Shawmut (MBTA station)

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Shawmut station headhouse.JPG
1928 Shawmut station headhouse
Location Dayton Street between Centre Street and Lyndhurst Street, Dorchester, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°17′37″N 71°03′57″W / 42.29371°N 71.065912°W / 42.29371; -71.065912Coordinates: 42°17′37″N 71°03′57″W / 42.29371°N 71.065912°W / 42.29371; -71.065912
Owned by Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 2
Structure type Subway
Parking None
Disabled access Yes
Opened 1872; September 1, 1928
Closed 1926
Rebuilt 1928, 1981, 2009
Previous names Melville Avenue and Centre Street (pair of Shawmut Branch Railroad stations)
Passengers (2009 daily) 2,241[1]
Preceding station   MBTA.svg MBTA   Following station
toward Alewife
Red Line

Shawmut is a subway station on the Ashmont branch of the MBTA Red Line, located on Dayton Street in Dorchester, Massachusetts. The station, the only underground station on the Red Line south of Andrew, is in of a shallow cut-and-cover subway tunnel that runs from Park Street in Dorchester south to Peabody Square where it surfaces at Ashmont. Shawmut opened along with Ashmont on September 1, 1928 as part of a southward extension of the Cambridge-Dorchester Line.[2]

Station layout[edit]

G Street Level Exit/Entrance, headhouse
Platform level
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Outbound Red Line toward Ashmont (Terminus)
Inbound Red Line toward Alewife (Fields Corner)
Side platform, doors will open on the right


Old sign directing passengers to trains
Platforms after the 2004-2009 renovation

Shawmut Branch Railroad[edit]

In 1872, the Old Colony Railroad took over the Shawmut Branch Railroad, which branched off the main line at Harrison Square and ran through Dorchester to Milton.[3] The branch line included stations at Melville Avenue and Centre Street, just one-quarter mile apart, which were consolidated into Shawmut station in 1884.[4] The New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad acquired the Old Colony and took over operations in 1893. [5] In 1924, the Boston Elevated Railway bought the Shawmut Branch Railroad and part of the Milton Branch in preparation for extending the Cambridge-Dorchester Line, although New Haven trains ran on the line until 1926.[3]

Rapid transit conversion[edit]

The Shawmut Branch reopened as a rapid transit extension in two sections: to Fields Corner (with intermediate stops along the Old Colony mainline at Columbia and Savin Hill) in November 1927, then further to Ashmont with an intermediate stop at Shawmut in September 1928.[2] The Cambridge-Dorchester Line became the Red Line in August 1965.[2]

The station was retrofitted in 1981 to accommodate six-car trains, which started service in 1988.[2] The station was originally built with 420-foot platforms, making in the only pre-WWII station on the line designed for six-car trains.[6]

Starting in 2004, the station was renovated as part of the Red Line Rehabilitation Project. The modernization included adding elevators for handicapped accessibility and was completed in 2009.[7]

Bus connections[edit]

Because Shawmut is located in a residential neighborhood away from major streets, it is one of a small number of MBTA heavy rail subway stations without direct bus connections. The nearest buses are the 22, 23, and 26 three blocks west out of Codman Square, and the 18 two blocks east on Dorchester Avenue. Ashmont, one station to the south, is a major bus transfer point.


  1. ^ "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Belcher, Jonathan (23 April 2012). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Karr, Ronald Dale (2010). Lost Railroads of New England (Third ed.). Branch Line Press. p. 105. ISBN 9780942147117. 
  4. ^ Cheney, Frank (2002). Boston's Red Line: Bridging the Charles from Alewife to Braintree. Arcadia Publishing. p. 90. ISBN 9780738510477. 
  5. ^ Leo S. (26 December 2009). "Railroad Stations in Dorchester". Dorchester Atheneum. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  6. ^ O'Regan, Gerry (2005). "MBTA Red Line". Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "Governor Patrick Celebrates Ashmont Station Completion". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. 21 October 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 

External links[edit]