fare based on the number of zones traveled. Seniors, those with a disability, and middle and high school students with proper identification receive a 50% discounted rate; children under 11 travel free with a paying adult. Fares are collected by train conductors: fare evasion is illegal, it is not criminal.
Tickets may be purchased at automatic vending machines located in principal stations and at suburban stations from nearby businesses and vendors. Stations without ticketing machines or vendors can purchase tickets on board. Tickets are one-way, round trip, 12 ride (no discount), or monthly pass (substantial discount over daily round-trip purchase).
Ridership levels have grown since the MBTA's involvement began in the late 1960s, with average weekday ridership growing from 29,500 in 1969 to 76,000 in 1990 and 143,700 in 2008. This was accomplished by rationalizations such as closing lightly used lines, concentrating service on heavily utilized lines, and re-opening abandoned branches with high traffic potential such as the Old Colony Lines. A general growth of transit usage in the Northeastern United States also contributed. Growing ridership required substantial capital investment, which was provided by a mixture of Federal mass transit funds and Commonwealth transportation bond issues.
Like most commuter railroads in the Northeastern United States, MBTA is a NORAC Railroad and uses the Rulebook promulgated by that organization. Much is Rule 251 territory, with tracks signalled for movement in one direction of travel only. During the 1990s, parts of the system, such as the Framingham/Worcester Line, were re-signalled to allow operation known as NORAC Rule 261, which allows trains to operate in either direction on both tracks on double track. During the morning rush hour, both tracks can be used for inbound traffic, allowing one train to make local stops while an express train overtakes it.
The cab car is at the end closest to the downtown Boston terminal, the locomotive at the outer end. On North Station lines, the "ADA" coach for mobility-limited persons is next to the locomotive; on South Station lines, the cab car is the "ADA" coach. ("ADA" coaches support compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, allowing level boarding at all stations with mini-high platforms.)
Trainlined doors that open automatically via central control are available on some equipment, but at low level platforms the conductor in each car must manually open a trap to allow passengers to descend via stairs onto the platform.
Several extensions and improvements are in debate or under way.
South Station lines
An extension of the Stoughton Line, South Coast Rail, is set to bring service to Taunton, Fall River, and New Bedford, Massachusetts. Routes through Attleboro and Middleboro were considered but rejected. Critics argue that building the extension does not make economic sense.
In September 2010, the MBTA completed a feasibility study of extending commuter rail to Foxboro via the Franklin Line, currently served only during special events at Gillette Stadium. The study looked at extending some Fairmount Line service to Foxboro, running shuttle trains from Foxboro to Walpole, or a combination of both. No determination has been made as to if or when this service would begin.
A Providence Line extension to Wickford Junction, in North Kingstown, Rhode Island opened on April 23, 2012. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is studying the feasibility of serving Amtrak stations in Kingston and Westerly and new stations in Cranston, East Greenwich, and West Davisville. Federal funding has been provided for preliminary planning of a new station in Pawtucket.
North Station lines
On October 18, 2010, MBTA broke ground on an extension of the Fitchburg Line 4.5 miles (7.2 km) to Wachusett beyond the terminal at Fitchburg. This extension is part of a larger improvement, including upgraded high level platforms at South Acton and Littleton, and a second main track between South Acton and Ayer Junction, eliminating one of the single-track bottlenecks. These improvements will mean the Fitchburg to Boston trip would take only about an hour. The extension was funded by a $55.5 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant.
The former state Secretary of Transportation, James Aloisi, had indicated support for commuter service from Worcester to North Station via Clinton and Ayer, presumably along the Worcester, Nashua and Rochester Railroad right of way, owned by Pan Am Railways as of 2009.
An article in the Eagle Tribune claims that Massachusetts is negotiating to buy property with the potential to extend the Haverhill Line to Plaistow, New Hampshire. Funding is available, and Plaistow is potentially interested, but wants to understand the potential drawbacks of being the location of the layover station.
