Wonderland (MBTA station)

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WONDERLAND
Wonderland platforms.jpg
A Blue Line train approaches the platforms
Station statistics
Address 1300 North Shore Rd (Route 1A)
Revere, Massachusetts 02151
Coordinates 42°24′49″N 70°59′30″W / 42.4135°N 70.9918°W / 42.4135; -70.9918Coordinates: 42°24′49″N 70°59′30″W / 42.4135°N 70.9918°W / 42.4135; -70.9918
Line(s)
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 2
Parking 2,722 spaces (24 accessible)
Bicycle facilities 18 spaces
Other information
Opened January 19, 1954
Rebuilt June 24, 1995
June 30, 2012
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access
Formerly Bath House (BRB&L)
Traffic
Passengers (2009) 5,520 (daily)[1]
Services
Preceding station   MBTA.svg MBTA   Following station
toward Bowdoin
Blue Line Terminus

Wonderland is a rapid transit station on MBTA's rapid transit Blue Line, located adjacent to Revere Beach in Revere, Massachusetts. It currently serves as the northern terminus of the line, as well as a major bus transfer station for the North Shore area. The station is fully handicapped accessible.

The station plays a role in the 1998 film Next Stop Wonderland as the eponymous destination of the main characters.

History[edit]

BRB&L[edit]

The Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn Railroad opened from East Boston to Lynn on July 29, 1875. The line ran directly adjacent to Revere Beach on the alignment of the modern Revere Beach Boulevard. The Eastern Railroad opened its Chelsea Beach Branch in 1881 along the modern Blue Line corridor.[2] Neither line had a stop near the modern station location.[3] The Chelsea Beach Branch, which operated only during the summer, ended operations in 1891, although the rails remained in place until the 1920s.[4]

Between 1896 and 1900, the BRB&L was moved inland onto the modern right-of-way next to the Chelsea Beach Branch. A new station, Bath House, was eventually built across from the Revere Beach Bath House, just north of the modern station site. By 1928 the line was electrified, with pre-pay stations - more a rapid transit line than a conventional railroad.[5] However, due to the Great Depression, the BRB&L shut down on January 27, 1940.

M.T.A. and MBTA[edit]

A Blue Line train at Wonderland in 1967

The 1926 Report on Improved Transportation Facilities and 1945-47 Coolidge Commission Report recommended that the East Boston Tunnel line, which had been converted to rapid transit from streetcars in 1924, be extended to Lynn via the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn right-of-way.[6][7] From 1952 to 1954, the Revere Extension of the M.T.A.'s East Boston Tunnel route (renamed the Blue Line in 1967) was constructed. The extension was cut short from Lynn to Revere due to budgetary constraints.[6] Instead, the terminus became Wonderland station, which opened on January 19, 1954, along with Beachmont and Revere Beach stations.[8] Wonderland was originally to be named Bath House after the former station, but instead was named after Wonderland Amusement Park, which operated at the site from 1906 to 1911, and the later Wonderland Greyhound Park,[7] which closed in mid-September 2009 due to the November 2008 passage of the Massachusetts Greyhound Protection Act, ending dog racing in the Bay State.

Wonderland's platforms were rebuilt in 2008
New garage and under-construction pedestrian bridge viewed in September 2012

Wonderland has been in mostly continuous operation since 1954; however, service has been interrupted several times due to weather and construction. It was closed for flood damage for more than a month after the Blizzard of '78, and for several months in 1983 for track work between Wonderland and Orient Heights.[8]

The station was closed for approximately one year starting on June 25, 1994 for rebuilding. Blue Line service temporarily ended at Orient Heights and buses served the closed stations during the $467 million improvement project to upgrade four stations on the line. The station officially re-opened on June 24, 1995.[9] Additional platform repair work was performed in June and July 2008.[8]

In 2006, the MBTA settled a lawsuit with the Conservation Law Foundation over emissions from increased auto traffic through downtown Boston due to the Big Dig. As part of the settlement, the MBTA was required to implement twenty transit improvements.[10] One of these projects was the Wonderland Intermodal Transit Center, which started construction in September 2010 and opened on June 30, 2012.[11] The $53.5 million project, partially funded by the 2009 Stimulus Act, included the 1465-space South Parking Garage as well as a new sheltered busway, bicycle storage, and improved pedestrian connections.[12][11] The Christina and John Markey Memorial Pedestrian Bridge opened in 2013 from the station area to Revere Beach, allowing access to the station without crossing busy Ocean Avenue.

