MBTA Snow Removal Red Line, Quincy, February 18, 2015. MassDOT photo.
Keolis, the operator of MBTA commuter rail, announced several milestones Tuesday, including the completion of snow and ice removal from all platforms and critical rail switches system-wide, as well as the addition of supplemental trains, doubledecker and standard passenger cars to increase capacity and combat overcrowding.
Over the weekend, 700 tons of snow were melted with the assistance of a snowmelter on loan from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and more than 180 truckloads of snow were removed from key maintenance facilities, while 184 railway switches were cleaned of snow and ice. Keolis employees have removed 10.6 million cubic feet of snow from station platforms since January 27th and 594 million cubic feet from tracks and track infrastructure.
MBTA Commuter Rail continues to operate on a limited-service schedule (www.mbta.com/winter) as it begins repairs on its locomotive fleet and passengers should continue to plan accordingly for delays and cancelations. Keolis will remain vigilant with snow again in the forecast for Tuesday night into Wednesday, but commuter rail customers are advised to be aware of possible delays and cancelations under an already-reduced schedule.
Keolis has begun adding extra trains to service commuter rail lines experiencing overcrowding on trains and platforms due to the reduced schedule. These trains will be used sporadically system-wide as extra trains become available and announced via station platform signs and T-Alerts. The recovery plan intends to return three locomotives to service every week on the path to restoring regular weekday service.
Keolis recognizes the extremely hard work of its employees as the recovery process continues, many of whom have been working around the clock since January 27th to keep and/or return trains in service, clear tracks and switches and get the system back to full service as soon as possible for our customers, said a company statement.