Andover Idling Trains: Meeting Recap

Late last month, I reached out with an update on the ongoing issue of idling trains in Andover – an issue that I know has been a significant burden for many of your families, for which I have been working diligently with partners at all government levels to find a fast and effective solution. I promised in my email that I would keep you updated, and so I wanted to share an update about the meeting that took place last week in Andover to help resolve this issue.

Working with partners in our local, state, and federal government, I brought representatives from the MBTA and Pan Am to a public meeting on February 27th at Memorial Hall Library, where many of you had the opportunity to describe the hazards and inconveniences caused by these idling trains. Pan Am and the MBTA discussed how they are actively seeking resolution to the problem by evaluating possible short-term and long-term solutions including changing the speed limit on the Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill from 5 to 10 miles per hour, which will decrease the time it takes to move freight trains and thereby increase the available windows between commuter trains for these locomotives to move. The MBTA and Pan Am are also discussing bringing in state and private funding to upgrade rail yards in Lowell and Lawrence where these trains could be housed. While the idling trains continue to pose a severe problem, I believe that we have seen some improvement over the past month as a result of your activism and government action. I am optimistic that this collaboration between the MBTA and Pan Am will help further our progress and I intend to continue bringing these groups together as we continue to work toward an effective resolution.

I promise to continue to work tirelessly on your behalf and keep you updated on a regular basis. All of your phone calls, letters, and emails have helped move this issue along and I will continue to seek out every opportunity to share your stories and concerns. Thank you for your patience and cooperation, and please do not hesitate to contact my office at any time about this matter and any other future problems.