Readville (MBTA station)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Readville station from Milton Street bridge, November 2015.JPG
Providence/Stoughton (left) and Franklin Line platforms at Readville
Location 1800 Hyde Park Avenue
Boston, MA 02136-2460
Coordinates 42°14′18″N 71°08′01″W / 42.2382°N 71.1336°W / 42.2382; -71.1336Coordinates: 42°14′18″N 71°08′01″W / 42.2382°N 71.1336°W / 42.2382; -71.1336
Platforms 1 side platform (Fairmount Line)
2 side platforms (Franklin Line)
2 side platforms (Northeast Corridor; unused)
Tracks 1 each (Franklin Line and Fairmount Line)
3 (Northeast Corridor)
Connections Bus transport MBTA Bus: 32, 33
Platform levels 2
Parking 354 spaces ($4.00 fee)
15 accessible spaces
Disabled access Yes
Other information
Fare zone 2
Opened 1834 (Boston & Providence)
1853 (Midland Branch)
Rebuilt 1992
Electrified Northeast Corridor only
Previous names Blue Hills (upper level)
Passengers (2013 daily inbound averages) 365 (Franklin Line)[1]
256 (Fairmount Line)[1]
Preceding station   MBTA.svg MBTA   Following station
Franklin Line
Franklin Line
Limited service
Terminus Fairmount Line

Readville is a passenger rail station in the Hyde Park section of Boston, Massachusetts which serves multiple lines on the MBTA Commuter Rail system. The station provides access to the Fairmount Line and Franklin Line on separate platforms. Readville is the terminus of the Fairmount Line, although a small number of rush hour trains continue through the station to and from the Franklin Line. The station has platforms in place on the Northeast Corridor, but they are not used by Providence/Stoughton Line trains except during service disruptions.

Station layout[edit]

Geographic schematic of Readville station
Former New Haven Railroad maintenance shops in Readville 5-Yard in 1977

Readville has an unusual layout because it is built on the crossing of two rail lines. The Fairmount Line and Franklin Line each have a single track atop an embankment. The Fairmount Line has a single side platform, while the Franklin Line has two. The Fairmount Line track continues atop a bridge over the Northeast Corridor to join with the Franklin Line. This connection is used by several trains each rush hour, allowing trains from the Franklin Line to avoid congestion in the crowded Southwest Corridor.

At ground level, the three-track Northeast Corridor runs through the station. There are two side platforms; however, Providence/Stoughton Line trains do not stop at Readville in regular service. The platforms are occasionally used during service disruptions when Fairmount Line service is not running or when trains cannot stop at Hyde Park.[2]

Next to the Franklin Line embankment, an abandoned track runs to the former Dedham Branch and Readville 5-Yard.

Readville station is fully wheelchair accessible. Every platform includes a 1-car length ("mini-high") high-level platform, which allows passengers to board level with the train car floors. The platforms are all connected by a system of pedestrian bridges which include wheelchair-accessible ramps.

Railroad yards[edit]

Readville station is bounded by several railroad yards which were mostly built in the first half of the 20th century. East of the station on the Fairmount Line is the Readville Interim Repair Facility, an MBTA commuter rail maintenance facility and layover yard.[1] Readville 1-Yard is an active CSX freight yard located south of the station, on tracks connecting the Fairmount Line to the Northeast Corridor. Additionally, there were formerly several yard tracks along the Northeast Corridor north of the station.[3]

West of the station, Readville 5-Yard lies on the remains of the Dedham branch. The 42-acre 5-Yard is split between Boston and Dedham, Massachusetts and was formerly owned and used by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, which had shops on the site until 1958. The Penn Central Railroad acquired the yard along with the rest of the New Haven in 1968; the property was transferred to Conrail on March 30, 1976, and to Amtrak a day later.[4] The MBTA acquired the yard from Amtrak on November 11, 1987 and used it to store railroad-related materials.[4][5] Site remediation for environmental contamination including lead, arsenic, and PAHs was completed in 2011.[6][7][8]

In March 2012, the MBTA announced that the contamination had been fully removed, and revealed plans to place solar panels in the 5-Yard. The panels would be installed and maintained for at least 20 years by an outside contractor.[9] Bidding began in May 2012, with the stipulation that the solar array would be operational by the spring of 2013.[5] The contract was chosen in September 2012, with a revised completion date of October 2013.[10]


1907 postcard of Readville showing the Midland Branch platform on the viaduct above Hyde Park Avenue
1977 aerial view of the former two-story depot, which burned in 1983, from the west

