Lechmere (MBTA station)
Lechmere terminus, entry to fare-control inbound boarding area is at right
|Address||Cambridge Street at O'Brien Highway
East Cambridge, Massachusetts
Green Line "E" Branch
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Tracks||1 (balloon loop)|
|Parking||347 spaces ($6.00 fee)|
|Opened||July 10, 1922|
|Passengers (2009)||6,645 (weekday average boardings)|
Lechmere is the northern terminus of the MBTA Green Line. It is located in Lechmere Square in East Cambridge, Massachusetts, near the intersection of Cambridge Street and Monsignor O'Brien Highway (Route 28). The tracks make a loop at Lechmere, with a small yard. The station will be replaced by 2015 by a new facility located on the opposite (eastern) side of the O'Brien Highway, with a direct connection to the Somerville Community Path.
The station has two platforms; the outbound terminus is on the northeast side of the loop and the inbound platform is on the southwest side. The platforms are not connected within fare control, but they are connected outside by a small foot tunnel under the tracks.
Lechmere station is near the former site of a well-known Lechmere Department Store by the same name. The store has been replaced by a large shopping mall, the CambridgeSide Galleria. The MBTA is working on a proposal to extend the Green Line northwest through Somerville, Massachusetts and into Medford, Massachusetts, called the "Green Line Extension Project", next to the Lowell and Fitchburg Lines of the Commuter Rail.
Lechmere rail service was suspended from April 30 to November 2011 due to construction at Science Park station, with shuttle bus service between Lechmere and North Station. The station was reopened and regular service between Lechmere and North Station resumed on 5 November 2011.
The concrete Lechmere Viaduct leading up to the station opened on June 1, 1912. At the Lechmere end, there was no station, but track connections to existing streetcar lines on Cambridge Street and Bridge Street (now O'Brien Highway), which had continued downtown via the Charles River Dam Bridge. Due to schedule problems caused by delays on the surface propagating into the subway, a new prepayment station opened on July 10, 1922, and the existing loop was built to turn subway cars, while surface cars also looped on a separate track. As most if not all existing subway service from the south and west looped at Park Street, a new service was inaugurated between Lechmere and the Pleasant Street Incline. Beginning January 2, 1923, this was changed to loop at Kenmore (a surface station at the time), and some trips were extended along the Beacon Street Line to loop at Washington Square. On February 7, 1931, Commonwealth Avenue and Beacon Street service was extended from Park Street to Lechmere, and this separate service was removed.
On February 11, 1983, a Lechmere-Government Center shuttle was brought back during rush hours and middays, due to the "E" Branch, which had been the only service to Lechmere at those times, being closed by a snowstorm. This shuttle continued even after the "E" Branch reopened, last running over 14 years later, on June 21, 1997. From December 28, 1985 to July 25, 1986, additional shuttle service ran between Lechmere and Kenmore.
Lechmere was planned for closure June 18, 2004, but fire alarm systems at North Station had to be tested more. Lechmere closed one week later, in the evening of June 25, and the Green Line Bus Shuttle to Government Center began operating. The "D" Branch was cut back to Government Center at that time, but "E" trains continued operating to Lechmere, with additional shuttle service added to Government Center. The new alignment opened November 12, 2005, returning streetcar service to Lechmere.
The 77 (renumbered 69 ca. 1967) streetcar to Harvard became the first trackless trolley in the Boston area on April 11, 1936. The 87 and 88 streetcar routes were replaced with trackless trolleys on November 8, 1941, and with buses March 30, 1963; the 77 became a bus route on March 31. The 80 ran to Sullivan Square as a streetcar, and was replaced with a bus to Lechmere on July 9, 1932. It later too became a trackless trolley route before reverting to bus on March 29, 1963.
The MBTA has proposed that it will break ground for the construction of a new Lechmere station in 2012, located on the opposite side of McGrath/O'Brien Highway in a new community called NorthPoint, as part of the Green Line Extension. Planned to open by 2017, the relocated station will connect with the associated Somerville Community Path.
The moved Lechmere station is a proposed stop on the MBTA's planned Urban Ring Project. The Urban Ring will be a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Line designed to connect the current radial MBTA Lines to reduce strain on the downtown stations.
This timeline shows which services extended through to Lechmere at which times (before 1922, surface routes simply entered the viaduct at Lechmere).
The outbound terminus platform is connected to a busway on the Monsignor O'Brien Highway, which serves several MBTA bus routes and a private shuttle open to the public:
- 69 Harvard/Holyoke Gate via Cambridge St.
- 80 Arlington Center via Medford Hillside
- 87 Arlington Center or Clarendon Hill via Somerville Ave.
- 88 Clarendon Hill via Highland Avenue
- EZRide Cambridge - North Station
- "Ridership and Service Statistics". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2012.
- Green Line Extension Project
- Green Line Extension
- Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership site
- Science Park/West End Improvement Project. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
- Trolley service to resume as project ends. The Boston Globe. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
- Parker, Brock (2011-12-15). "New Lechmere T station could open in early 2017". The Boston Globe. pp. n/a. Retrieved 2011-12-21.
- Palmer, Jr., Thomas C. (2006-10-23). "The train comes to NorthPoint". The Boston Globe. pp. n/a. Retrieved 2006-12-18.
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