Future plans[edit]

Ever since the 1954 Revere extension was cut short to Wonderland, a further extension to Lynn has been planned. Various state and federal reports in 1966, 1969, 1973, 1978, and 1983 all recommended extensions of the Blue Line to Lynn or even Salem, Massachusetts, but funding was instead given to the Haymarket North Extension and Southwest Corridor projects on the Orange Line and the Alewife and Braintree extensions of the Red Line.[6] The extension is still continually discussed, but due to the lack of an identified funding source it has not received priority.[13] The Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which has been under development since 2002, will include several possible projects. They include extending the Blue Line directly to Lynn, a shorter extension to a new Revere Center commuter rail station, or a direct transfer from Wonderland via people mover to the new commuter rail station.[14]

In March 2012, the MBTA announced plans to place solar panels on the roof of the new South Garage. The panels would be installed and maintained by an outside contractor.[15]

Bus connections[edit]

As the terminus of the Blue Line, Wonderland serves as a major bus transfer station. A two-lane busway is located east of the station off Ocean Avenue, while a new busway off Route 1A opened on June 30, 2012.

The 424W, 426W, and 450W routes operate weekends only. On weekdays, the 424, 426, and 450 routes operate instead to Haymarket. The 441, 442, and 455 routes formerly operated in this manner as well; however, Wonderland became their full-time terminus as part of systemwide changes on July 1, 2012.[8]

Platform layout[edit]

Platform level Side platform, doors will open on the right
Southbound Blue Line toward Bowdoin or Government Center (Revere Beach)
Northbound Blue Line termination platform (No service: Lynn)
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Ground - Exit/Entrance

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ridership and Service Statistics". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Boston and Maine Railroad". LaBelle Woodworking. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  3. ^ G.W. Bromley and Co. (1886). "Revere 1886 Plate M - Revere Beach, Oak Island, Point of Pines". Atlas of the City of Chelsea and the Towns of Revere and Winthrop, 1886. WardMaps LLC. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Karr, Ronald Dale (2010). Lost Railroads of New England (Third ed.). Branch Line Press. p. 91. ISBN 9780942147117. 
  5. ^ ""Narrow Gage" Electrified for Economy". Electric Railway Journal 72 (23): 994–997. 8 December 1928. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c Central Transportation Planning Staff (15 November 1993). "The Transportation Plan for the Boston Region - Volume 2". National Transportation Library. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Boston Elevated Railway and Boston Department of Public Utilities (1945). "Boston Rapid Transit System & Proposed Extentions 1945 - Metropolitan Transit Recess Commission Air View". Wardmaps LLC. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c d Belcher, Jonathan (23 April 2012). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  9. ^ Blake, Andrew (1995-06-18). "Blue Line Stations Set to Reopen After $467M Upgrade". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  10. ^ "Case Law Updates Details: Conservation Law Foundation v. Romney". Center for Environmental Excellence. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Patrick-Murray Administration Celebrates Opening of Wonderland Intermodal Transit Center". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 30 June 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  12. ^ "T Projects: Wonderland TOD". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  13. ^ Rosenburg, Steven (2008-04-06). "Blue Line Blues". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  14. ^ "North Shore Transit Improvements". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  15. ^ Young, Colin A. (27 March 2012). "MBTA wants solar companies to build plants at Wonderland in Revere and Readville Yard 5 in Dedham". Boston Globe. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 

External links[edit]