Thursday, 4:30 PM
All aboard! Greenbush commuter rail line poised to open
(Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe)
The inaugural train pulled into the Weymouth Landing station today.
By Globe Staff
It was a moving celebration. Literally.
Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray and other state and local officials boarded a Greenbush commuter train today for its inaugural run, making stops for ceremonies at stations in five towns. The line opens for regular service tomorrow morning.
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority general manager Daniel A. Grabauskas predicted that the new line will be well-used.
"There is just an amazing appetite for expansion of public transportation and commuter rail service, in particular," he said.
The $512 million line features seven new stations with a combined total of 3,100 parking spaces. State transportation officials expect that the line will eventually carry about 8,600 customers every weekday. The opening of the line completes the full restoration of the Old Colony Railroad, which stopped operating in 1959.
The first paying customers on the revived line will board tomorrow at 5:44 a.m. at Greenbush Station.
It wasn't an easy task to get the line completed. Controversies erupted in courts, town halls, and state and federal bureaucracies.
The MBTA has undertaken a major safety campaign in recent months to try to prevent accidents on the tracks, organizing programs in area schools, holding open forums, and offering training for local public safety personnel.