Wellington (MBTA station)

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WELLINGTON
Outbound train at Wellington.JPG
An outbound train leaves Wellington. The unused express platform is on the far right.
Station statistics
Address Revere Beach Parkway & Corporation Way, between Routes 28 & 16
Medford, MA 02155
Coordinates 42°24′07″N 71°04′38″W / 42.401907°N 71.077096°W / 42.401907; -71.077096Coordinates: 42°24′07″N 71°04′38″W / 42.401907°N 71.077096°W / 42.401907; -71.077096
Line(s)
Platforms 2 island platforms
Tracks 3 (1 unused)
Parking 1,316 spaces ($6.00 daily)
Bicycle facilities 16 spaces
Other information
Opened September 6, 1975
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access
Owned by MBTA
Traffic
Passengers (2009) 7,464 (weekday average boardings)[1]
Services
Preceding station   MBTA.svg MBTA   Following station
toward Forest Hills
Orange Line
current
toward Oak Grove
toward Forest Hills
Orange Line
2014 (expected)
toward Oak Grove

Wellington is an MBTA station on the Orange Line, located in Medford, Massachusetts (US), on the Revere Beach Parkway (Route 16), slightly east of its intersection with Route 28. Wellington functions as a park and ride with over 1300 spaces, and a bus hub with 10 routes terminating at the station. The Station Landing development, connected to the station by an overhead walkway, includes residential and retail buildings and additional parking.

Wellington Carhouse, the primary repair and maintenance facility for the Orange Line, is located adjacent to the station. The 125,000 square feet (11,600 m2) building can hold three-and-a-half six-car trains.[2]

Station layout[edit]

Ground Lobby Fare barriers, exit/entrance, park and ride facility
L2
Platforms
Southbound Orange Line toward Forest Hills (Sullivan Square)
(No service: Assembly Square)
Island platform, doors will open on the left
Center track (Northbound) Orange Line toward Oak Grove (Malden Center)
Island platform, doors will open on the right
Northbound No regular service
Repair work on the eastern platform in 2011

Wellington station consists of two island platforms between the three Orange Line tracks. The western platform serves both inbound and outbound trains, while the eastern platform is used only for outbound trains. It was intended for use by express trains using the third track; however, the planned extension to Reading was cut back to Oak Grove and no express trains were ever run.

Wellington has a large parking garage with the entrance located off Route 28. Access to the fully enclosed overhead walkway going to the station as well as the manned pay station is on the 3rd floor. This structure allows parking up to 10 days for the daily rate. In 2010, the 8-story parking structure was divided into 2 sections, with the lower floors charging a higher rate than the higher ones. The price structure changes each year.

As with all Orange Line stations, Wellington is fully handicapped accessible from the parking garage, parking lots, and busway. Handicapped pedestrian access from nearby streets is possible but difficult. Since the station is not adjacent to residential areas, most pedestrian access requires crossing busy Routes 16 or 28.

History[edit]

Boston and Maine station[edit]

The Boston and Maine Railroad's Western Route main line was built through the east side of Medford in 1845, and the Medford Branch to Medford Square opened in 1847.[3] Medford Junction station was built at about 2nd Street as a transfer between the main line and the branch line.[3][4] Around 1900, Medford Junction was closed and Wellington station opened at 5th Street.[5] The station served mostly Medford Branch local service, and closed either with the end of passenger service on the branch in 1957 or the discontinuance of local stops south of Wyoming Hill in May 1958.[3][6]

Modern station[edit]

Wellington station viewed from the pedestrian access bridge

Unlike the Washington Street Elevated which was built as the same time with a similar design, the Charlestown El was located very near Boston Harbor and the Mystic River tidal estuary, and was thus continually exposed to accelerated corrosion caused by salt air. The elevated was also unpopular with many local residents, as it was noisy and blocked out sunlight to Main Street. In the 1960s, it was determined that a replacement elevated would not be wise to build, and that a full-length replacement tunnel would be too expensive.

Instead, the Haymarket North Extension project consisted of a tunnel segment from Haymarket through a new underground stop at North Station, then under the Charles River to a portal near Community College. From there the extension was built along the Haverhill Line commuter rail right of way, lowering land acquisition difficulties.

