MBTA Commuter Rail
||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (August 2011)|
|MBTA Commuter Rail
A train idles in Route 128 Station on the Providence/Stoughton Line.
|Reporting mark||MBTA, MBTX|
|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|
The MBTA Commuter Rail system serves as the commuter rail arm of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's transportation coverage of Greater Boston in the United States. It is operated under contract by the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company (MBCR) a joint partnership of Veolia Transportation, Bombardier Transportation, and Alternate Concepts, Inc. which is a Boston-based firm. The current operating contract expires in July 2013.
The commuter rail system is the fifth-busiest commuter rail in the country, after New York, New Jersey, and Chicago area systems, when measured by weekday passenger boardings. The line's characteristic purple-trimmed coaches run as far south as North Kingstown, Rhode Island, and as far north as Newburyport and as far west as Worcester, both in Massachusetts. The trains have two terminal stops in Boston—South Station and North Station—both transportation hubs offering connections to Amtrak, local bus and subway lines. As of Q4 of 2011, daily weekday ridership was 130,600.
Current lines 
- Greenbush Line
- Old Colony Lines consisting of:
- Kingston/Plymouth Line
- Middleborough/Lakeville Line
- Fairmount Line
- Providence/Stoughton Line
- Franklin Line
- Needham Line
- Framingham/Worcester Line
The CapeFLYER service runs over the Middleborough/Lakeville line from Memorial Day through Labor Day using MBTA equipment.
Operational history 
Consolidation under MBTA control 
Boston & Maine Railroad 
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts's involvement with the operating facets of commuter rail began in 1967 when the Boston & Maine Railroad petitioned the Interstate Commerce Commission to discontinue all passenger services. All 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, at this time still an independent railroad company. The Commonwealth and MBTA began to purchase some lines, like the Lowell Line between Somerville and Wilmington, from the B&M. The B&M filed for bankruptcy protection in 1970. All remaining B&M commuter assets with the exception of yard tracks and freight-only branches were sold to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on December 14, 1976, though B&M was contracted to operate the service using its existing fleet of diesel railcars.
New Haven Railroad 
The New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (NYNH&H, or simply "New Haven"), the long time owner-operator of most South Station commuter trains, filed for bankruptcy for the last time in 1961. Just two years earlier in 1959, the New Haven had discontinued passenger service on the Old Colony division in southeastern Massachusetts. The New Haven was included in the Penn Central Transportation Company merger in 1968, which itself filed bankruptcy in 1970. The MBTA bought most of the Penn Central southside commuter lines on January 27, 1973. This included the Providence/Stoughton Line as far as the Rhode Island border plsu the branch to Stoughton, the Franklin Line and Needham Line and the Framingham/Worcester Line from Riverside to Framingham, as well as a number of abandoned lines and lines without passenger service including the Old Colony mainline from Boston to Braintree and the Plymouth/Kingston Line which were later restored. Penn Central 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 
The Framingham/Worcester Line, historically part of the Boston & Albany Railroad (B&A), was merged into the New York Central System and its ownership subsequently passed to Penn Central in 1968. As part of the Massachusetts Turnpike Boston Extension's construction in the 1960s, the Worcester Line's right of way between Route 128 and Boston was sold to the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, with the proviso that the control of the railroad remain with New York Central. Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail), Penn Central's successor, inherited the rail line which forms a vital freight artery between Boston's Beacon Yard and Conrail's Selkirk Yard. The section of the line from Riverside to Framingham was sold to the MBTA in 1976 as part of their larger acquisition of Penn Central commuter assets, but the section past Framingham remained in Conrail control. In September 2009, CSX Transportation (the private successor to Conrail) 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 which 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 from Framingham to Worcester was transferred to the state on October 4, 2012, with increased service on the outer section of the line beginning several weeks later.
Combined operations 
The Northeast Rail Service Act of 1981 compelled Conrail to transfer operations of all passenger and commuter services to local transit authorities, resulting in Conrail ceasing all subsidized passenger rail services. The Boston & Maine won the contract for the southside lines; for the first time, all Boston commuter service was operated by one entity. After bankruptcy, the B&M continued to run and fulfill its contract 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 the newly formed Guilford Transportation Industries (GTI) bought it in 1983. GTI let the contract expire in 1987, after a strike had shut down most of the northside lines for two months in 1986.
From 1987 to 2003, Amtrak managed all of Boston's commuter rail. The relationship between the 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, one from Guilford Rail System and another from the newly formed Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company (MBCR), the latter of which won, taking over the MBTA Commuter Rail operation from Amtrak in July 2003. The MBCR contract originally expired in July 2008 but had an additional five-year option; it was later extended three years to July 2011 and then 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 some bus lines under contract from the MBTA.
Service changes since MBTA takeover 
Many improvements have been made to the Boston Commuter Rail system during MBTA's period of stewardship which started circa 1973. However, the Commonwealth's support for rail operations began long before it owned the infrastructure, in the 1950s with contracted operations and subsidies to railroads providing commuter service.
