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Albany-Vassar railroad crossing opens

In December, a railroad crossing opened between Albany and Vassar Streets near the Heinz building and graduate student dormitories, formalizing an unofficial path in the same location. Located between the Heinz building (W59), the Plasma Science and Fusion Center (NW21), and graduate dormitory The Warehouse (NW30), the crossing takes features a gate, new landscaping, and paved walkways.

Though nearby residents can expect some noise from the new crossing, the bells signalling the approach of a train are designed to be as non-intrusive as possible. Melody Craven, Communications Assistant for the MIT Department of Facilities, explained in an email to The Tech that the MBTA has programmed the signal bells “for the quietest sound level legally allowed.”

Kelley Brown, Senior Campus Planner for the MIT Campus Planning and Design office, said in an email to The Tech that MIT has not yet received any noise complaints.

According to Brown, the railroad runs a few times per day. The trains are used for maintenance, freight deliveries, and moving Amtrak and MBTA cars for repair in Somerville. The railroad is run by the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad (MCBR) on behalf of the MBTA and Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

MIT paid MCBR to construct the crossing and hired an MIT contractor to pave the walkways.

—Janelle Mansfield