MBTA Commuter Rail

From nycsubway.org


North Station serves the following rail lines:

  • MBTA Fitchburg (Commuter Rail)
  • MBTA Lowell (Commuter Rail)
  • MBTA Haverhill (Commuter Rail)
  • MBTA Rockport (Commuter Rail)
  • MBTA Newburyport (Commuter Rail)
  • Amtrak "Downeaster" service to/from Portland, ME

North Station is physically isolated from the rest of the Northeast Corridor. The only connection is the "grand junction," which connects the south side via a single track that crosses the Charles River near Boston University, then proceeds at grade level through Cambridge (crossing Massachusetts Avenue near MIT) and Somerville to the new Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility formerly known as the Boston Engine Terminal. A long-term goal is to join North and South Stations via the "North-South Rail Link" some time in the future. There are preliminary designs, but no funding has been identified, and thus there is no schedule for construction.

North Station has space for twelve tracks, although only eight are active; tracks are numbered sequentially from east to west, with island platforms between 1&2, 3&4, 5&5, 7&8, 9&10, and 11&12. Two (tracks 11 and 12) are isolated from the four main line rails exiting the station, and are for future expansion. This will require installing lead tracks through what is currently a parking lot for the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. The island platform between 11&12 is used for AMTRAK/MBTA employees to access trailers that serve as offices/lounges, which sit on and near the rights-of-way for these tracks. Two others (tracks 1 and 10) are temporarily out-of-service for "Big Dig" construction.

The waiting room for North Station passengers is small, and extremely crowded during rush hours. Pedestrian entrances are located at the east and west ends of the waiting room; in the center are four ticket windows, an information window, and timetable racks. At the easterly end are a McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts. A hallway off the east end of the waiting room leads to a Boston Bruins Pro Shop, Fleet Center ticket windows, parking cashiers, and (small) public restrooms. The Fleet Center, Boston's replacement for the Boston Garden, rests on top of North Station. Visitor entrances for the Fleet Center are physically located in the North Station waiting room, which makes the already overcrowded situation worse when events are in progress. At times, it can be dangerously crowded, and commuters have often missed trains because they could not get through the crowds waiting for the Fleet Center gates to open.

South Station serves the following rail lines:

  • MBTA Worcester Line (Commuter Rail)
  • MBTA Needham Heights Branch (Commuter Rail)
  • MBTA Forge Park/495 Branch (Commuter Rail)
  • MBTA Foxboro Branch (Commuter Rail)
  • MBTA Providence Branch (Commuter Rail)
  • MBTA Stoughton Branch (Commuter Rail)
  • MBTA Middleboro Branch (Commuter Rail)
  • MBTA Kingston Branch (Commuter Rail)
  • MBTA Plymouth Branch (Commuter Rail)
  • MBTA Greenbush Branch (Commuter Rail)
  • Amtrak Northeast Corridor (Commuter Rail)

Route Map


Photo Gallery

Five Random Images

Image 20336

(48k, 900x596)
Photo by: Bob Pickering
Location: Oak Grove (MBTA Haverhill Line)

Image 20813

(45k, 520x359)
Photo by: Jason R. DeCesare
Location: South Station (MBTA Commuter Rail)

Image 23338

(100k, 800x600)
Photo by: Todd Glickman
Location: North Station (MBTA Commuter Rail)

Image 23348

(90k, 800x600)
Photo by: Todd Glickman
Location: North Station (MBTA Commuter Rail)

Image 142291

(307k, 1044x679)
Photo by: David Warner
Collection of: David Pirmann
Location: Kingston/Route 3 (MBTA Old Colony Line)

More Images: 1-50 51-76

Page Credits

Map by Michael Calcagno.

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