Mansfield (MBTA station)
|Location||1 Crocker Street
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Parking||806 spaces ($4.00 fee)
9 accessible spaces
|Bicycle facilities||12 spaces|
|Rebuilt||1955, January 2004|
|Electrified||11 December 2000|
|Passengers (2013)||1,707 (weekday inbound average)|
Mansfield is a commuter rail station on the MBTA Commuter Rail Providence/Stoughton Line, located in downtown Mansfield, Massachusetts. With 1,707 weekday inbound riders in a 2013 count, Mansfield is the fifth-busiest station on the system.
With mini-high platforms on both tracks, Mansfield is fully handicapped accessible. Large parking lots are available west of the tracks, with limited parking including accessible spots next to the station building east of the tracks.
The Boston and Providence Railroad opened through Mansfield in 1835, with a flat-roofed depot built near the modern station site. The Taunton Branch Railroad opened the next year; through cars operated to New Bedford soon after the New Bedford and Taunton Railroad opened in 1840, though the service was not suitable for commuters until 1885. The Mansfield and Framingham Railroad opened in 1870 as part of the Boston, Clinton and Fitchburg Railroad; it was merged into the Boston, Clinton, Fitchburg and New Bedford Railroad in 1876 which itself became part of the Old Colony Railroad system in 1883 as the Old Colony's entrance to northern Massachusetts.
Mansfield became a short turn point for some B&P trains in 1885. The Old Colony acquired the B&P in 1888 and subsequently increased Mansfield - New Bedford service which connected with trains to Boston at Mansfield. The Old Colony was absorbed by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad in 1893, unifying rail service in southeastern Massachusetts under the single operator. After South Station opened in 1899, both Taunton and New Bedford service operated as through trains to Boston via Mansfield. Service to the South Coast began running more often via Stoughton after 1918, and most branch line service via Mansfield except a handful of Taunton locals was cut by 1927.
Service to Framingham ended in 1933. South Coast service was switched back to via Mansfield in 1937 though New Bedford service was once again changed to via Stoughton in 1950. In 1955, the New Haven Railroad raised the tracks through Mansfield to eliminate grade crossings; the branch to Taunton was severed and all South Coast service ran via Stoughton until it was cut three years later. A 'temporary' wooden station was built, which became permanent as the New Haven fell into financial crises.
The MBTA began funding service to Mansfield in August 1971. The same month, game-day service from Boston and Providence to Foxboro station at the newly opened Gillette Stadium was introduced. The Providence section of the service turns off the mainline onto what is now the Framingham Subdivision at Mansfield after making the station stop. The special service from Providence was discontinued after one season while Boston service continued, but returned in 1994.
In mid-2002, the town of Mansfield began a $1.5 million project to replace the derelict 1955 station. The new brick station opened in January 2004; it also serves as a town meeting hall for community functions.
Mansfield is located on a straight section of the Northeast Corridor where the Acela Express is permitted to travel at its top speed of 150 mph (240 km/h). Mansfield and Kingston are the only two stations where the Acela reaches this speed on platform tracks.[note 1] A fence is located between the tracks to prevent passengers from crossing, due to the danger from high-speed trains. On March 2, 2016, a crossing passenger was struck and killed by a northbound Northeast Regional. The station was closed through the next day because hazardous materials workers had to clean the site because of the high speed of the collision.
The station is served by one GATRA local bus route, the Route 140 Norton - Mansfield Connection.
- "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14 ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
- Humphrey, Thomas J. & Clark, Norton D. (1985). Boston's Commuter Rail: The First 150 Years. Boston Street Railway Association. pp. 29–37. ISBN 9780685412947.
- Karr, Ronald Dale (1995). The Rail Lines of Southern New England. Branch Line Press. pp. 307–309. ISBN 0942147022.
- Roy, John H. Jr. (2007). A Field Guide to Southern New England Railroad Depots and Freight Houses. Branch Line Press. p. 188. ISBN 9780942147087.
- "Northeast Corridor Employee Timetable #5" (PDF). National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak). 6 October 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 February 2016 – via National Transportation Safety Board.
- Ellement, John R. (3 March 2016). "Mansfield commuter rail station remains closed after fatal accident". Boston Globe. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
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