Charles/MGH (MBTA station)

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Charles MGH at Twilight.jpg
Charles/MGH at dusk, looking westward toward Cambridge
Location 170 Charles Street
Boston, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°21′41″N 71°04′17″W / 42.3613°N 71.0714°W / 42.3613; -71.0714Coordinates: 42°21′41″N 71°04′17″W / 42.3613°N 71.0714°W / 42.3613; -71.0714
Owned by Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 2
Disabled access Yes
Opened February 27, 1932[1]
Rebuilt February 17, 2007[2]
Passengers (2013) 12,065 (weekday average boardings)[3]
Preceding station   MBTA.svg MBTA   Following station
toward Alewife
Red Line
toward Ashmont or Braintree

Charles/MGH is a rapid transit station on the MBTA Red Line, elevated above Charles Circle on the south end of the Longfellow Bridge in the West End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts.

The station is one of a small number of elevated rapid transit stations remaining in the MBTA system. (The only others are Beachmont, Science Park, Malden Center, Wollaston, and Fields Corner; Lechmere will also become an elevated station as part of the Green Line Extension.) Boston once had several elevated lines, but the Atlantic Avenue Elevated, Charlestown Elevated, Washington Street Elevated, and Causeway Street Elevated were all torn down in favor of subway and surface-level lines.

Charles/MGH is one of a small number of MBTA rapid transit stations with no MBTA Bus connections. It is fully handicapped accessible after a 2007 reconstruction.


New glass headhouse, opened in 2007

The Cambridge Subway opened from Park Street Under to Harvard on March 23, 1912. Like the Lechmere extension opened the same year and the Boylston Street Subway opened in 1912, the Cambridge Subway originally had no station serving the area just outside downtown Boston, in order to speed travel time from farther stations.[1] Although Bowdoin opened on an extension of the East Boston Tunnel in 1916, much of the West End was poorly served by transit. Charles station opened on February 27, 1932 as an infill station.[1] A 14-story Art Deco tower designed by H.F. Kellogg was to have been built over the station; however, due to the Great Depression, only the station itself was ultimately constructed.[4]

The station was originally accessed by a pedestrian tunnel under the traffic circle. This was replaced by a pair of pedestrian bridges in 1961.[5] In December 1973, the station was named Charles/MGH after the nearby Massachusetts General Hospital.[1]

On February 17, 2007 a new headhouse for Charles/MGH station was opened a half block east of its former location to house escalators and elevators, making the station accessible to persons with disabilities for the first time.[2]

Proposed Blue Line connection[edit]

Future plans for Charles/MGH station include a new, underground terminus for the Blue Line below the elevated station.[6] Currently, there is no direct connection between the Red and Blue lines, causing severe rush-hour overloads on the Green Line. As part of a September 2008 lawsuit settlement, the state agreed to fully design the project but was no longer bound by an earlier commitment to build it. The extension would be carried by a short tunnel west from Bowdoin station under Cambridge Street. As of 2015, there are no active plans to pursue this project.[7][8]

Station layout[edit]

Platform level
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Outbound Red Line toward Alewife (Kendall/MIT)
Inbound Red Line toward Ashmont/Braintree (Park Street)
Side platform, doors will open on the right
G Street Level Exit/Entrance, headhouse


  1. ^ a b c d Belcher, Jonathan (26 December 2015). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district 1964-2015" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. "Charles/MGH Renovation". Retrieved 2006-12-29. 
  3. ^ "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14th ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014. 
  4. ^ Cheney, Frank (2002). Boston's Red Line: Bridging the Charles from Alewife to Braintree. Arcadia Publishing. p. 50. ISBN 9780738510477. 
  5. ^ "Red Line/Blue Line Connector Project: Draft Environmental Impact Report". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. March 2010. p. ES-5 – via Massachusetts State Library. 
  6. ^ Daniel, Mac (November 30, 2006). "State agrees to design link between Red and Blue lines". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2006-12-29. 
  7. ^ "Red Line Blue Line Connector". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Archived from the original on 2014-01-05. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 
  8. ^ "Red Line Blue Line Connector Factsheet" (PDF). Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 

External links[edit]