No Weekend Commuter Rail Service On Lowell Line From August 5 to October 1

BOSTON, MA — Due to the installation of federally mandated Positive Train Control (PTC) infrastructure, the MBTA will replace weekend train service with bus service on the Lowell Commuter Rail Line on weekends starting on Saturday, August 5, and ending on Sunday, October 1.

The weekend shuttle bus service along the Lowell Line will make stops at all stations on Saturdays and Sundays. Customers can board shuttle buses at the following Lowell Line MBTA stations: Lowell, North Billerica, Wilmington, Anderson/Woburn, Winchester Center, Wedgemere, West Medford and North Station. Bicycles are prohibited on all shuttle buses during all service hours.

The MBTA will soon be providing bus shuttle schedules to customers at stations and on the MBTA website.

The complete shutdown of train service on weekends from August 5 to October 1 is necessary for the installation of federally-mandated PTC, which is designed to prevent train on train collisions. The first MBTA PTC installation began the weekend of July 8 on the Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail Line.

The Rail Safety Improvement Act (RSIA) of 2008 defines PTC as a safety system designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits, and movement of trains through track switches that may have been left in the incorrect position. All PTC systems are generally comprised of the same components, including an on-board apparatus for the locomotive controlling each applicable train, wayside devices (such as Wayside Interface Units), a centralized dispatch system in a back office, and a communication system that links all components.

Members of the public who would like to learn more about PTC should click here.

The MBTA is acting in compliance with the PTC Implementation Plan required by the Federal Railroad Administration. The MBTA appreciates the patience and understanding of customers as this federally mandated safety improvement infrastructure continues to be installed on commuter rail lines.

(NOTE: The above press release is from the MBTA.)

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