River Works (MBTA station)

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River Works station from outbound train, April 2015.JPG
Inbound platform at River Works in April 2015
Location 1000 Western Avenue
Lynn, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°27′N 70°58′W / 42.45°N 70.97°W / 42.45; -70.97Coordinates: 42°27′N 70°58′W / 42.45°N 70.97°W / 42.45; -70.97
Owned by MBTA
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 4
Other information
Fare zone 2
Opened September 9, 1965[2]
Previous names G.E. Works (until ca. 1980)[1]
Passengers (2013) 56 (daily inbound average)[3]
Preceding station   MBTA.svg MBTA   Following station
Newburyport/Rockport Line

River Works (sometimes written Riverworks) is a passenger rail station on the MBTA Commuter Rail Newburyport/Rockport Line, located in West Lynn, Massachusetts. The station is only open to General Electric Aviation employees who work at the River Works plant.[4] Trains only stop at River Works on weekdays. It is served by inbound trains in the morning and outbound trains in the evening for commuting plant workers, as well as trains in the opposite directions for reverse commuting workers.[5]

River Works station is proposed to be opened to the public, made handicapped-accessible, and renamed to Lynnport as part of plans for a development on adjacent land. In May 2017, the developer reached an agreement with MassDOT, although financing had not yet been secured.


Aerial view of part of the River Works property in July 2016 with the station at bottom center

The station opened as G.E. Works on September 9, 1965 to serve workers of the plant, which had opened early in the century and been substantially expanded during World War II.[2] The name was changed to River Works in the late 1970s. It did not appear on maps until the MBTA bought the northside commuter lines in 1976, and was listed only as a footnote on public timetables until January 1989.[1][2]

River Works station has two bare concrete platforms with bus shelters to serve the line's two tracks; it is not handicapped accessible. The River Works plant formerly shipped large products like electrical transformers by rail; the two-track main line was flanked with running tracks which connected sidings serving the plant.[1] The platforms are located on the outside of these former tracks; making the station accessible would require building platforms which would preclude future freight rail access.

Proposed changes[edit]

The land east of the station was formerly home to General Electric's Gear Plant, which closed in 2011. Four years prior to the closure, the city upzoned the 77-acre (31 ha) site to allow buildings up to 20 stories high in hopes of attracting new commercial development.[6] In July 2014, a developer reached an agreement with GE to buy 65.5 acres (26.5 ha) of the site. The developer, Charles Patsios, indicated that he planned to leave an easement for public access to the station.[6]

Patsios bought the site in October 2014 and opened discussions with MBTA officials about opening River Works station for public use.[7] GE granted the required easement after Patsios purchased the property.[8] He intended to finalize plans for the station—which he planned to rename as Lynnport—by the end of 2015, pending the resolution of several potential blockers. To open the station to the public, it would have to be made handicapped accessible, with high-level platforms constructed and the tracks relocated. The state is hesitant to pay for such upgrades without proven ridership. Additionally, GE would require security considerations before approving the public opening.[9] The station was in 2016 proposed to be opened only to residents of the planned development, rather than to the public at large.[10] However, under a tentative agreement that the developer reached with MassDOT in February 2017, the rebuilt station would be open to all riders.[11] The full agreement was signed in May 2017, although the development project had not been financed. Under the agreement, the developer will pay for new platforms, 80 parking spaces, and a bus station.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Van Bokkelen, James B. (2011). "Eastern Route Main Line - on-line features". Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Belcher, Jonathan (December 30, 2016). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district 1964-2016" (PDF). NETransit. 
  3. ^ "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14th ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014. 
  4. ^ "River Works". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 21 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "Newburyport/Rockport Line". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Laidler, John (13 July 2014). "Developer considers GE land for waterfront project". Boston Globe. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  7. ^ Jourgensen, Thor (24 April 2015). "GE gearing up for the T". Daily Item. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  8. ^ Healy, Beth (10 March 2016). "This commuter rail station is not for you (unless you work for GE)". Boston Globe. Retrieved 10 March 2016. 
  9. ^ Jourgensen, Thor (17 September 2015). "Long track ahead for Lynn T stop". Daily Item. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  10. ^ Adams, Steve (November 20, 2016). "Next Chapter In Life Of Lynn GE Property Emerges". Banker and Tradesman. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  11. ^ Grillo, Thomas (February 15, 2017). "Gearing up plan for the Lynnway". Lynn Item. Retrieved February 20, 2017. 
  12. ^ Logan, Tim (May 12, 2017). "Lynn commuter rail station to be open to public as 1,200 new apartments are built there". Boston Globe. Retrieved May 14, 2017. 

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