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MBTA New Locomotive, North Station, April 16, 2014The MBTA and Keolis Commuter Services announced that work will begin next week on the first of several railroad tie replacement projects on the Lowell and Haverhill lines, part of a total $100 million investment in infrastructure improvements for both lines that will increase passenger comfort and reliability.

Beginning Monday, April 13, Keolis will begin replacing nearly 12,000 railroad ties on the Lowell Line. The work will take place during off-peak hours, and officials said commuters should experience only minor delays in service during this phase of this project, which is scheduled to last through May 3. Once complete, a short period of speed restrictions will be needed to enable the new track work to settle.

On Monday, May 4, the project shifts to the Haverhill Line, where 15,000 railroad ties will be replaced between Reading and Haverhill through June 12 during off-peak hours. Because this section of the Haverhill Line is single track, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. passengers will be bused between Reading and Haverhill, adding a total of 25 minutes to the journey in and out of Boston. All other passengers will see minor schedule changes and delays of up to five minutes.

“We appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding as we work to improve their commute,” said MBTA interim General Manager Frank DePaola. “This project is a critical part of our ongoing efforts to ensure the delivery of safe and reliable Commuter Rail service for many years to come.”

”We understand these projects are happening shortly after full service was restored on March 30, but in getting the system up and running, we must also maintain and improve it,” said Keolis Commuter Services General Manager Gerald C. Francis. “Many of these ties are approaching the end of their life cycle and the work is necessary. Delays should be minimal, and we will be monitoring the projects’ impact on commuters to make sure it stays that way.”

This tie-replacement project is part of several projects on the Haverhill and Lowell lines, including planned repair work on the Shawsheen River Bridge in Andover, a $50 million project to install double track along portions of the Haverhill Line, and the $58 million rehabilitation project on the Merrimack River Bridge between Haverhill and Bradford.

For more information, contact Keolis Customer Service, 617-222-3200.

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