Wellington Carhouse opened as the primary Orange Line repair facility in 1975

When planning the line in the mid-1960s, the MBTA decided that the 40-acre Wellington Dump site, located south of the previous station sites, was the best location for a rapid transit stop to serve the east part of Medford. The new site provided ample room for parking and bus transfer areas, as well as a maintenance depot to replace the Sullivan Square shops (which were being torn down with the Elevated), plus easy access to Route 16 and Route 28.[7]

The modern Wellington rapid transit station and Wellington Carhouse opened on September 6, 1975, as part of the second phase of the Haymarket North Extension. Wellington was the first station on the line to serve an area that had not previously had rapid transit, unlike Sullivan Square and Community College which approximately replaced former elevated stations. Wellington was the northern terminus of the Orange Line until Malden Center opened on December 27, 1975, and some trains terminated at Wellington until Oak Grove opened on March 20, 1977.[8] From February 1 to December 16, 1981, Malden Center and Oak Grove stations were closed on Sundays as part of systemwide austerity program. Wellington was the northern terminus of the line on these days, with a bus shuttle run to the closed stations.[8]

Development[edit]

In 1969, Mayor and State Representative John McGlynn sponsored the first of two bills to permit air rights development over the station and Route 16. The same year, Medford received a letter of agreement from the MBTA to build a parking garage over the tracks and the planned maintenance facility to free up development space.[7]

After city-done studies of population and land use, the Massachusetts Department of Public Works and the Federal Highway Administration held a study of several development options for Wellington, which would have involved air rights construction directly over the station. Options considered in this 1976 report included a minimum residential/transit deck, a moderate residential/transit garage, or a full-build shopping center, office, residential, nursing home, and transit garage. These plans also called for the 16/28 intersection to be partially grade separated, and a traffic circle to replace the blind underpass used for automobile and bus access to the station.[7]

Based on this study, the city of Medford continued to pursue development at Wellington. The preferred alternative in the 1981 Final Environmental Impact Statement included a parking garage built above the carhouse and rail yard, additional parking and a retail mall between the yard and Route 28, hotel and office space over the original parking lots, and condominiums and elderly housing northeast of the 16/28 intersection. Route 16 would have been placed in an underpass at the intersection, the ramps from 16 to the station parking improved, and a full park built along the riverfront.[9]

However, the planned development were only partially built, and none of the planned interchange improvements came to fruition. The first new construction was several office buildings in the northeast parcel in the early 1990s, followed by the Wellington Garage west of the rail yard in 1997. The MBTA agreed to lease 950 spaces of the 1350-space, 9-level garage for 15 years, after which the MBTA took ownership of 600 of the spaces and the remainder reverted to the developer.[10] The Station Landing complex, envisioned as new urbanist transit-oriented development, was constructed over much of that time period, finishing around 2012. The project included 600 condominiums in a 12-story complex, 125,000 square feet of retail space (with the possibility of over 1 million square feet at full build), and an expansion of the garage to 1900 spaces.[11][12] Some of the property fronting the Mystic River has been turned into parkland; the first three of four stages of the 1.3 mile Wellington Greenway opened in November 2012. The trail, funded by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust and developers Preotle, Lane & Associates, runs partially along the embankment of the Haverhill Line's former Mystic River drawbridge.[13]

People mover[edit]

In May 1996, construction began on an automated people mover to connect Wellington Station with the Mystic Center (later "Station Landing") office complex and park and ride. Completed in October 1997 at a cost of $2.9 million, the 760-foot-long (230 m) "horizontal elevator" was designed to carry 1,000 commuters a day at speeds up to 25 mph (40 km/h)[14] taking about 55 seconds to travel end to end.[15]

Aerial view of Wellington in 2012 showing the 2006-built pedestrian bridge

Constructed by Poma-Otis Transportation Systems, a joint venture of Poma and the Otis Elevator Company, the people mover consisted of a pair of independent cable-hauled cars on two parallel tracks. Unlike other Otis-built people movers, which float on a cushion of air, the Wellington people mover was the first by Otis to run on steel rails.[16] Each eight-seat glass sided car could carry up to 45 passengers or 7,200 pounds (3,300 kg) resulting in a maximum capacity of 1,600 people per hour per direction.[16] Riders entered and exited from pairs of sliding doors on the ends of the carriages, with a third door providing access to the emergency walkway between the two tracks.

The people mover was plagued by mechanical problems, which resulted in both high maintenance costs and low reliability. The frequent breakdowns and service outages frustrated riders to such an extent that 91% of users preferred replacing the people mover with a walkway, according to a 2004 survey of 240 Wellington commuters conducted by National Development, owners of the Station Landing property.[17]

In August 2006, less than ten years after it first opened, the people mover was demolished, and an above-ground covered walkway was constructed on top of the existing viaduct structure. Off-site fabrication of parts was used to speed construction of the enclosed walkway,[17] while a temporary shuttle-bus connected commuters to the parking structure during the construction.[18] The replacement walkway, named SkyWalk, cost $3 million to construct, and opened in March 2007.

