Route 128 (MBTA station)

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Route 128
Amtrak inter-city rail station
MBTA commuter rail station
MBTA F40PHM-2C.JPG
MBTA Commuter Rail train at Route 128
Station statistics
Address 50 University Avenue
Westwood, MA
Coordinates 42°12′37″N 71°08′50″W / 42.2102°N 71.1472°W / 42.2102; -71.1472Coordinates: 42°12′37″N 71°08′50″W / 42.2102°N 71.1472°W / 42.2102; -71.1472
Line(s) Amtrak: MBTA:
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 2
Parking 2,589 spaces ($7.00 fee)
44 accessible spaces
Other information
Rebuilt 2000
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access
Station code RTE (Amtrak)
Fare zone 2 (MBTA only)
Traffic
Passengers (2013) 426,032 (Amtrak yearly)[1]
853 (MBTA weekday inbound average)[2]
Services
Preceding station   BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak   Following station
Acela Express
Northeast Regional
MBTA.svg MBTA
Providence/Stoughton Line

Route 128 (sometimes subtitled Dedham-Westwood or University Park) is a passenger rail station located at the crossing of the Northeast Corridor and Interstate 95/US 1/Route 128 at the eastern tip of Westwood, Massachusetts. It is served by most MBTA Commuter Rail Providence/Stoughton Line commuter trains, as well as by all Amtrak Northeast Regional and Acela Express intercity trains. Route 128 station was built in the 1950s as a park-and-ride facility; it has no bus connections and low walkability to Westwood nor the closer towns of Norwood, Dedham, and Canton.

Although primarily for daily parking, Route 128 is one of few MBTA stations that permits overnight parking.[3] A separate entrance to the garage is used for overnight parking, which is intended for Amtrak customers. Unlike most MBTA stations, credit cards and even E-ZPass transponders are accepted for payment of parking fees.

The station has full-length high-level platforms serving both tracks and is fully handicapped accessible.

History[edit]

Amtrak waiting room
2000-built platforms and pedestrian bridge

Early history[edit]

A station named Green Lodge was located on Green Lodge Street (later part of the original Circumferential Highway) from the 1860s to the 1920s. The New Haven Railroad opened Route 128 station in 1953 on the same site, so that intercity rail passengers could park off the (then under construction) Route 128 expressway rather than having to drive into downtown Boston. It quickly became a preferred station for suburban commuters, who now represent a majority of station traffic.[2] Green Lodge Street was cut to allow the building of the station, but the abutments still flank the platforms. Some local commuters park on the east side of the station to avoid parking fees, though the MBTA has attempted to curtail this.[4]

Station improvements[edit]

The station originally had two small prefab shelters, manufactured as garages, as waiting rooms.[5] These were replaced in 1965 with brick buildings; a pedestrian overpass originally from Wickford Junction was added in 1971.[5][6][7] Amtrak took over intercity service on May 1, 1971, while the MBTA gradually took over commuter service.

A new, completely rebuilt station opened in 2000, with a $30 million, multi-level 2,000-space parking garage; bicycle racks; staffed ticket windows; a small concession and vending area; and an enclosed, well-lit waiting area.[8][9] The station included new full-length high-level side platforms, which are designed to be converted to island platforms when third and fourth tracks are eventually added to the station. The new parking garage at the station has been a source of controversy, due to the financing plan that relies heavily on customer revenues which have failed to meet expectations.[8]

Proposed Orange Line extension[edit]

As a major park-and-ride ten miles from downtown Boston, Route 128 station is a candidate for rapid transit service rather than conventional low-frequency commuter rail service. The 1966 Program for Mass Transportation recommended a bifurcated Orange Line, with one branch to West Roxbury or Hersey and another to either Readville or Route 128 via Hyde Park.[10] Various reports over the next two decades continued to recommend various combinations of the extensions; however, due to cost, the 1987 relocation of the Orange Line to the Southwest Corridor was terminated at Forest Hills.[11] Hyde Park, Readville, and the Needham Line instead received limited upgrades like handicapped accessible platforms.

The extension is still periodically discussed. The 2004 Program for Mass Transportation listed an extension to Route 128 with intermediate stops at Mount Hope, Hyde Park, and Readville at a cost of $342.8 million. The extension was listed as low priority due to environmental issue with crossing the wetlands south of Readville, and because the corridor already has commuter rail service.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2013, Commonwealth of Massachusetts" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Humphrey, Thomas J. and Clark, Norton D. (1985). Boston's Commuter Rail: The First 150 Years. Boston Street Railway Association. ISBN 9780685412947. 
  3. ^ "Overnight Parking". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "T CHANGES ITS PLAN FOR ROUTE 128 STATION". Boston Globe. 14 March 2000 – via Highbeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ a b "Westwood - Route 128 Station, MA (RTE)". Great American Stations. Amtrak. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Humphrey, Thomas J. and Clark, Norton D. (1986). Boston's Commuter Rail: Second Section. Boston Street Railway Association. p. 54. 
  7. ^ Haskel, Donald (September 1966). "NH 2059 New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad EMD FL9 at Kingston, Rhode Island". RailPictures.Net. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Palmer Jr., Thomas C. (January 13, 2001). "T Garage's Unpopularity Spurs Bond Watch". Boston Globe. 
  9. ^ Middleton, William D. (August 1, 2001). "Bean town boom; projects planned by Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority". Railway Age. 
  10. ^ MBTA planning staff (3 May 1966). "A Comprehensive Development Program for Public Transportation in the Massachusetts Bay Area: 1966". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. p. V-9. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  11. ^ Central Transportation Planning Staff (15 November 1993). "The Transportation Plan for the Boston Region - Volume 2". National Transportation Library. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  12. ^ Central Transportation Planning Staff (May 2003 (revised January 2004)). "Chapter 5C: Service Expansion". 2004 Program for Mass Transportation. Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization. p. 5C-83. Archived from the original on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 

External links[edit]