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Massachusetts Coastal Railroad Rehabilitation

Project Highlights

  • Installed more than 20,000 crossties and 450 switch ties
  • Installed nearly 22,000 tons of ballast
  • Surfaced 5 miles of track
  • Tamped more than 50 miles of track
Massachusetts Coastal Railroad (MCRR)
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Provided By

RailWorks Track Services dedicated itself to a track rehabilitation project on MCRR that enabled the return of commuter rail service to Cape Cod for the first time since the 1980s.

RailWorks crews installed more than 20,000 crossties and 450 switch ties on 24 miles of MCRR’s Hyannis Secondary line between Buzzards Bay and Hyannis, Mass. This work progressed while the railroad’s tie gang installed 20,000 ties on the Buzzards Bay Secondary line, between Hyannis and Middleboro, Mass.

When tie installation was completed, RailWorks crews moved to the Hyannis Secondary line to install nearly 22,000 tons of ballast over 52 miles of track. Two crews followed up by surfacing 5 miles of track -- about 270,000 feet -- including numerous turnouts. One crew tamped 24 miles of the Hyannis line while the other crew tamped 18 miles of the Buzzards Bay Secondary line.

Unique Features

A major challenge was coordinating the work around other contractors on the line, who also were on a tight schedule to meet the Memorial Day weekend deadline when the new CapeFLYER commuter rail service commenced.

RailWorks has worked with Mass Coastal previously. Familiarity with the railroad’s operating requirements and train schedules and the relationship with key personnel helped the project go smoothly.

Work wrapped up by the end of April, giving the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad, the line’s operator, and the Federal Railroad Administration adequate time to complete final track geometry and defect inspections on the entire 52 miles before the 2013 Memorial Day weekend.