SouthCoast Freight Trains Can Now Double Their Speed
Casey Jones, you'd better watch your speed — although you might not have to, now that track upgrades along the soon-to-come South Coast Rail lines are allowing freight trains to travel at more than twice their former velocity.
As of Oct. 3, freight trains on lines to Middleboro and New Bedford are able to go 25 miles per hour instead of the previous 10 mph speed limit.
That's according to an advisory released this week from South Coast Rail, freight operator Mass Coastal Railroad, and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
The increased speeds affect freight trains on the Middleboro Secondary and New Bedford Main railroad lines, which go through Middleboro, Lakeville, Raynham, Taunton, Berkley, East Freetown, and New Bedford.
Trains must still slow to 10 mph at all railroad crossings, the advisory notes.
The speed limit increase was approved by the Federal Railroad Administration and, according to the advisory, is possible because of recent upgrades to the tracks for the highly anticipated South Coast Rail project.
Commuters will be able to reach Boston in around 90 minutes by train once the project is completed and operational, currently expected by the end of 2023.
In the advisory, railroad officials stressed safety and noted that trespassing on railroad tracks is illegal.
"No unauthorized person should be on the railroad right-of-way at any time," the advisory concludes.
Questions on the South Coast Rail project can be sent to SouthCoastRail@dot.state.ma.us, or to Mass Coastal Railroad at firstname.lastname@example.org.