New Bedford and South Coast Rail: Where We Stand
The long-planned, long-anticipated South Coast Rail project is advancing even as questions arise about New Bedford and Fall River's status as Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) Districts.
Last week, it was reported by WBSM that officials in New Bedford and Fall River had neglected to put the question of MBTA membership before the voters, an oversight that could delay the arrival of the train in both cities next year. Referendum questions will appear on ballots in both communities this fall.
So where exactly does the South Coast Rail project stand at this point? What can we expect if this thing remains on track? I did a bit of reading, took a few photos, and came up with a few links to try and answer some of that.
When will commuter rail service to New Bedford begin?
Phase 1 of SouthCoast Rail will begin next year. The first trains linking New Bedford to Boston should roll by late 2023. SouthCoast Rail will travel the so-called Middleborough Route in Phase 1.
Where in New Bedford will I catch the train?
The Church Street train station is currently under construction in the city's North End.
Will there be a "layover station" in New Bedford?
A layover station where trains are stored overnight is under construction in the Wamsutta area north of the Whale's Tooth.
Will there be a Phase 2?
Phase 2, or "Full Build," will see South Coast Rail travel the more direct so-called Stoughton Route rather than the Middleborough Route used in Phase1. The timing of the transition will be determined as the project advances.
Phase 2 will also include a second train station known as "New Bedford," located at the so-called Whale's Tooth parking lot currently used for island ferry parking.
An interactive corridor map shows the route South Coast Rail will travel from Boston to the New Bedford station.