New Commuter Rail Schedules which will go into effect on Monday, May 23, 2016

Last fall Keolis and the MBTA announced new Commuter Rail schedules but delayed implementation – those schedules were rolled out with limited notice and limited public input.  Secretary Pollack  postponed the rollout to this spring after some public input.

The MBTA rereleased the new schedules, with some changes in response to the feedback received, which will go into effect on May 23, 2016.  You can see the new schedule for the Fitchburg Line here.  Please see the full press release from the MBTA for details and links to the new schedules:

We are pleased to release the final commuter rail schedules for Spring 2016, scheduled to take effect on Monday, May 23rd.  To view the new schedules, please click on the following link: New Commuter Rail Schedules

These schedules, first unveiled early this winter, represent the first comprehensive redesign of commuter rail schedules in over thirty years.  These schedules have been optimized to greatly reduce the potential for cascading schedule delays and to help keep the commuter rail running on-time.  It is no coincidence that our newest services, the Greenbush and Old Colony Lines, typically suffer the fewest number of delays, as their schedules are products of the same optimization that we have now subjected the entire schedule to.

When we first unveiled the schedules in the fall, we welcomed public input on the changes.  During the months of January and February we received over 10,000 comments via public meetings, station kiosks, web and mail surveys, and individual letters and phone calls.  These comments were considered by our railroad operations team, and where feasible, incorporated into the new schedules we are releasing today.

Some of the highlights of the finalized schedules are:


  • New “reverse commute” train from North Station to Littleton/495 to serve new employment growth in the area, at 6:45am, as well as an early reverse commute to Fitchburg at 6:30.
  • Selected reaction to comments received at public meetings:
    • Haverhill Line: shifted arrival times earlier to better line up with job start times.
    • Newburyport/Rockport Line: add later AM departures for school drop-off.
    • We were not able, due to equipment limitations, to return AM Express service from West Concord, Concord, and Lincoln.


  • New Express Train from Worcester to Boston at 8:05am.
  • Selected reaction to comments received at public meetings:
    • Providence/Stoughton: now provide five peak-service stops at Ruggles Station, just like previous schedule.
    • Framingham/Worcester Line: All peak express trains now serve West Natick station, and Train 510 will make all stops in Wellesley.
    • Needham Line: Restored Forest Hills and Ruggles to all AM peak trains, as well as shifted PM peak departures to better match existing.
    • Franklin Line: Restoration of Dedham Corp. Center on AM and PM Express Trains and Readville on comparable local services.PM Peak realigned to better match existing departure times; exact times could not be replicated due to equipment constraints and corridor capacity.

The MBTA and Keolis have already begun vigorous marketing and outreach campaign so that our customers have ample time to adjust to the new schedules. From “T-alerts” to on-board announcements by conductors to use of social media and handing out pocket schedules, we understand that these changes will require significant and constant communication in the weeks leading up to May 23rd.

Thank you in advance for your assistance and cooperation!

Andrew Bettinelli
Legislative Aide
Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger