The MBTA is seeking approval to expand its layover facility in Readville for storage and maintenance of commuter rail coaches and locomotives.
The MBTA selected the 41 Wolcott Court property in Readville over six other potential sites, according to a notification form submitted to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) office.
The project is designed to accommodate the need for additional storage and maintenance of commuter rail trains, and is estimated to begin in 2023 and be completed in 2028.
The MBTA originally proposed two new layover facilities – one at Readville and a second at Widett Circle – in its 2016 environmental impact report.
MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said today the MBTA has not eliminated the potential use of the 19-acre Widett Circle for additional train storage along with the Readville expansion. The Widett Circle property gained visibility as a transformative development site after it was originally proposed as a potential 2024 Olympic stadium site.
A development group acquired the Food Mart Road property in 2020 for $125 million, but has not submitted any redevelopment plans for the former food wholesalers’ property next to Interstate 93.
“In summation, no alternative meets the project’s purpose and need nor provides the logistical and economic benefits that the proposed project [Readville] location offers” because of its proximity to an existing MBTA line and the Yard 2 layover facility, the MBTA wrote in its MEPA submission.
In a 2016 environmental impact report, the MBTA said ridership on the Amtrak Northeast corridor is expected to increase from 13 million in 2010 to 23 million in 2030, and the system was already near capacity.
The Readville site totals 16.6 acres next to the MBTA commuter rail station and the existing Yard 2 layover facility. The proposed project consists of new 179,000-square-foot facility and would include repair shops for coaches, locomotives and trucks, maintenance areas for washing and sanding, office space and parking.
Editor’s note: This report has been updated with a statement from MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo that the MBTA has not ruled out potential future use of Widett Circle for train storage.