North-South Rail Link
No direct connection exists between the two downtown terminals; to travel from one station to the other passengers must use the MBTA subway or the street. Passengers using the Providence/Stoughton, Framingham/Worcester, Franklin, and Needham lines can transfer to and from North Station at Back Bay via the Orange Line subway, and those using the Fitchburg Line can transfer to and from South Station at Porter via the Red Line subway, other passengers have to change subway trains at either Park Street or Downtown Crossing. A North-South Rail Link has been proposed to unite the two halves of the system; but, because of the high cost, Massachusetts has, as of May 2006, withdrawn its sponsorship of the proposal. For non-revenue transfers of equipment the MBTA and Amtrak use the Grand Junction Railroad Company main line.
On the North Side lines, as part of the original sale agreement B&M and its successor Pan Am Railways (formerly Guilford Transportation Industries) retain 'perpetual and exclusive' trackage rights for freight service. Pan Am provides freight service on those lines.
Boston Sand and Gravel has an agreement with Pan Am to operate its shortline New Hampshire Northcoast Railroad trains from Conway, New Hampshire to just north of North Station to supply aggregates to its plant on the Boston/Cambridge border. An occasional move occurs with run-through power from Norfolk Southern Railway to supply coal to a power plant in Bow, New Hampshire, over the Fitchburg Line.
On the South Side lines, CSXT retains trackage rights over much of the former New Haven territory. Limited service is provided by the Providence & Worcester Railroad on the Providence Line, principally from Central Falls (the intersection with its main line to Worcester) through Providence towards New Haven (some freights go as far east as Attleboro before leaving the corridor). The Bay Colony Railroad provides a limited amount of service on some lines.
CSXT used to provide intermodal, autorack, and general merchandise over the Worcester Line, part of its Boston Line. This could host over 12 mainline freight trains per day, including descendants of Conrail's expedited intermodal Trail Van trains. Currently most freight service terminates in Framingham, and a trainload facility in Westboro, with limited freight service east through Beacon Park Yard in Allston to a few local customers. CSX stopped using the Beacon Park intermodal yard in February 2013, moving its intermodal service to an expanded yard in Worcester.
On its former Old Colony division, the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (NYNH&H) vacated its right of freight operations by abandoning the tracks in 1959. As MBTA rebuilt the tracks it gained freight service rights, and those rights were franchised to Conrail (predecessor to CSX), which provided freight service.
- "Our partnerships". Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company (MBCR) Co. 2009-02-02. "The MBTA Board of Directors officially approved a new three-year contract with the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. to run the commuter rail."
- Alternate Concepts Inc. - website
- "MBTA Exercises Option With MBCR For Commuter Rail Service, Launches New Customer-Focused Improvements". MBTA. 2010-01-06. "MBTA extends MBCR contract another two years."
- American Public Transportation Association, Commuter Rail Ridership Report, First Quarter 2013.
- "Commuter Rail Maps and Schedules". MBTA.com. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- Belcher, Jonathan (2007-08-10). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-09-29.
- Drury, George H. (1994). The Historical Guide to North American Railroads: Histories, Figures, and Features of more than 160 Railroads Abandoned or Merged since 1930. Waukesha, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing. pp. 222–229, 248. ISBN 0-89024-072-8.
- "Lt. Governor: Historic CSX Rail Agreement". Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation. Massachusetts Department of Transportation. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- Monahan, John J. (4 October 2012). "At CSX freight yard, Murray touts increased train service". Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- Northeast Rail Service Act of 1981, Pub. L. 97-35, 45 U.S.C. ch. 20, 1981-08-13.
- Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company.
- Commuter Rail Firm Gets Contract Extension Boston.com, accessed 16 February 2010.
- Boston Metro, 6 June 2008, p. 2.
- Paul Revere Transportation.
- "Route 128 Station". New Haven Railroad Historical and Technical Association. 1 February 2000. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
- Karr, Ronald Dale (2010). Lost Railroads of New England (Third ed.). Branch Line Press. p. 54. ISBN 9780942147117.
