The Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad (MBCR) recorded another strong month of service performance, recording a 93 percent on time percentage in January. This marks the second consecutive month MBCR reached strong service benchmarks of 92.8 percent or better.
“MBCR delivered improved service by maintaining a sharp focus on locomotive reliability and higher levels of coach availability” said Hugh J. Kiley Jr., MBCR general manager. “The continued success reflects the strong partnership between MBCR and MBTA railroad operations, but by no means are we satisfied with the status quo. With winter upon us, it is critically important that we continue preparations to provide the best service possible for our customers regardless of the conditions.”
From a historical perspective, commuter rail performance typically suffers in January due to impacts of blizzards, freezing conditions and ice. The relatively small amount of snowfall in January (7 inches total compared with 62 inches a year ago) reduced the impacts usually experienced during winter, but the high levels of performance reflect streamlined maintenance and repair processes which reduce repair times for damaged coaches and faulty locomotives.
With high levels of snowfall likely in February and March, MBCR and the MBTA are prepared to maintain strong levels of service. Preparation efforts include purchase of $500,000 worth of snow removal equipment, and increased collaborations with communities to keep road salt away from railroad crossings. MBCR has repeatedly drilled to prepare for scenarios that arise during New England winters. Response plans are designed to mitigate potential delays before they occur.