Keolis gears up for tie replacement project on MBTA commuter-rail line

Keolis Commuter Services, operator of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority‘s (MBTA) commuter-rail system, this month will start trackwork on the Framingham-Worcester Line to end heat-related speed restrictions.

Crews will replace as many as 30,000 ties, Keolis officials said in a press release.

The company will perform and oversee much of the work.

The track on the Framingham-Worcester Line was built and maintained by previous railroads using different design and maintenance standards than the MBTA. When the agency took control of the line in 2012, there were insufficient records available about the original installation of the rail, according to Keolis.

Such records help engineers verify that the rail will respond to heat variations between winter and summer seasons, Keolis officials said.

To compensate for the unknowns, the MBTA has either replaced rail or de-stressed sections of rail to ensure the line’s safety. That work is continuing this spring between Worcester and Framingham, Mass., and between Newtonville and Wellesley Farms, Mass.

“Commuter rail’s performance on the Framingham-Worcester Line has improved dramatically thanks to the work we and the MBTA have already completed,” said Keolis General Manager Gerald Francis. “This next round of track work will help move trains more efficiently and finally end the speed restrictions riders have dealt with for many years.”


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