- "Fairmount Line Improvements". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
- Rocheleau, Matt (12 November 2012). "MBTA opens new commuter rail station at Talbot Avenue in Dorchester on Fairmount Line". Boston Globe. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- "Boston to T.F. Green rail service debuts". NBC 10 News. 6 December 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
- Kinsella, James (16 August 2013). "Cape Commuter Rail Is A Real Possibility". Cape News. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
- Jessen, Klark (12 August 2013). "West Fitchburg: New Wachusett Rail Station". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Ridership and Service Statistics - Thirteenth Edition 2010". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2010. pp. 68–77. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
- Press Release (August 31, 2010). "Wabtec's MotivePower Unit Signs Contract With MBTA For New Passenger Locomotives". Market Watch. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- Bierman, Noah (October 13, 2008). "T betting on untried firm to build fleet". The Boston Globe. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- "The MBTA Vehicle Inventory Page". NETransit. October 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
- Finucane, Martin (February 7, 2011). "MBTA unveils first new locomotive in 23 years". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
- Finucane, Martin (March 23, 2011). "Used Md. engine hailed as help for struggling commuter rail". The Boston Globe. The New York Times Company. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
- MBTA threatens to cancel $190m deal for rail cars - Boston.com
- Moskowitz, Eric (18 November 2012). "Starts and Stops: MBTA receives first of long-delayed rail cars". Boston Globe. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- Middleton, William D. (November 1991). "How MBTA rebuilt ridership". Railway Age. Retrieved 3 August 2008.
- Boston Metro, 28 Jan 2008, p. 2; BostonNOW, 28 Jan 2008, p. 3.
- "Ski Train To Wachusett". Wachusett Mountain Ski Area. 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-30.
- MBTA. "MBTA Bike Train". Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- "Commuter Rail Fares & Passes". MBTA.com. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- "Reduced Fares". MBTA.com. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- "MBTA Scorecard". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. August 2010. p. 14. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- "Section 101 Evasion of payment of toll or fare". Massachusetts General Laws. Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- "Sales Locations". MBTA.com. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- "Purchase Programs". MBTA.com. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- Trahan, Tyler (9 December 2011). "The First T-Alert". Retrieved 9 December 2011.
- Wallgren, Christine (28 October 2007). "Battle lines drawn again on rail route". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
- "South Coast Rail: A Plan for Action". Massachusetts Executive Office for Transportation. 4 April 2007. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
- Hand, Jim (11 March 2008). "Area residents, officials say give aid not MBTA rail line to South Coast". The Sun Chronicle. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
- "Foxborough Commuter Rail Feasibility Analysis". MBTA. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
- "Intermodal Planning". Rhode Island Department of Transportation. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
- Leung, Shirley (6 September 2013). "State to begin innovative rail service between Seaport District and Back Bay". Boston Globe. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- Monahan, John J. (30 November 2007). "$150M smile for MBTA". Worcester Telegram and Gazette. Retrieved 3 August 2011..
- "Patrick-Murray Administration, U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood, Congressman Olver Kick off Wachusett Commuter Rail Extension Project". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 18 October 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
- "Draft North Shore Transit Improvements Project-MIS: Executive Summary". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
- Priyanka Dayal (28 April 2009). "MBTA warns of cuts / Transportation future hot topic". Worcester Telegram. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
- "Governor Lynch Ceremonially Signs Law Supporting Development Of Commuter Rail in New Hampshire". State of New Hampshire Governor's Office. 27 July 2007. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
- Carey, Meghan (12 March 2008). "Haverhill chamber chief supports train stop in Plaistow". Eagle-Tribune. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
- Carey, Meghan (9 March 2008). "Plaistow officials hopeful MBTA considers rail extension". Eagle-Tribune. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
- Massachusetts Chapter Sierra Club
- "2030 Transportation Plan Chapter 2: The Boston Region MPO and its Existing Transportation System (Part 3)". Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization. April 2007. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
- "NH NORTHCOAST". Boston Sand & Gravel. 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
- "P&W Map". Providence & Worcester Railroad. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
- "CSX System Map". CSX Transportation. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
- "CSX Rail Agreement, South Coast Rail Plans Move Forward". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. 25 November 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
- RAILROAD.NET • View topic - Beacon Park Tracker
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to MBTA Commuter Rail.|
- MBTA Commuter Rail
- Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company (MBCR)
- MBTA Commuter Rail profile and photos
- How MBTA rebuilt ridership - Railway Age article from Nov 1991. Contains history of MBTA Commuter Rail system.
- MBTA daily rail operations visualized (Java applet, unofficial)
- MBTA Fleet Roster