South Coast Rail Construction Activity

Current details on construction progress

Main Line Construction has begun on Phase 1 of South Coast Rail. Read more about these projects on the About the South Coast Rail Project page.

See how this work will affect property abutters.

MassDOT provides regular updates on this website or you can sign up for the SCR email updates.

Table of Contents

Phase 1 Early Action Construction

  • Culvert Replacements and Related Track Work – substantially complete
  • Wetland Construction – substantially complete
  • Tarkiln Hill Road Grade Crossing Improvements – substantially complete
  • Four Bridge Replacements – substantially complete

Culvert Replacements Update

Installed 46 culverts as part of the drainage system. Constructed five wetland mitigation areas and began monitoring their success.

Four Bridge Replacements Update

Work has been completed for the for the bridge replacements and related track work at the North and South Cotley railroad bridges in Berkley, the Cedar Swamp railroad bridge in Lakeville, and the Fall Brook railroad bridge in Freetown.

Early Action Building Demolition Update

MBTA's contractor has completed the following early action building demolition work to prepare for follow-on Phase 1 station and Main Line construction.

The former structures at 1141 County St., Taunton; 15 Richmond Road, Freetown; 2804 North Main Street, 825 Davol St., and 61 Pearce St., Fall River; 3 Adams Lane, Berkley; 161 South Main Street and 52 West Grove Street, Middleborough; 91 Old Colony Avenue, Taunton; 2 and 6 Wye Street in Berkley; and 387 Church Street, New Bedford, have been demolished.

Phase 1 Main Line Construction Update

The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) approved the first major construction contract to build the Fall River Secondary on May 11, 2020. The second package, which includes the New Bedford Main Line, the Middleborough Secondary, and the signal system for the entire Phase 1 corridor, was approved on August 24, 2020. Both elements of Phase 1 construction are currently underway.

South Coast Rail and Mass Coastal Railroad Evening Freight Operations

Starting Monday, March 18, 2024, Mass Coastal Railroad will move daily freight operations to evenings. During this time, abutters to the Fall River Secondary Line and New Bedford Main Line (see SCR project map) for location of railroad lines)can anticipate trains during weekday evenings between 5:00 PM and 12:00 AM.

The daily operations on the MBTA Middleborough Secondary Line commuter train will remain the same.

New Bedford: Pedestrian Bridge Work

Construction continues for the new pedestrian bridge across Route 18 and Acushnet Avenue connecting to the New Bedford Station.

Location of work:

  • Purchase Street (between Pearl Street and Willis Street)
  • Near the former site of the MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center (618 Acushnet Ave)
  • Route 18 at the Purchase Street exit

Dates/Hours of Work:

  • Weekdays, 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Overhead view of Purchase Street showing the work zone and no parking area.

To accommodate the construction of the west side plaza of the bridge, there will be no street parking on the east side of Purchase Street between Pearl Street and Willis Street.

Middleborough, Lakeville, Raynham, Taunton, Freetown, Fall River, and New Bedford: Signal System Installations and Testing

Installations and testing for the railroad signal system for the entire South Coast Rail Phase 1 is ongoing along the railroad right-of-way and at railroad crossings. Please be advised that during this work, signals may be disabled. In those instances, railroad workers known as flaggers will be in place to safely direct train traffic through crossings, and drivers should heed the flaggers' directions.

The project will also be running test trains along the South Coast Rail lines to make sure the new signal systems are properly working. Abutters to the railroad may notice the increased train traffic and crossing signal usage.

Location of work:

  • Signal work along the railroad right-of-way and crossings on the Middleborough Secondary Line (Middleborough, Lakeville, Raynham, Taunton), the Fall River Secondary Line (Berkley, Assonet, Fall River), and the New Bedford Main Line (Taunton, Berkley, Lakeville, Freetown, New Bedford)

Dates/Hours of Work:

  • Typically, Monday through Sunday, 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Map of project site. Installations and testing for the railroad signal system for the entire South Coast Rail Phase 1 is ongoing along the railroad right-of-way and at railroad crossings.


Fence Installation: Lakeville, Taunton, Freetown, Berkley, New Bedford

Location of work: 

  • Fence installation along the New Bedford Main Line railroad right-of-way at locations between the East Taunton Station site (1141 County Street) in Taunton and the New Bedford Station Site (Acushnet Avenue at Whale’s Tooth Parking Lot) in New Bedford.
  • Fence installation along the Fall River Line railroad right-of-way at locations near Mill Street in Berkley.

Dates/Hours of Work: Monday through Friday (with weekend work as needed), 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM

The MBTA’s contractor is installing fences at locations along the New Bedford Line and Fall River Line railroad right of way.

Map of project site where the MBTA’s contractor is installing fences along the New Bedford Line and Fall River Line railroad right of way.

Generally, fences are placed in areas where it will enhance safety and minimize trespassing on the railroad right-of-way. Abutters to the railroad may see orange stakes marking survey boundaries and will notice crews working in the railroad right-of-way to install these fences. In some locations limited tree and brush clearing may be needed to facilitate this work. The typical type of MBTA fence that will be installed is a 6-foot-tall chain link fence. Fences will be set on the MBTA’s property line.


Daytime Work across South Coast Rail Lines

Locations of Work:

  • East Taunton Station site, 1141 County Street, Taunton
  • Wamsutta Layover Facility site, 217 Herman Melville Boulevard, New Bedford
  • Church Street Station site, 387 Church Street, New Bedford
  • New Bedford Station Site, Acushnet Avenue (at Whale's Tooth Parking Lot), New Bedford
  • Middleborough Secondary and New Bedford Main Line right-of-way
  • Weaver's Cove Layover Facility, 2680 North Main Street, Fall River
  • Fall River Secondary Line railroad right-of-way

Dates/Hours of Work:

  • Monday through Sunday, 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Please note that although regular daytime construction hours begin at 6:00 AM, abutters may notice crews arriving at the construction sites prior to this time.

Construction, primarily on punch list items, is ongoing at station and layover sites and along the railroad right-of-way from Middleborough to New Bedford.


Daytime Transportation of Soils

Please note that soils excavated from the railroad right-of-way and roadway during the above work are typically transported during the day by truck to designated project sites.

Dates/Hours of Work:

  • Regular daytime hours 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Ongoing MBTA work may be disruptive to residents. Crews are using various pieces of heavy equipment and trucks along the railroad right-of-way. While the project will seek to minimize construction-related impacts to communities, low to moderate noise levels and vibrations will be generated. In addition, work lights will be used during overnight hours.

The railroad right-of-way is an active construction zone and freight railroad. Only authorized personnel are allowed on the railroad right-of-way - trespassing is illegal. For your own safety, never walk on or cross the tracks.

If you would like to report a construction-related issue on the South Coast Rail project, please call the hotline at (617) 222-4099. The hotline will be answered Monday-Friday, between 7:00 AM and 3:30 PM (except holidays). All voicemails left outside of these hours are received the following 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM weekday shift. The project will respond to all complaints.

Contact   for South Coast Rail Construction Activity

Help Us Improve  with your feedback

Please do not include personal or contact information.