Early stations[edit]

The Boston and Providence Railroad was built through Readville starting in 1832, and passenger service on the main line and a branch to Dedham began in 1834. The Norfolk County Railroad built the Midland Division starting in 1853 from Islington to Boston through Readville, and full service began in July 1855.[4][11] The Midland Branch, also called the Dorchester Branch, connected the Norfolk County Railroad (which then ran to Blackstone, Massachusetts to Boston.[11] The Midland Division crossed the Boston & Providence on a high grade and bridge; there was initially no track connection between the two railroads.[12] The Norfolk County passed into the Boston, Hartford and Erie Railroad in 1868 and then to the New York and New England Railroad in 1875, becoming the latter's primary route into Boston. Readville served as a short turn turnback point for B&P trains from 1867 to 1880 and after 1899.[13]

The Midland Branch station, located on the upper level at Wolcott Square, was originally known as Blue Hills.[14] However, by 1888 it too was known as Readville.[12] Near the beginning of the 20th century, the two stations were consolidated as one under the New Haven. After the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad acquired the Boston & Providence in 1893 and the NY&NE in 1898, the two stations were consolidated. A connecting track was built in 1899 allowing trains from Franklin and beyond to run on the Northeast Corridor to Boston, and the two-story Readville depot was built to serve both levels on the station.[11][15] An under-track passage provided access to the southbound B&P platform and the NY&NE track area.

Dedham and Midland branches[edit]

Main articles: Dedham Branch and Fairmount Line

The Dedham Branch briefly became an important piece of the New Haven's commuter system. Between 1926 and 1938, trains operated on a loop using the Dedham Branch and the Norfolk County Railroad's former route through West Roxbury (part of which is now part of the Needham Line). In 1940, service to Dedham via West Roxbury was discontinued, leaving the Dedham Branch as the only rail access to Dedham.[11] However, traffic to Dedham continued to decline, and the last service (a single daily round trip) to Dedham via the Dedham Branch ended on April 21, 1967.[16] The MBTA purchased the abandoned right of way from Penn Central on January 23, 1973.[16]

The Midland Branch also declined in importance after the Franklin division was connected to the New Haven mainline in 1899. Through trains from Connecticut were redirected to the mainline at Readville, leaving only Franklin and Readville locals to use the Midland. Service on the line from Boston to Readville was discontinued in 1938; it returned in 1940 but ended more permanently in March 1944.[11] Through trains to Connecticut (discontinued in 1955) and commuter trains to Blackstone (discontinued April 24, 1966) and Franklin continued to use the section from Readville to Islington.[11][16]

MBTA era[edit]

Pedestrian bridges connecting the various platforms
Fairmount Line platform

From 1944 to 1979, the configuration of Readville was static: the two-story depot served the lower level (Northeast Corridor) tracks, while the elevated track to Franklin and beyond was served by a small shack with stairs to the lower level. Starting in 1979, construction of the Southwest Corridor necessitated closure of the main line between Back Bay and Forest Hills. From November 3, 1979 until October 5, 1987, all Franklin Line and Providence/Stoughton Line service ran to Boston on the Midland Division via Readville.

The two-story station building burned in June 1983.[17] The MBTA did not replace the building, but handicapped-accessible platforms were installed in 1992 and were connected with footbridges.[18] When Franklin and Providence/Stoughton service returned to the main line, service on the Midland had become popular enough to justify a continued shuttle service along the line from Boston to Fairmount. The Fairmount Shuttle was extended to Readville on November 30, 1987 as the Fairmount Line.[16] Since 1987, Providence/Stoughton Line service has run through Readville without making a station stop, even though there are platforms in place to allow such use.

The 1898-built bridge over the Northeast Corridor, now used by Franklin Line trains running via Fairmount, is planned for replacement. The span will be replaced with a prebuilt bridge in a single weekend with minimal impact to Amtrak and MBTA service on the Corridor, with the old abutments left in place as retaining walls. The design contract was awarded in 2012, and a construction contract will be awarded in 2015.[19]

Proposed Orange Line extension[edit]

Readville is located in a densely populated neighborhood just nine miles from downtown Boston, making it a strong candidate for rapid transit service rather than conventional low-frequency commuter rail service. The 1945 Coolidge Commission Report recommended that an extension of the Orange Line south from Forest Hills be built to Dedham via West Roxbury rather than Hyde Park and Readville.[20] The 1966 Program for Mass Transportation recommended a bifurcated Orange Line, with one branch to West Roxbury or Hersey and another to Readville or Route 128 via Hyde Park.[21] Various reports over the next two decades continued to recommend various combinations of the extensions; however, due to cost, the 1987 relocation of the Orange Line to the Southwest Corridor was terminated at Forest Hills.[22] Hyde Park, Readville, and the Needham Line instead received limited upgrades like handicapped accessible platforms.