- The Commonwealth of Massachusetts pioneered the concept of "Park and Ride" by providing funds to construct the Route 128 Station station on the New Haven Railroad's Providence Line, at a location where the radial line intersected with the Massachusetts Route 128, locally thought of as the Boston Beltway. Route 128 Station was established 1953 by New Haven President 'Buck' Dumaine. The initial station was simple in design, built as a parking lot located next to the tracks.
- During the 1980s reconstruction of the Southwest Corridor along MBTA's Providence/Attleboro Line, Amtrak trains between Boston and New York were diverted over the New Haven's Fairmount Branch. As part of this project, MBTA allowed Centralized Traffic Control to be installed on this branch, 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. Today, MBTA is in the process of constructing 4 in-fill stations to better serve the urban neighborhood through which it passes. The first of these, Talbot Ave, opened on November 12, 2012.
- B&M's Eastern Route formerly operated across the bridge at Merrimack River and as far north as Portsmouth, New Hampshire on the former Eastern Railroad alignment. Service past Ipswich to Newburyport was limited to a single daily round trip after 1967, and cut entirely 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 "one of the briefest abandonments on record", 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, MBTA's Providence Line was electrified using Federal funds provided to Amtrak for its Acela Express project. However, the MBTA does not operate electric equipment on the Providence Line, as such equipment would be unusable on other lines.
- At one time, MBTA's service reached only as far as Framingham, a suburb just beyond Route 128 about 20 miles from Boston. However, services on other lines reached exurbs more distant from Boston than Framingham. During the 1990s, an agreement was reached to extend MBTA's service out to Worcester, Massachusetts, making the line today's MBTA Framingham/Worcester Line. During the early 2000s, trains only served Amtrak's Worcester Union Station beyond Framingham. Over time, Ashland, Southborough, Westborough, and Grafton stations were added in the MetroWest region. The service was successful, resulting in relative de-emphasis of Amtrak and commuter bus services operating in the same corridor.
- During the 1990s, MBTA invested heavily in the Commuter Rail system by restoring New Haven's Old Colony division abandoned in 1959. The two main Old Colony Lines were re-opened in 1997, and the Greenbush Line opened in 2007.
- Agreement with the State of Rhode Island allowed MBTA's 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 to allow the service to operate on 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 represents the first commuter service in Rhode Island south of Providence since 1981.
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 a brief period of 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 Boston's 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 the towns of Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford, Massachusetts. Today, 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 subsequently extended as far as 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 (10.0 miles from Boston), while the others stopped at North Woburn (today's Anderson RTC) and continued to Lowell. Weekend service ended on September 7, 1980, and all service on the branch stopped 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 its discontinuation on November 26, 1971.
All MBTA commuter rail service is provided by push-pull trains powered by diesel locomotives with a cab car on the opposite end. The current fleet of diesel 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, which were originally GMD GP40-2LWs). All passenger locomotives are equipped with head end power (HEP). MBTA's locomotives were manufactured between 1978 and 2009 (excluding an EMD GP9 built in the late 1950s), with the newest locomotives being a pair of NRE 3GS21Bs used for switching duties. Twenty new MPI HSP46 locomotives are on order.
The current fleet of active passenger coaches numbers 410 ranging from 1978 to 2005, with an additional 75 on order from Hyundai Rotem. Passenger coaches are designated as either "Blind Trailer Coaches" (BTCs), which have no cab controls, or "Control Trailer Coaches" (CTCs), which have cab controls. All MBTA Kawasaki coaches are bi-level, as are the new Hyundai Rotem coaches. The first new coaches entered service on April 24, 2013.
Locomotive fleet 
As of February 2012 MBTA operates a fleet of ninety diesel locomotives, including five leased from MARC, one under repair and three undergoing overhauls. An additional two locomotives are rostered but out of service. Forty new locomotives are on order with the first units 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 is now stored and 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||1200-1239||On order; expected delivery 2013-2014.|
|1971||EMD||EMD GP40||3247||Not used for passenger service.|
|2009||NRE||NRE 3GS21B||3248-3249||Not used for passenger service.|
Coach fleet 
As of January 2013 the MBTA operated 410 coaches, with 75 new coaches on order. Those whose designations start with BTC are conventional coaches, while those starting with CTC are cab cars. Cab cars will occasionally also 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, which was 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.|
Retired equipment 
As the Commonwealth assumed the control of the Commuter Rail during the 1970s, it inherited various non-standard equipment from predecessor railroads. These included:
- Numerous Budd Rail Diesel Cars, including a total of 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 completely replaced with conventional coaches by 1989. Remaining examples of these units now 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 which were later 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 all trains. The program started with a $262,000 pilot on the Worcester Line in January 2008.
- Ski Train to Wachusett Mountain is equipped to carry skis and snowboards.
- Bathrooms are located on MBB cars (which are usually behind the locomotive), BTC-4C Kawasaki cars, and the new Rotem cars.
