Reservoir (MBTA station)

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Reservoir (MBTA station).JPG
An outbound train at Reservoir station
Location Chestnut Hill Avenue near Clinton Road
Boston, Massachusetts
Owned by Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
  Green Line "D" branch
Platforms 4 side platforms (2 used in regular service)
Tracks 4 (2 used in regular service)
Connections 42°20′07″N 71°8′53″W / 42.33528°N 71.14806°W / 42.33528; -71.14806Coordinates: 42°20′07″N 71°8′53″W / 42.33528°N 71.14806°W / 42.33528; -71.14806
Bicycle facilities 8 spaces
Disabled access Yes
Opened November 1852 (commuter rail)
July 4, 1959 (light rail)
Closed July 1958 (commuter rail)
Passengers (2009) 3395 (daily average)[1]
Preceding station   MBTA.svg MBTA   Following station
toward Riverside
Green Line

Reservoir is a surface station on the MBTA's Green Line "D" Branch, located on the border of Boston and Brookline, Massachusetts near Cleveland Circle. The station is adjacent to Reservoir Yard and Carhouse, with the Cleveland Circle terminus of the "C" Branch just a block away. With a daily ridership of 3,395, Reservoir is the second-busiest surface stop on the "D' Branch (after Brookline Village).[1]

Due to the proximity of Cleveland Circle and Chestnut Hill Avenue on the "B" Branch, Reservoir acts as a pedestrian interchange between the westernmost parts of the Green Line. Because the three branches converge here, it offers an easy access point where commuters can switch lines without having to go all the way into Kenmore Station. The interchange is outside of fare control; passengers must still pay a second fare.

Reservoir station is handicapped accessible, with raised platforms to accommodate low-floor trams. Handicapped passengers must reach the station via a ramp from Chestnut Hill Avenue.


An inbound train at Reservoir in 1967.The inbound side of the short-turn loop is visible at far left.

Reservoir opened as a commuter rail station on the Charles River Branch Railroad (by then merged into the Charles River Railroad) in November 1852. In 1883, the Boston and Albany Railroad bought the line between Brookline Junction and Cook Junction and extended it to Reservoir as its Highland Branch, running Newton Circuit service beginning in 1886.[2] A Richardsonian Romanesque station building, designed by Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, opened in 1888.[3] In July 1958, the line was closed for rebuilding; it reopened on July 4, 1959 as a branch of the M.T.A. streetcar system.[4] The 1888 station building was removed to make space for the new station and connecting yard tracks.[5]

Platforms on the spur to Chestnut Hill Avenue

When the line was converted for light rail use, it was assumed that most traffic would come from the inner part of the line, and thus an overhead loop was built connecting the line to Chestnut Hill Avenue. However, the outer half of the line proved more popular than expected, and Reservoir short turns were later reduced, with some extra short turn service remaining at times during rush hour.[4]

In 1974, the MBTA began rebuilding the line to accommodate the new Boeing LRVs. From June 8 to September 11, Highland Branch cars ran on Beacon Street from Reservoir to Kenmore. A temporary inbound-to-outbound turning loop was built east of Reservoir for the diversion. Inbound cars stopped at Reservoir, ran around the temporary loop, and up the outbound side of the regular loop towards Cleveland Circle. Outbound cars via Beacon Street ran down the inbound side of the regular loop, around the same temporary loop track, and then continued outbound from the station.[4]

The regular short-turn loop was closed in August 1980 as part of the closure of the old Reservoir Carhouse, which had been built in 1889 when the Beacon Street line opened.[4][6] The old carhouse closed on June 25, 1982; a new building opened the next year.[4]

The regular station, located below grade, has two side platforms serving the line's 2 tracks. A two-track spur with two side platforms of its own runs north of the main station and connects with the non-revenue tracks on Chestnut Hill Avenue. This spur, built after the loop removal in 1980, is sometimes used to detrain passengers from cars short-turning at Reservoir so as not to block the main tracks. A sidewalk ramp runs alongside the spur line, serving as the handicapped-accessible route to both sets of platforms.

Station layout[edit]

Platform level
Side platform, not in service
Outbound No regular service
(No service: Cleveland Circle)
Inbound "D" Branch toward Government Center (Beaconsfield)
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Outbound "D" Branch toward Riverside (Chestnut Hill)
Inbound "D" Branch toward Government Center (Beaconsfield)
Side platform, doors will open on the right

Bus connections[edit]

Two MBTA Bus routes terminate at the Reservoir busway off Chestnut Hill Avenue:


  1. ^ a b "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Karr, Ronald Dale (1995). The Rail Lines of Southern New England. Branch Line Press. p. 288-289. ISBN 0942147022. 
  3. ^ Morgan, Keith N., Cushing, Elizabeth Hope, and Reed, Roger (2009). "Appendix VI: The Brookline projects of Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge" (PDF). Community by Design: The Role of the Frederick Law Olmsted Office in the Suburbanization of Brookline, Massachusetts, 1880 to 1936. Boston University. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Belcher, Jonathan (23 March 2013). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Cheney, Frank and Sammarco, Anthony M. (1997). Trolleys Under the Hub. Arcadia Publishing. p. 93. ISBN 0752409077. 
  6. ^ Clarke, Bradley H. (2003). Streetcar Lines of the Hub - The 1940s. Boston Street Railway Association. p. 99. ISBN 0938315056. 

External links[edit]