The Fairmount Line is the only Commuter Rail Line operating entirely within the city limits of Boston. It runs 9 miles between South Station and Readville serving the densely populated neighborhoods of Dorchester, Mattapan, and Hyde Park. Trains operate once every 48 minutes during the week and once per hour on the weekends.
This project would convert the Fairmount Line into a rapid transit line (Indigo Line) and extend the line south to Dedham and Westwood, creating 2 new branches.
The first branch would run 11.3 miles from South Station to Dedham.
The second branch would run 12.0 miles from South Station to Westwood.
Fairmount Line Conversion and Extension
Hyde Park is 1 of only 3 neighborhoods in Boston without a rapid transit line (West Roxbury and Roslindale being the others). It is served by the Providence Commuter Rail Line which averages 1 train every 48 minutes on weekdays and 1 train every 2 hours on weekends.
University Station is a 120-acre mixed-used development "mini-city" in Westwood featuring over 2 million square feet of new offices, stores, restaurants, and housing. The 1st phase opened in 2015, with additional phases planned or under construction.
The Fairmount Line Extension would provide much needed frequent and reliable public transportation to Hyde Park and the burgeoning Westwood mini-city. 2.9 miles of new track would be built between Readville and Westwood, with 2 new stations at Westwood and South Westwood.
The result would be a signifcant reduction in traffic, especially on the congested interchange between I-93 and I-95, as commuters into Boston and out to Westwood would be able to leave their cars at home.
The town of Dedham, adjacent to the city of Boston, is served by the Franklin Commuter Rail Line which averages 1 train every 55 minutes on weekdays and 1 train every 2 hours on weekends.
The Fairmount Line Extension would provide rapid transit service to Dedham and the surrounding area. 2.3 miles of new track would be built between Readville and Dedham. The stations of Endicott and Dedham would be rehabilitated to accommodate the new trains.
With new, reliable, and frequent transit, congestion would be reduced on I-95, Providence Highway, and the ever-growing development around Legacy Place.
As an added benefit, riders of the Franklin and Providence Commuter Rail lines would see higher speeds and faster trips to and from Boston through the elimination of several closely spaced commuter rail stops, including Hyde Park, Readville, Endicott, and Dedham.
Rapid Transit Conversion
Converting the Fairmount Line to rapid transit has been in the works since 2005. It started with rehabilitating the track, repairing several bridges, and renovating Uphams Corner and Morton Street stations. 3 new stations were added between 2013 and 2015 (Talbot Ave, Newmarket, Four Corners), with a fourth (Blue Hill Avenue) delayed until 2019.
Further work needs to be done:
Electrify the Tracks. Install overhead catenary wire along the entire route, from South Station to Readville as well as the extensions to Westwood and Dedham.
Purchase Trains. Acquire new train sets, similar to the Blue Line. New electric trains will be much quieter, faster, cleaner, and more efficient than diesel powered trains.
Dedicate Space. Allocate 1 track at South Station for permanent use by the Indigo-Fairmount Line.
LENGTH. The Fairmount Line Extension would add an additional 5.2 miles of track: 2.3 miles from Readville to Dedham, and 2.9 from Readville to South Westwood.
STATIONS. There would be 13 total stations, with the average distance between stops at 1.1 miles.
SCHEDULE. Trains would run every 10 minutes during rush hour and every 15-20 minutes during off peak hours.
SPEED. Including time spent stopped at stations, the average speed would be 25 mph.
TIME. The travel time from Dedham to South Station would be 27 minutes, and from South Westwood to South Station would be 29 minutes.