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South Coast Rail Construction Chugs Along

Daniel Ackerman
Construction crews worked on the Fall River Depot Tuesday.

This week, construction crews continued work on the Fall River Depot, a new train station that will connect commuters to Boston via the South Coast Rail project. A second line, linking Boston with New Bedford, is also under construction.

Passenger service on both lines is expected to start in 2024, according to Jennifer Tabakin, the MBTA’s Program Manager for the project.

In addition to building the new stations, crews must upgrade the region’s existing tracks, which currently carry freight trains and are not suitable for passenger use, according to MBTA engineer Dan Letendre. “We take out the stick track—which is that click-clack, click-clack noise—and we just make it one long continuous rail.”

The Fall River Depot will sit near the intersection of Pearce and Davol Streets just north of downtown. The New Bedford Station will sit at 536 Acushnet Avenue, next to Whale’s Tooth Parking Lot. Both stations will include car and bike parking.

The project is fully funded by the state of Massachusetts and is not dependent on a potential infrastructure bill from Congress, says Tabakin.

A passenger rail service between Boston and the South Coast was last active in 1959.

Daniel Ackerman has left CAI.
In his time at the station he reported on the South Coast. He came to the station from Minnesota Public Radio, where he reported on science and the environment. Daniel has produced audio documentaries on a motley mix of topics, from the science of sewage to the history of automobile license plates. He holds a PhD in climate change ecology from the University of Minnesota. Daniel was a 2021-22 Report For America corps member.