Union Station (Worcester, Massachusetts)

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Union Station, Worcester MA.jpg
Union Station in October 2011
Location 34 Washington Square
Worcester, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°15′40″N 71°47′42″W / 42.26111°N 71.79500°W / 42.26111; -71.79500Coordinates: 42°15′40″N 71°47′42″W / 42.26111°N 71.79500°W / 42.26111; -71.79500
Owned by Worcester Redevelopment Authority
Operated by MBTA
Line(s) Boston and Albany Railroad
Worcester Branch
Providence and Worcester Railroad
Norwich and Worcester Railroad
Platforms 1 side platform (B&A main) + 1 side platform and 1 island platform that are currently unused.
Tracks 4 (B&A main)
2 (Worcester Branch)
Bus operators Bus transport WRTA
Bus transport Peter Pan Bus Lines
Bus transport Greyhound Lines
Parking 300 short-term spaces
Bicycle facilities Yes
Disabled access Yes
Other information
Station code WOR
Opened 1911
Rebuilt 2000
Passengers (2017) 6,665[1]Increase 8.34% (Amtrak)
Passengers (2013) 1,475 (weekday inbound average)[2] (MBTA)
Preceding station   BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak   Following station
toward Chicago
Lake Shore Limited
toward Boston South
TerminusFramingham/​Worcester Line
  Former services  
New York Central Railroad
toward Albany
Boston and Albany Railroad
Main Line
toward Boston
TerminusWorcester Line
  Proposed services  
Boston Surface Railroad
TerminusMain line
Opening 2017(postponed)
toward Providence
Worcester Union Station
Location Worcester, Massachusetts
Built by Woodbury and Leighton Company, Boston[4]
Architect Watson & Huckel
Architectural style Beaux Arts
Part of Blackstone Canal Historic District (#71000030)
NRHP reference # 80000617[3]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP 1980
Designated CP August 15, 1995
Worcester is located in Massachusetts
Location within Massachusetts

Union Station is located at Washington Square in downtown Worcester, Massachusetts. It is the western terminus of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's Framingham/Worcester commuter rail line, with inbound service to Boston, and a station along Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited passenger line. It also services Peter Pan and Greyhound intercity bus routes as well as local Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) bus service.


The 1875-built Union Station in 1906

The current station was built in 1911 by the New York Central Railroad along the Boston and Albany Railroad Main Line, during the heyday of railroading in the United States, replacing the previous 1875 station. As a union station, it also served the Providence and Worcester Railroad (which was acquired by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad), the Norwich and Worcester Railroad (acquired by the New York and New England Railroad), the Worcester, Nashua and Rochester Railroad and the Boston, Barre and Gardner Railroad (which both became part of the Boston and Maine Railroad). Passenger service to Union Station ended by 1974, and the abandoned station fell into disrepair.

Union Station, circa 1920

Subsequently, Union Station was acquired by the Worcester Redevelopment Authority and completely renovated at a cost of $32 million. The station was restored and renovated by Finegold Alexader Architects of Boston, and re-opened in July 2000. [5] An intercity and local bus terminal, with five bus ports, was added at a cost of $5.2 million and opened in August 2006.[6]

Union Station's facilities include the Grand Hall, with original elliptical stained-glass ceilings, interior marble columns and mahogany wood trim, Luciano's Cotton Club, a 1920s gangster-themed restaurant, and the Union Station Parking Garage, which has 500 spaces and direct access to the station.[7]

Union Station is wheelchair accessible and has a single full-length high-level side platform. It is the only station on the line that can only be served by one train at a time - all other stations have two side platforms or an island platform. This limits the number of daily trains that can serve Worcester, and causes frequent cascading delays. After years of discussion about adding a second platform, the MBTA plans to open bidding for a design study in late 2017.[8]

Proposed service[edit]

There are proposals to extend more frequent passenger service west to Springfield.[9][10] The station is the planned northern terminus of the proposed Boston Surface Railroad, a commuter rail line between Worcester and Providence, Rhode Island planned to begin service in 2017 (since postponed).

Bus connections[edit]

Greyhound Bus Lines and Peter Pan Bus Lines operate intercity bus service from Worcester along major highways. MAX Express operates intercity bus service between Union Station and Northampton via Fitchburg and Amherst.[11]

WRTA hub[edit]

In April 2012, the Worcester Regional Transit Authority broke ground on a new regional transit hub adjacent to historic Union Station:

When completed, the new 14,000 square foot facility will house the WRTA’s administrative offices and its customer service center. Included in the design are a new bus pavilion with an enclosed public waiting area, restroom facilities, ticket vending machines and eight bus slips.[12]

The cost was $14 million, with $10 million coming from the Federal Government and the rest coming from the state.[12][13] The new hub opened in May, 2013.[14]


  1. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, Fiscal Year 2017, State of Massachusetts" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2017. Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  2. ^ "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14 ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2015. 
  3. ^ Worcester County Listings at the National Register of Historic Places
  4. ^ "Present Condition of Union Station". The Worcester Magazine. Worcester Massachusetts: Worcester Board of Trade. August 1910. Retrieved 16 May 2017. 
  5. ^ http://faainc.com/projects/union-station-intermodal-transportation/
  6. ^ Worcester, MA - Union Station/Washington Square Project Archived February 4, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 14, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2009. 
  8. ^ Moulton, Cyrus (October 17, 2017). "Second commuter train platform planned for Union Station". Worcester Telegram. Retrieved November 9, 2017. 
  9. ^ Machado, Elisha (September 18, 2017). "Local lawmakers push for feasibility study of Springfield to Boston commuter rail" [Lawmakers are considering bills to improve transportation in Massachusetts]. WWLP.com - Nexstar Media Groupke. Retrieved December 8, 2017. 
  10. ^ Haddadin, Jim (June 19, 2017). "Lawmakers call for study of high-speed rail to Springfield". GateHouse Media/MetroWest Daily News. Retrieved December 8, 2017. 
  11. ^ "MAX Service Schedules". TrueNorth Transit Group. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "Groundbreaking Ceremony for WRTA Transportation Hub". Worcester Regional Transit Authority Homepage. Worcester Regional Transit Authority. Retrieved 16 April 2012. 
  13. ^ Bock, Linda (April 4, 2012). "New WRTA hub, maintenance garage in the wind". Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Retrieved 16 April 2012. 
  14. ^ http://www.therta.com/about/new-hub-construction/ WRTA, Transportation Hub

External links[edit]

Media related to Union Station (Worcester, Massachusetts) at Wikimedia Commons