The extension is still periodically discussed. The 2004 Program for Mass Transportation listed an extension to Route 128 with intermediate stops at Mount Hope, Hyde Park, and Readville at a cost of $342.8 million. The extension was listed as low priority due to environmental issue with crossing the wetlands south of Readville, and because the corridor already has commuter rail service.[23]

Bus connections[edit]

Readville has connections to two MBTA Bus routes. The 32 route runs on Hyde Park Avenue to Wolcott Square, while the 33 runs on Readville Street just to the west.


  1. ^ a b c "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Service Alerts: Providence/Stoughton Line: Upcoming". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 14 July 2014. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014. The outbound platform at Hyde Park will be closed due to bridge work between Hyde Park & Readville Stations on the Prov/Sto Line... During the weekdays listed below, all outbound trains that normally stop at Hyde Park will instead stop at Readville Station on the Providence/Stoughton Line 
  3. ^ United States Geographical Survey (1941). "Norwood Quadrangle NE". University of New Hampshire. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Earth Tech AECOM (5 November 2008). "Draft Supplemental Phase II/III and Revised Phase IV Remedy Implementation Plan (RIP)" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Eisenstadter, Dave (5 April 2012). "MBTA to accept bids for solar array construction in Dedham". Wicked Local Dedham. Archived from the original on 19 November 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  6. ^ Mark Newell / AECOM (2011). "Phase IV Status Report #3 for Readville Yard 5" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Readville 5-Yard Assessment and Remediation". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Readville 5 Yard Facility: Public Involvement Plan Meeting, November 5, 2008" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 5 November 2008. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  9. ^ Young, Colin A. (27 March 2012). "MBTA wants solar companies to build plants at Wonderland in Revere and Readville Yard 5 in Dedham". Boston Globe. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  10. ^ Eisenstadter, Dave (14 September 2012). "Dedham property to be site of large MBTA solar array". Wicked Local Dedham. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f Karr, Ronald Dale (1995). The Rail Lines of Southern New England. Branch Line Press. pp. 146–150; 295–298. ISBN 0942147022. 
  12. ^ a b E. Robinson (1888). "Hyde Park 1888 Plate 09 - Readville". Atlas of Norfolk County, 1888. WardMaps LLC. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  13. ^ Humphrey, Thomas J. and Clark, Norton D. (1985). Boston's Commuter Rail: The First 150 Years. Boston Street Railway Association. p. 44. ISBN 9780685412947. 
  14. ^ Comstock & Cline (1876). "Hyde Park 1876". Atlas of Norfolk County, 1876. WardMaps LLC. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  15. ^ G.W. Bromley and Co. (1912). "Hyde Park 1912 Index Plate". Atlas of The City of Boston Ward 26 Hyde Park, 1912. WardMaps LLC. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  16. ^ a b c d Belcher, Jonathan (23 April 2012). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  17. ^ "Index to photographs" (PDF). Northeast Railroad Corridor, Amtrak Route between RI/MA State Line & South Station, Boston, Suffolk County, MA. Historic American Engineering Record. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "MBTA Begins Upgrading Fairmount Line" (PDF). TRANSreport. Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization. May 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 December 2010. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  19. ^ "MBTA Shore Line Bridge Reconstruction Project". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  20. ^ Boston Elevated Railway and Boston Department of Public Utilities (1945). "Boston Rapid Transit System & Proposed Extentions 1945 - Metropolitan Transit Recess Commission Air View". Wardmaps LLC. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  21. ^ MBTA planning staff (3 May 1966). "A Comprehensive Development Program for Public Transportation in the Massachusetts Bay Area: 1966". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. p. V-9. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  22. ^ Central Transportation Planning Staff (15 November 1993). "The Transportation Plan for the Boston Region - Volume 2". National Transportation Library. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  23. ^ Central Transportation Planning Staff (January 2004) [May 2003]. "Chapter 5C: Service Expansion" (PDF). 2004 Program for Mass Transportation. Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization. p. 5C-83. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 

External links[edit]