November 22, 2010 | last updated March 25, 2012 5:41 am

Briefing: Yawkey Way Commuter Rail

Gov. Deval Patrick joined other state and Boston city officials at the ground breaking ceremony for the new Yawkey Way commuter rail train station. While the project is being done in Boston, it will have some trickle down effects all the way across MetroWest and into Worcester.

What's the plan?

During the next two years the Yawkey Way commuter rail stop will be transformed from a rail platform to a full-service commuter rail station. When complete, the $13.5 million project will allow commuter rail trains to stop more frequently at the station and it will be easier for workers to get to the Longwood Medical Center and Fenway Park. Construction of the station is expected to create between 150 and 200 jobs and it will be a "net-zero" station, using solar panels to power the entire facility.

How does this project impact Central Massachusetts?

Trains that run along the Worcester/Framingham commuter rail line will now stop at this station more than twice as much as they do now. Currently, trains on the rail line through MetroWest and into Worcester stop at the Yawkey Way platform 17 times per day. By 2012 trains along that line will stop at the Yawkey Way station 40 times per day.

Is this part of a larger development project?

Yes. Along with the new commuter rail station being built near the intersection of Beacon Street and Brookline Avenue in Boston, there are also plans to construct 330 apartments, 370,000 square feet of office space, 150,000 square feet of retail space and 30,000 square feet of new park space in Boston's Fenway neighborhood. The new station will also provide expanded shuttle service between the Longwood Medical Center and the new station.

What's the overall plan for the Worcester/Framingham commuter rail line?

This project is just one small aspect of overall improvements along the Worcester/Framingham commuter rail line. Eventually planning officials hope to significantly increase the number of trains traveling between Worcester and Boston through MetroWest. To do so, officials are studying the downtown Framingham street-level train crossing, which snarls traffic whenever a train goes through the town. Officials are also working with freight train operator CSX Corp. to move the company's hub from Allston to Worcester, which will free up track for use by the commuter rail instead of freight trains.

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