Charles/MGH (MBTA station)

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Charles MGH at Twilight.jpg
Charles/MGH at dusk, looking westward toward Cambridge
Location 170 Charles St.
Boston, MA 02114-3253
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
Rebuilt February 17, 2007
Passengers (2009 daily) 10,615[1]
Preceding station   MBTA.svg MBTA   Following station
toward Alewife
Red Line
toward Ashmont or Braintree
Charles/MGH (MBTA station) is located in Boston
Charles/MGH (MBTA station)

Charles/MGH Station also known as Charles or Charles Street, is located above Charles Circle, at the intersection of Cambridge Street and Charles Street, in Boston, Massachusetts. The rapid transit station is on the MBTA Red Line and is elevated, being located at the Boston end of the Longfellow Bridge, which carries the subway and vehicular traffic across the Charles River. Trains enter or exit a tunnel just southeast of the station. The station is one of the few on the Red Line that have no bus connections. 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]

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


New glass headhouse, opened in 2007

Across the street from the station are the historic former Charles Street Jail (which has been converted into the Liberty Hotel), the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), all of which serve as prominent landmarks in the area. The station serves the Boston neighborhoods of Beacon Hill and the West End. Other nearby attractions include the Charles River Esplanade, Community Boating, Hatch Shell, the Longfellow Bridge, the Charles River Bike Path, and shops and restaurants on Charles and Cambridge Streets.

The station, located partially over the intersection of Cambridge and Charles streets, 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 Elevated were all torn down in favor of subway and surface-level lines. The old elevated station (pre-renovation) was featured in many episodes of Cheers.

Proposed Blue Line connection[edit]

Future plans for Charles/MGH station include a new, underground terminus for the Blue Line below the elevated station.[3] 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. Bowdoin station itself is slated to be closed once renovations to the Government Center station are complete. A new turnaround loop beyond the new terminus would be constructed to replace the one at Bowdoin. As of 2014, there are no active plans to pursue this project.[4][5]


  1. ^ "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. "Charles/MGH Renovation". Retrieved 2006-12-29. 
  3. ^ Daniel, Mac (November 30, 2006). "State agrees to design link between Red and Blue lines". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2006-12-29. 
  4. ^ "Red Line Blue Line Connector". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 
  5. ^ "Red Line Blue Line Connector Factsheet" (PDF). Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 

External links[edit]