Every commuter rail station north of Boston – including Hamilton-Wenham station – will be served with substitute bus service later this summer during a construction project that will shut down train service for about a month, according to a recent message from the MBTA to Hamilton town leaders.
The MBTA calls it “enhanced mitigation” for the effect that the work will have on commuters. The Beverly drawbridge over the Danvers River between Beverly and Salem will be reconstructed from July 17 to Aug. 13. That will mean no train service north of Salem, and the MBTA will provide bus shuttle service to all stations north of Salem, including Hamilton-Wenham station.
A separate project to install Positive Train Control is also scheduled for this summer along the Newburyport/Rockport train line. It is planned for weekend work starting July 8 and running until Sept. 30. The MBTA will also provide bus shuttle service from North Station to all stations on the Newburyport line during that time.
Revised schedules will be issued but are not yet available for weekend or weekday service, according to the T. The schedules are under development and will be released this week.
The T also urges riders to not to park in Salem because station parking there is limited and reminds customers that parking regulations will be strictly enforced in downtown Salem and neighborhood areas.
Three public meetings have been scheduled on the North Shore during the next two weeks to explain a plan to interrupt service MBTA commuter rail service in Hamilton this summer in order to install Positive Train Control (PTC) systems and make repairs to the Beverly swing bridge.
The work is planned along the Newburyport commuter rail line, which serves Hamilton-Wenham station.
None of the public meetings will be in Hamilton and the closest meeting will be at Beverly City Hall on Tuesday, May 2. A meeting is also planned at Gloucester City Hall on April 26 and a meeting at Newburyport City Hall on May 1. All of the meetings start at 6:30 p.m.
The three public meetings will provide project details, timelines and recommended alternative transportation options.
The PTC project will mean a shutdown in service each weekend from July 8 through Sept. 30. The bridge work will mean commuter rail service will be completely shut down north of the Salem commuter rail station for 28 days, from July 17 through Aug. 13.
Hamilton Town Manager Michael Lombardo said he plans to attend the meeting and advocate for bus service from each station to Salem – at a minimum.
The PTC project is federally-mandated by the Federal Railroad Administration Rail Safety Improvement Act. PTC is designed to improve safety by preventing train-to-train collisions, over speed derailments and unexpected movement of trains through “open” switches, according to the MBTA.