Follow-up meeting on Ashmont trolley noise

Reporter Staff
Jul. 8, 2010

A meeting on the trolley screeching at the Ashmont MBTA station has been scheduled for July 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the All Saints Church hall. The MBTA’s general manager, Rich Davey, is expected to attend. The meeting comes after a June 20 gathering at the same church, where angry residents faced off with Davey and other MBTA officials over the noise levels. Since then, the MBTA has installed a sprinkler system and sound-deadening blankets to curb the noise level.

Neighbors of the station have complained for two years to MBTA officials of high-pitched squealing caused by 70-year-old Mattapan Line trolleys taking a sharp turnaround. The friction of steel wheels hitting steel rail, along with the sharp turn – which officials admit is the result of a design flaw – produce the sound. Heat also acerbates the sound: the hotter it gets, the louder the sound.

At the earlier community meeting, neighbors said they were hearing the noise early in the morning and late at night. Some demanded the closure of the Mattapan Line, which MBTA officials balked at, but said they would consider busing riders from Ashmont to Mattapan Station.

Those interested in more information on the issue can contact state Sen. Jack Hart’s office at 617-722-1150.