Blandford Street (MBTA station)

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Blandford Street station, September 2013.JPG
Blandford Street station, facing Kenmore Square
Location Commonwealth Avenue and Silber Way
Boston, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°20′57″N 71°06′01″W / 42.349126°N 71.100235°W / 42.349126; -71.100235Coordinates: 42°20′57″N 71°06′01″W / 42.349126°N 71.100235°W / 42.349126; -71.100235
Owned by MBTA
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 2
Connections Bus transport MBTA Bus: 57, 57A
Opened 1896
Passengers (2011) 1,540 (weekday average boardings)[1]
Preceding station   MBTA.svg MBTA   Following station
Green Line
toward Park Street
  Former services  
Green Line
Closed 1969
toward Park Street

Blandford Street is a surface-level tram station on the MBTA's Green Line "B" Branch located in Boston, Massachusetts. The station is located in the center median of Commonwealth Avenue at Silber Way and Blandford Mall, about 2 blocks west of Kenmore Square, near the east end of Boston University. The station consists of two low side platforms, which serve the "B" Branch's two tracks. The station is the first station outbound on the "B" Branch after it splits off from the "C" and "D" Branches at Kenmore.

Blandford Street is the seventh-busiest surface stop on the "B" Branch, averaging 1,540 boardings per weekday.[1] Although a number of the Green Line surface stops were upgraded with slightly raised platforms around 2003 to allow level boarding on Type 8 low-floor trams, Blandford Street was not among them, and it is not handicapped-accessible.[1]


An outbound car exits the Blandford Street Portal bound for Braves Field in 1943

The Commonwealth Avenue line was originally served by surface streetcars beginning in 1896 as part of what would later become the Green Line "A" Branch. On October 3, 1914, the Boylston Street Subway was opened to the Kenmore Portal just east of Kenmore Square, allowing streetcars to enter and run underground into the Tremont Street Subway. In October 1932, Kenmore station was built, and the modern Blandford Street Portal was built just east of Blandford Street.[2]

Streetcars have stopped at Blandford Street continuously since then. However, like the rest of the Green Line surface stops, Blandford Street was considered a mere stopping point and not equivalent to a subway station. The 3-car-length asphalt platforms were built in the 1980s, around the time Blandford Street first appeared as a distinct stop on MBTA subway maps.

The name "Blandford Street" for the station is an anachronism, as Blandford Street no longer exists as such. The street, along with Cummington and Hinsdale streets, was bought by Boston University in June 2012 for use as a pedestrian mall.[3] On July 30, 2012, BU closed these roadways to most automobile traffic and renamed Blandford Street as Blandford Mall.[4] However, the station is still named Blandford Street.

Pocket track[edit]

A train sitting on the pocket track

A pocket track just west of the station between Blandford Mall and Granby Street is used for several operational purposes. Neither the "C" or "D" branches have similar pocket tracks, so the Blandford Street pocket track is a primary location to store trains on the west end of the Central Subway without blocking revenue service tracks.

It is frequently used as a layover point for trains during the middle of the day and overnight, and to temporarily store disabled cars. During Red Sox games and other major events at Fenway Park, extra trains are stored on the pocket track to provide extra service from Kenmore to Park Street to handle exiting crowds. An experimental four-car post-game train operated on April 9, 2011 used the track as a staging point.[2]

The pocket track is also used to short turn westbound service from the Central Subway, such as when the "B" Branch is not operating due to maintenance, accidents, or weather conditions. Run as Directed (RAD) trains, which provide additional capacity in the subway during peak periods, often operate from Blandford Street. RAD service began on January 1, 1977 and was intensified from July 24, 1982 to September 10, 1982 when the "C" Branch was closed for maintenance.[2] During the closure of the Huntington Avenue Subway, beginning December 28, 1985, regular scheduled service was run between Blandford Street and Lechmere. On July 26, 1986 this reverted to RAD service, which was intensified on December 26, 1986 with use of other cutbacks (which, unlike Blandford Street, do not have pocket tracks).[2] RAD service was greatly reduced on September 10, 1988, but increased again from Blandford Street on September 1, 2008.[2]

Station layout[edit]

Street/Platform level
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Outbound "B" Branch toward Boston College (Boston University East)
Inbound "B" Branch toward Park Street (Kenmore)
Side platform, doors will open on the right

Bus connections[edit]

The 57 Watertown Yard - Kenmore Station via Newton Corner & Brighton Center bus, which parallels the "B" Branch down Commonwealth Avenue, stops at Blandford Street (as does its 57A short turn). However, connections between the two routes are generally made at nearby Kenmore station or at Packards Corner.


  1. ^ a b c "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14th ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Belcher, Jonathan (31 December 2011). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Rocheleau, Matt (3 July 2012). "BU buys 3 on-campus streets near Kenmore, plans pedestrian mall". Boston Globe. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "New Pedestrian Mall Slated for Charles River Campus". Bostonia. Boston University Alumni. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 

External links[edit]