Future[edit]

Wellington Station was also a proposed stop on the MBTA's planned Urban Ring Project.[19] The Urban Ring was to be a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Line designed to connect the current MBTA Lines to reduce strain on the downtown stations. The project is currently shelved due to financial difficulties and questions about spending priorities.

Bus connections[edit]

Busway at Wellington

Wellington is a major bus transfer station, with service to Medford, Everett, Malden and other surrounding cities. Most buses serve the station via a dedicated two-lane busway on the eastern side of the station, which has easy access to Route 16.

The following MBTA bus routes serve Wellington:

  • 90 Davis Square & Red Line – Wellington Station via Sullivan Square Station & Assembly Square Mall
  • 97 Wellington Station – Malden Center Station via Canal Street, Hancock Street & Everett
  • 99 Boston Regional Medical Center – Wellington Station via Main Street & Malden Center Station
  • 100 Elm Street – Wellington Station via Fellsway
  • 106 Franklin Square – Wellington Station via Lebanon Street, Linwood Ave, Melrose, Maplewood Square & Malden Center Station
  • 108 Linden Square – Wellington Station via Highland Ave & Malden Center Station
  • 110 Wonderland Station – Wellington Station via Park Ave, Everett & Woodlawan.
  • 112 Wood Island Station – Wellington Station Mystic Mall & Chelsea
  • 134 North Woburn – Wellington Station via Woburn Square, Medford Square, & Meadow Glen Mall
  • 710 North Medford – Medford Square, Meadow Glen Mall or Wellington Station

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ridership and Service Statistics". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2010. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ Moskowitz, Eric (July 8, 2012). "MBTA mechanics keep old subway cars rolling". Boston Globe. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Karr, Ronald Dale (1995). The Rail Lines of Southern New England. Branch Line Press. p. 236-239, 242. ISBN 0942147022. 
  4. ^ Geo. H. Walker & Co. (1889). "Cambridge & Medford & Stoneham". Atlas of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, 1889. WardMaps LLC. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  5. ^ George W. Stadley & Co. (1900). "Everett & Malden & Medford 1900 Plate 24". Atlas of Middlesex County, MA Volume 1, 1900. WardMaps LLC. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  6. ^ Humphrey, Thomas J. and Clark, Norton D. (1985). Boston's Commuter Rail: The First 150 Years. Boston Street Railway Association. p. 68. ISBN 9780685412947. 
  7. ^ a b c Sasaki Associates and Gladstone Associates (February 1976). A Feasibility Study for Joint Use, Fringe Parking and Highway Improvements Related to Wellington Station. Massachusetts Department of Public Works. 
  8. ^ a b Belcher, Jonathan (August 31, 2012). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  9. ^ Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report: Wellington Station Area Development. City of Medford Office of Community Development. April 1981. 
  10. ^ "Case Studies: Wellington Garage". Cabot, Cabot & Forbes. 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "Mode Shift and Transit Oriented Development". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Reardon, Tim; Dutta, Meghna (June 2012). "Growing Station Areas: The Variety and Potential of Transit Oriented Development in Metro Boston". Metropolitan Area Planning Council. p. 25. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  13. ^ Laidler, John (17 November 2012). "New path along Mystic and Malden rivers gives walkers, bicyclists room to roam". Boston Globe. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  14. ^ Richards, Brian (2001). Future Transport in Cities. Taylor & Francis. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-415-26142-5. 
  15. ^ "Mystic Transportation Center at Wellington Station". Transreport (Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization) (Winter): 3. 1998. Retrieved 2009-10-18. "... opened in October 1997. ... The glassed-in shuttle ride between the garage and Wellington Station takes about 55 seconds." 
  16. ^ a b Fabian, Lawrence (Nov–Dec 1997). "Boston's New Automated Peoplemover". Mass Transit: 19. 
  17. ^ a b "Wellington People Mover to be replaced with walkway". Malden Observer. June 1, 2006. Retrieved June 1, 2011. 
  18. ^ Santoro, Phil (May 18, 2006). "T commuters will walk the line". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-10-18. 
  19. ^ "Urban Ring Phase 2 FACT SHEET". January 2009. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 

External links[edit]