MBTA should electrify and modernize commuter rail lines, the report said

A new report advocates converting part of the commuter rail service to a regional network that will be electrified, operate frequently all day, and stretch as far as New Hampshire.

“Modernizing the Lowell Line,” a new report from advocacy group TransitMatters, outlines the benefits of modernizing MBTA’s fifth-busiest light rail line and its second-busiest feeder line, North Station.

The project would cost about $340 million, including $90 million to electrify the route and $250 million to modernize the stations and provide high-level platform boarding, the report said.

A cost estimate for the proposed extension to Manchester, NH, was not included, the report said, as it would include factors such as track restoration and a possible right-of-way extension.

“The entire route from North Station to Lowell should be electrified,” the report said. “Electrification enables significantly faster end-to-end travel times.”

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