MBTA opens new layover facility
Massachusetts and Rhode Island joined hands earlier this month to open a new six-track layover facility in Pawtucket, R.I. The yard will allow commuter trains to be stored overnight and provide a new location for engine and car servicing and cleaning. Construction began in May 2003 costing $18.5 million.
“With gas prices rising and congestion on our roads, increasing commuter rail service in Rhode Island is vital to our economy and quality of life. I am pleased to have secured $10 million for this facility and proud of the strong partnership among the federal government, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island that made it possible,” said U.S. Sen. Jack Reed D-R.I.).
Prior to opening the new facility, trains were stored at an Attleboro, Mass., facility, neighbors, especially in an adjacent trailer park, howled for years about the racket.
MBTA General Manager Daniel A. Grabauskas said, “This state of the art facility is capable of housing more equipment, which means more service for our customers. Our mission is to preserve our customer base, while at the same time attract more customers.”
Rhode Island Gov. Donald L. Carcieri said, “Over the last few years, we have made major strides in our effort to upgrade Rhode Island’s transportation system. This new layover facility will build on work going on in other parts of the state to improve our highways, rebuild our bridges and extend rail service to Warwick and Wickford. This is the type of project that most Rhode Islanders never see, but it is nonetheless essential for ensuring the efficiency of our state’s transportation network.”
Rhode Island has an agreement to extend commuter rail south of Providence. Site preparation is now starting at the two station sites.