Medfield Junction

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MEDFIELD
Medfield Junction 1906 postcard.jpg
Medfield Junction station on a 1906 postcard
Location West Mill Street at Adams Street
Medfield, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°11′52.8″N 71°19′33.6″W / 42.198000°N 71.326000°W / 42.198000; -71.326000Coordinates: 42°11′52.8″N 71°19′33.6″W / 42.198000°N 71.326000°W / 42.198000; -71.326000
Owned by New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad
Line(s)
History
Opened November 18, 1861[2]
Closed April 21, 1967[1]
Services
Preceding station   MBTA.svg MBTA   Following station
toward Millis
Millis Branch

Medfield Junction is a railway junction and former train station located in northwest Medfield, Massachusetts. It is the junction of the Framingham Secondary and the former Millis Branch. The station was open from November 1861 until April 1967.

History[edit]

Medfield Junction station[edit]

1911 diagram of Medfield Junction

On November 18, 1861, the Charles River Railroad (part of the New York and Boston Railroad) was extended from Needham Center to Medway via Medfield; a station at Medfield opened then or shortly after.[2] In 1867, the Mansfield and Framingham Railroad opened on a perpendicular route, crossing the Charles River line at Medfield Junction and opening its own station closer to the center of Mansfield.[3]

By 1898, both lines through Medfield Junction were owned by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad.[3] Patients traveling to Medfield State Hospital were transported from the station in horse-drawn wagons.[4] A freight wreck at the junction on October 23, caused by an engineer proceeding through an open derail, killed two railroad employees and injured four more.[5]

Closure[edit]

Passenger service between Mansfield and Framingham ended in 1933, and Medfield Junction (often referred to thereafter as simply Medfield) was once again the sole railroad station for the town.[3]

Passenger service on the Charles River line was cut back from Woonsocket to Bellingham Junction in 1930, and discontinued entirely south of Needham Junction on 18 July 1938.[2] Service south of Needham Junction was restored in March 1940, but cut back in stages to West Medway later in 1940 and 1941 (after which the line was known as the "West Medway Branch"), and reduced to a single daily one-car round trip (which was combined with a longer Needham Heights train at Needham Junction) in 1955.[2][1] The newly formed Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) started subsidising continued NYNH&H passenger service on the portion of the moribund West Medway branch running from Boston to Millis on 24 April 1966; service on the truncated Millis Branch was discontinued on 21 April 1967 due to extremely poor ridership.[2][1] The remaining stations, including Medfield, closed at that time; all except Dover and Millis were later demolished.

Current use[edit]

The Framingham Secondary passed through Conrail, CSX, and finally into state hands in 2015; CSX runs regular freight service on the line through Medfield Junction.[6] The Bay Colony Railroad took over freight service on the former Millis Branch east of the junction from Conrail in 1982, and west of the junction in 1987.[3] As of 2015, the only Bay Colony service through the Junction is occasional gravel trains towards Millis.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Belcher, Jonathan (27 June 2015). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Humphrey, Thomas J. & Clark, Norton D. (1985). Boston's Commuter Rail: The First 150 Years. Boston Street Railway Association. pp. 43–46. ISBN 9780685412947. 
  3. ^ a b c d Karr, Ronald Dale (1995). The Rail Lines of Southern New England. Branch Line Press. pp. 287–290, 307–309. ISBN 0942147022. 
  4. ^ Desorgher, Richard (18 February 2010). "The State Hospital & 'Shutter Island'". Hometown Weekly. Retrieved 19 December 2015. 
  5. ^ Summary of Accident Investigation Reports: October, November, and December 1923. 18. Interstate Commerce Commission Bureau of Safety. 1924. p. 11. 
  6. ^ Jessen, Klark (16 June 2015). "MassDOT Completes Framingham Secondary Rail Line Acquisition" (Press release). Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 

External links[edit]

External images
October 1923 freight wreck at Medfield Junction
1934 photo
undated photo of the station building
undated photo showing the track layout
December 1970 photo by Donald Haskel (RailPictures.net)