Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has approved a USD 30 million contract with Keolis Commuter Services for the second phase of Franklin Line double-track works. The project includes the addition of 5.6 km of rail section west from Norfolk Station to Frank Street, which is east of Franklin station. The MBTA board has also approved a USD 30 million contract for this phase.
The new section improves the resilience of the Line and decreases the time between trains from about 45 minutes to about 35 minutes. Phase 2 work, which is anticipated to be complete in December 2020, includes subgrade preparation, drainage improvement work, two interlockings, signal houses, signal gantries, and retaining walls and new track infrastructure.
In parallel with the second phase, preliminary design work will begin for phase 3, which is focused on the 6.5 km section of track between Walpole and Norwood Central stations. Upon the completion of the design and construction as part of phase 3, a double-track line will have ultimately been created along the entire line between South station in Boston and Franklin station, improving resiliency on both the Franklin and Fairmount Lines and creating the opportunity to potentially schedule Franklin Line express service.
In February 2019, Keolis Commuter Services and the MBTA entered an agreement to manage the first phase of the project which includes a 6.5-km double track between Walpole and Norfolk stations. Keolis was awarded the Phase 1 contract which included the design, procurement, construction, and commissioning of two new signal interlockings, the delivery of all subgrade preparation work, major drainage improvements, and replacement of a road bridge that included the removal of the existing bridge, the procurement of a new bridge structure, and installing and building the new deck.
Phase 1 will be completed in December 2019 and will enter operation in spring 2020, after PTC Franklin Line programme will be commissioned.