Franklin/Dean College (MBTA station)
Franklin/Dean College station from a nearby overpass
|Location||75 Depot Street
|Platforms||1 side platform|
|Connections||GATRA: Franklin Area Bus|
|Parking||173 spaces ($4.00 fee)
3 accessible spaces
|Bicycle facilities||7 spaces|
|Passengers (2013)||876 (weekday inbound average boardings)|
Franklin/Dean College is a commuter rail station on the MBTA Commuter Rail Franklin Line, located in downtown Franklin, Massachusetts, near Dean College. The station has a mid-sized park and ride lot to serve town residents; Forge Park/495 is intended to serve commuters from other nearby towns. The 1912-built station building still serves as a waiting hall and café, open during morning commute hours on weekdays.
The Norfolk County Railroad opened through Franklin to Blackstone in spring 1849. The line went through several short-lived holding companies before ending up as part of the New York and New England Railroad, under which service ran to Putnam, Hartford, and Waterbury. The original wooden station was replaced with the present stucco-and-brick depot by the New Haven Railroad in 1912. It was heavily modeled after Needham Junction station, built 6 years before.
Two branch lines diverged just south of Franklin. The Milford and Woonsocket Railroad was extended from Bellingham Junction to Franklin in 1882. The line was never particularly successful; passenger service was gone by 1920, though some Franklin trains ran to Boston via the branch and the Charles River Branch Railroad from 1926 to 1938 and in 1940. The NY&NE's Valley Falls branch operated from Franklin to Valley Falls, Rhode Island beginning in 1877. It provided the NY&NE an entrance to Providence to compete with the Boston and Providence Railroad mainline. Always a slower route than the B&P, it was abandoned by the New Haven in 1941.
Service west of Blackstone was terminated in August 1955 after a major flood caused by Hurricane Diane washed out a bridge at Putnam. When the MBTA was formed in August 1964 to subsidize commuter rail service, Walpole was the outer limit of the funding district with guaranteed service. After the New Haven Railroad received permission to cut out-of-district service, Franklin began funding continued service to its stop. On April 24, 1966, the Blackstone Line was cut back to Franklin; several other marginal lines were cut as well.
Franklin was the terminus of the line until June 2, 1988, when Forge Park/495 station was opened 3 miles to the west along the former Milford & Woonsocket line.
Franklin/Dean College is served by one local bus route:
- GATRA Franklin Area Bus
- "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14th ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014.
- Karr, Ronald Dale (1995). The Rail Lines of Southern New England. Branch Line Press. pp. 291–294, 304–306. ISBN 0942147022.
- Roy, John H. Jr. (2007). A Field Guide to Southern New England Railroad Depots and Freight Houses. Branch Line Press. p. 158. ISBN 9780942147087.
- Humphrey, Thomas J.; Clark, Norton D. (1985). Boston's Commuter Rail: The First 150 Years. Boston Street Railway Association. pp. 44–46. ISBN 9780685412947.
- Belcher, Jonathan (22 March 2014). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
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