Regular riders of MBTA commuter rail should take a close look at the new schedule that starts next week.
While there are no major changes to the rush hour schedule for those coming and going from Hamilton-Wenham station, most of the arrival and departures times will change by a few minutes, starting on Monday, May 23. The schedule changes “are designed to improve performance and allow for greater schedule reliability,” according to the T.
The changes were first proposed last fall but the T pulled back before putting it in place, taking further public comment. If you like the Hamilton-Wenham schedule as it is now, during peak ridership times, you will happy since no major changes are planned.
The most significant change is the addition of an evening departure from North Station to Hamilton-Wenham at 6:05 p.m. It fills in a 65 minutes window where there were no evening trips during rush hour from Boston to Hamilton-Wenham. The 4:30 p.m. train from Boston to Hamilton-Wenham has a reduced travel time, too, since there are no stops between Boston and Salem, according to the new schedule.
In the morning, the changes are far less significant, with inbound times changed by 11 minutes or less between 5:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. Two of the inbound trains do have reduced travel times to Boston – the 6:08 a.m. and 8:13 a.m. trains – because there are no stops south of Salem. Also, the inbound train that used to start in Hamilton-Wenham at 7:37 a.m. now starts in Newburyport and stops in Hamilton-Wenham at 7:48 a.m.
Also, outside of commuter rush hours, most Hamilton-Wenham stops are categorized “flag stops,” which, according to the T, means “passengers who wish to get off should notify the conductor and passengers who seek to board must be on the platform in full view of the engineer.”