Sharon (MBTA station)
Platforms and depot building at Sharon
|Address||1 Upland Road
Sharon, MA 02067-1752
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Bicycle facilities||8 spaces|
|Passengers (2009)||2,275 (daily average)|
Sharon is a commuter rail station on the MBTA's Providence/Stoughton Line located in Sharon, Massachusetts. The station has two separate entrances for inbound trains to Boston and for outbound trains to Providence and beyond. Sharon station is the only public transportation in the Sharon area, as there are no public bus lines in the town.
The station averages 2,275 inbound riders per day, placing it fourth on the MBTA Commuter Rail system (behind Mansfield, Attleboro, and South Attleboro). New platforms will be constructed in 2013 to make the station handicapped accessible.
The Boston and Providence Railroad started full operations between the two cities in June 1835, including a station at the modern location in Sharon. In the 1870s, the original Sharon station was replaced by a larger building similar to those still extant at East Greenwich and Kingston in Rhode Island. The Boston and Providence was leased by the Old Colony Railroad in 1888, which was in turn absorbed by the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad in 1893.
The current inbound station building and the small outbound shelter were designed by F.J. Pitcher and built in 1936 by the New Haven Railroad. The station building was formerly a private business, but is now open to commuter rail riders.
Penn Central took over New Haven Railroad commuter operations on January 1, 1969. On January 27, 1973, the MBTA acquired a number of Penn Central's Boston commuter lines, including the Providence/Stoughton Line. In June 1973, the MBTA began subsidizing commuter rail service to Sharon. The town had been part of the MBTA district since 1964.
Sharon is the busiest station on the system that is not currently handicapped-accessible. All other stations with daily ridership above 1,000 passengers have accessible high-level platforms, as do all other stations on the busy Providence/Stoughton Line. After an accessibility complaint was filed in May 2011, construction was mandated to take place by November 1, 2012. No construction took place in 2012, prompting concerns that the commuter rail stop - not just the building - would be closed. On October 15, 2012, the state's Architectural Access Board granted the MBTA an extension until October 1, 2013 to make the station accessible.
The project, which will include adding mini-high platforms and improving handicapped access to the building, is originally expected to begin in the spring of 2013 and to be completed that fall at a cost of $1.2 million. In May 2013, the MBTA issued a request for bids for the then-$2.6 million project, with work to start in August. Notice to Proceed was given to the chosen contractor on September 5, 2013, with work to be completed by February 2014.
Other Sharon stations
A station was located in Sharon Heights near Garden Street, about a mile south of Sharon proper. It was closed sometime in the mid-20th century, at least a decade before the 1973 MBTA takeover.
In the late 1800s, a short-lived half-mile branch line led from Sharon Heights to a summer-only station at Lake Massapoag. The branch was also used to haul ice from the lake to surrounding locales. The remnants of the wye to the branch are still visible from passing trains on the main line.
- "Ridership and Service Statistics". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- E. Robinson (1888). "Foxborough & Sharon 1888 Plate 45 - Sharon Heights, Franklin Center". Atlas of Norfolk County, 1888. WardMaps LLC. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- Karr, Ronald Dale (1995). The Rail Lines of Southern New England. Branch Line Press. p. 146-149. ISBN 0942147022.
- Roy, John H. Jr. (2007). A Field Guide to Southern New England Railroad Depots and Freight Houses. Branch Line Press. pp. 225–226. ISBN 9780942147087.
- Belcher, Jonathan (31 August 2012). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- Salisbury, Phil (1 October 2012). "Sharon train station may close due to lack of handicap access". Wicked Local Sharon. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- Vogler, Paula (18 October 2012). "Sharon commuter rail station gets access waiver extension". Wicked Local Sharon. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- Davey, Richard A. and Scott, Beverly A. (17 May 2013). "Notice to Bidders". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- Barnes, Jennette (20 July 2013). "Train accessibility plan outlined". Boston Globe. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
- George J. Varney and Rev. Elias Nason (1890). A gazetteer of the State of Massachusetts with numerous illustrations. B.B. Russell. pp. 588–589. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
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