Lt. Governor Karyn Polito was joined Monday by elected officials, business and public transit leaders, and transit riders to mark the inaugural trip of HeartToHub, the first ever non-stop Commuter Rail service between Union Station in Worcester and Boston.
“For the first time ever, non-stop train service between Worcester and Boston in under one hour, that will have a meaningful impact on the lives of many,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “The new express train will give commuters more options on an improved schedule that reflect the needs of today for both our residents and our economy.”
The non-stop train will run twice a day on weekdays, leaving Worcester at 8:05 a.m., and leaving Boston’s South Station at 7:35 p.m. In Boston, the station stops are South Station, Back Bay, and Yawkey Way. This train will link millennial workers to high-tech and new economy startup companies, spurring economic development in both cities, and has been hailed by both the Boston and Worcester Chambers of Commerce.
The non-stop service results in a net savings of time of approximately 30 minutes for Worcester riders. The previous Commuter Rail schedule for the Framingham/Worcester Line trains typically result in a trip between Worcester and Boston that takes approximately an hour and a half, and trains can stop as many as 16 times on the way to South Station.
Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack said the non-stop train is part of a wider, comprehensive update of Commuter Rail schedules, “These are the most substantive changes in decades, and will lead to improved service and customer dependability.”
Other Worcester/Framingham Line improvements are ongoing and consist of “de-stressing” the rail, which will cut the need for speed restrictions during periods of sustained, extreme heat; installation of new rail, and efforts to make the Commuter Rail system more resilient during winter weather. Installation of more than 27,000 new ties began in March and will be completed in early June. The work will help move trains more efficiently and end the speed restrictions riders have had to live with for many years.
“Between updating the schedule and ongoing efforts to prepare the rail system to be in a better position to withstand inclement weather, we are taking major steps toward delivering on our promise to provide the kind of service our customers deserve and expect,” said MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola. “While our work is far from done, we want to ensure our customers of the continued progress we are making as we continue to strive for a higher standard.”
“As a daily commuter from Oxford, Massachusetts, my one-way trip to my job in Boston takes two hours. Most of that two hours is spent on the Worcester Commuter line between Worcester and Back Bay,” said Jason Thies, a project leader at Liberty Mutual & Safeco Insurance. “As a project manager, my workplace is flexible with my hours, and I often find myself in Boston until 7 p.m. With the addition of the Heart to Hub train, I am excited to be able to make it back and forth from Worcester in around one hour. There is quite a buzz on my daily train about the service, with many daily commuters excited about having the option to reduce their travel time, especially after a long day in Boston.”
“This train doesn’t just increase speed between the two largest cities in Massachusetts,” said Worcester Polytechnic Institute President Laurie Leshin, “It will allow great minds to collaborate more easily. It will expand horizons and push boundaries, in much the way students and faculty at the twelve colleges in Greater Worcester do. Great things are happening in Worcester, from the transformative research at our own Gateway Park to the innovations developed by the 35,000 college students right here in Worcester. Across the city, higher education and industry are partnering to great effect. This train is a fast, reliable player in our bright future.”
A copy of the new schedule can be found online at: http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/Smart_Forms/News,_Events_and_Press_Releases/Worcester%20WEB%20052316.pdf