MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey today joined local officials to break ground on the new Wachusett Commuter Rail Station in West Fitchburg. The Wachusett Extension project will extend the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line 4.5 miles westerly to a new station at Wachusett in West Fitchburg, conveniently located in close proximity to Route 2 at Route 31. The project will also construct a new train Layover Facility in Westminster.
“One of my goals at MassDOT has been to improve transportation options for the entire Commonwealth,” said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey. “Bringing the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line farther west and increasing parking capacity will give customers more options for access into Boston and other points east.”
This $26.7 million Federal Transit Administration (FTA) ARRA-TIGER funded project will help to improve mass transit options to the communities west of Fitchburg, improve the region’s economy by reducing the commute time from the Montachusett Region to the Boston area job market, increase the supply of commuter rail parking for riders in the western part of the region, and improve the operation and capacity of the Fitchburg Line train Layover Facility.
The new Wachusett Station will include a new, fully-accessible, 800 foot long high-level platform located on a new station track siding, off the main line, which will allow direct platform-to-coach boarding without occupying the main line tracks. A new 360 space parking lot, to be operated by the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART), will include a drop-off area for cars and buses and electric vehicle charging stations. The station will include passenger shelters, benches and windscreens, signage, variable message signs, and lighting.
The new Westminster Layover Facility, for overnight storage of commuter rail trains, will replace the existing Fitchburg Line Layover Facility in Lunenburg.
The current schedule calls for construction to be substantially complete and commuter rail service to begin by the end of 2014.