Fare policy 
The MBTA Commuter Rail uses a fare zone policy whereby origin and destination stations are not individually priced, but assigned a zone based on distance from Boston. There are a total of eleven 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 highest priced 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 eleven travel free with a paying adult. Fares are collected by train conductors and while fare evasion is explicitly 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. Travelers can purchase tickets as a one-way, round trip, twelve ride (no discount), or monthly pass (substantial discount over daily round-trip purchase).
Ridership levels on the Commuter Rail have grown since the MBTA's involvement began in the late 1960s, with overall average weekday ridership growing from 29,500 in 1969 to 76,000 in 1990 and 143,700 in 2008. This was accomplished by a series of rationalizations, such as closing lightly used lines, concentrating service on heavily utilized lines, and re-opening formerly 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 in this way required substantial capital investment, which was provided by a mixture of Federal mass transit funds and Commonwealth transportation bond issues.
Train operations 
Like most commuter railroads in the Northeastern United States, MBTA is a NORAC Railroad and uses the Rulebook promulgated by that organization. Much of MBTA Commuter Rail is Rule 251 territory, as the tracks are 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 a more advanced mode of operations known as NORAC Rule 261, which allows trains to operate in either direction on both tracks where double track is available. During the morning rush hour, both tracks can be simutaneously used for inbound traffic, allowing one train to make local stops while an express train overtakes the local train.
On each train, the cab car is attached at the end closest to the downtown Boston terminal station for the particular line (either North or South Station), and the locomotive is attached at the end farthest from the terminal station. On each train serving the North Station lines, the "ADA" coach used to carry mobility-limited persons is attached right behind the locomotive, allowing level boarding at all suburban stations featuring mini-high platforms. On the other hand, on each train serving the South Station lines, the cab car also serves as the "ADA" coach. (The "ADA" coaches support compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.)
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.
Proposed expansions 
Several extensions of and improvements to the MBTA Commuter Rail network are in debate or under way.
South Station lines 
An extension of the Stoughton Line known as South Coast Rail is set to break ground to bring service to Taunton, Fall River, and New Bedford, Massachusetts. Routes through Attleboro and Middleboro were considered for the service but rejected. Critics argue that building the extension does not make economic sense.
In September 2010, the MBTA completed a study to determine the feasibility of extending regular commuter rail service to Foxboro via the Franklin Line. Currently, the station is only served 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 also studying the feasibility of serving existing Amtrak stations in Kingston and Westerly as well as constructing new stations in Cranston, East Greenwich, and West Davisville. Federal funding has also 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 a new Wachusett stop beyond the current terminal at Fitchburg Station. This extension is part of a larger improvement of the line, including upgraded high level platforms at both South Acton and Littleton are also planned, as well as a second main track is planned between South Acton and Ayer Junction, eliminating one of the single-track bottlenecks on the line. These improvements will speed the line so that 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.
There is a proposal to build a South Salem station in Salem, Massachusetts, to improve access to Salem State University, as well as to extend Commuter Rail to Peabody, Massachusetts and Danvers, Massachusetts.
The former state Secretary of Transportation James Aloisi had also 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 which has the potential to extend the Haverhill Line to Plaistow, New Hampshire. Funding is available, and Plaistow is potentially interested, but wants to better understand the potential drawbacks of being the location of the layover station.
North-South Rail Link 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2011)|
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. While 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 passengers using the Fitchburg Line can transfer to and from South Station at Porter via the Red Line subway, all other passengers have to change subway trains at either Park Street or Downtown Crossing stations. A North-South Rail Link has been proposed to unite the two halves of the Commuter Rail system; but, because of the high cost, Massachusetts has, as of May 2006, withdrawn its sponsorship of the proposal. Meanwhile, for non-revenue transfers of equipment, the MBTA and Amtrak use the Grand Junction Railroad Company main line.
Freight service 
On the North Side lines, as part of the original sale agreement, B&M and its successor Pan Am Railways (formerly Guilford Transportation Industries) retains '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 Boston's 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 also 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 (although 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 provides intermodal, autorack, and general merchandise over the Worcester Line, a part of CSXT's Boston Line. This part of the Commuter Rail network can host over 12 mainline freight trains per day, including descendents of Conrail's expedited intermodal Trail Van trains. Currently freight service runs east to Beacon Park Yard in Allston; however, CSX is scheduled to stop using the intermodal yard in 2013.
On its former Old Colony division, the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (NYNH&H) essentially 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 on the former Old Colony division.
See also 
- "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 2 years.."
- American Public Transportation Association, Commuter Rail Ridership Report, Fourth Quarter 2011.
- "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.
- "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.
- United States Congress (13 August 1981). "45 USC CHAPTER 20 - NORTHEAST RAIL SERVICE". United States House of Representatives Office of the Law Revision Counsel. Retrieved 24 December 2012. "...transfer of Conrail commuter service responsibilities to one or more entities whose principal purpose is the provision of commuter service..."
- 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.
- "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.
- Karr, Ronald Dale (2010). Lost Railroads of New England (Third ed.). Branch Line Press. p. 54. ISBN 9780942147117.
- "Boston to T.F. Green rail service debuts". NBC 10 News. 6 December 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
- "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.
- 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.
- "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.
- 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.
- "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.
|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