Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), along with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and the City of Boston, is planning to launch a $43m South Station expansion project to improve local and regional rail services.
MassDOT will use funds provided by the US government over the coming years to carry out planning, environmental reviews and preliminary designs for a larger station, as well as additional facilities at South Station in Dewey Square, Boston.
The project will study ways to add new platforms and new rail tracks, expand and upgrade passenger amenities and build a new daytime layover rail vehicle storage facility.
The expansion of the station will include interlocking and other attendant infrastructure, which is intended to improve the performance of existing and future high-speed and intercity passenger rail service to and from Boston.
The South Station expansion project will also include improvements of the surrounding streetscape and urban design, featuring a reconstructed Dorchester Avenue, as well as creating an extension of the Boston Harborwalk.
Last year, MassDOT received $32.5m in Transportation Investment Generation Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant funds to pay for the conceptual design and environmental review for the project, improving Boston's rail services in and out of the station.
South Station currently operates above its design capacity and expansion will allow more efficient train operations and orderly passenger queuing.
Built in 1899, at present the station has 13 tracks, limiting current and future rail mobility within Massachusetts, as well as New England and the Northeast Corridor (NEC).
MassDOT received an additional $10.5m from the state transportation department for the improvement of tracks, platforms, passenger facilities and other attendant infrastructure.
Image: MassDOT will use the funds to expand South Station to improve local and regional rail services. Photo: courtesy of Massachusetts Department of Transportation.