MBTA Track Improvement Project

Downeaster MBTA Track Improvement Project

The Downeaster MBTA Track Improvement Project added double track and replaced rail in Massachusetts on the portion of the Downeaster line owned by the MBTA. These improvements will help improve Downeaster reliability/on-time performance and set the stage for more Downeaster frequencies.  The project was selected for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding under the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA’s) High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) program and NNEPRA received approximately $16M in federal funds for the Project.  The MBTA provided a match of about $5.2M.

The project is substantially complete.

Project Overview

The project included the following work elements:

Grade Crossing Upgrades on Wildcat Branch, Milepost 15.7 to 17.3

  • Clark Street, Milepost 15.70
  • Glen Road, Milepost 16.20
  • Salem Road, Milepost 17.30 

Wilmington Junction to Tewksbury Road, Ballardvale - Milepost 17.5 to 20.4 

  • A new controlled siding along the junction of Wildcat Branch and Haverhill Line.
  • 14,100 feet of new second main track from Wilmington Junction to Tewksbury Street grade crossing in the Ballardvale section of Andover.
  • Installation of a # 20 left hand crossover at Lowell Junction.
  • Modifications to the grade crossing at Lowell Junction Road.

Rail Replacement of Older Rail that has Gas Plant Welds – Milepost 27.2 to 32.3.