Chelsea SL3 Commuter Rail Station

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The current Chelsea Commuter Rail station on the Newburyport/Rockport Line at Arlington Street in Chelsea was inconvenient for transfers to other modes of transportation, did not offer ADA accessibility and was in a state of disrepair. The MBTA decided to build a new commuter rail station in Chelsea that provides easy transfers to the Silver Line as well as easy access to and from downtown Boston.

The harsh winters in Massachusetts require the aggressive use of de-icing chemicals and salts to ensure pedestrian safety. The MBTA has found that the CIP and precast concrete rail platforms have a useful service life of only 15-20 years before major platform rehabilitation/replacement is required due to corrosion and spalling. After a thorough evaluation, Composite Advantage’s FiberSPAN platforms were determined to be the most durable solution for the new Chelsea Station platform due to FRP’s inherent corrosion resistance and expected 75+ year service life.

In addition to the durability benefits, AECOM determined that Composite Advantage’s lightweight Double-T type platforms would accelerate construction and reduce the substructure cost since the Double-T’s could span 32’ to 36’ between piers. Just 48 panels were required for the entire inbound/outbound platforms which resulted in a fast installation and minimal disruption to the train service and local riders.


Total Platform Length: 1,576 LF Total (788 LF per inbound/outbound platform)
Typical Panel Dimensions: 10’ x 32’ up to 12’ x 36’
Typical Panel Weight: 5,600 lbs/panel up to 7,500 lbs/panel