Wareham Village station
Partially constructed platform in June 2014
|Location||Merchants Way, Wareham, Massachusetts|
|Line(s)||Cape Main Line|
|Platforms||1 side platform|
|Parking||Yes; shared with nearby businesses|
|Opened||1847; 1986; June 27, 2014|
Wareham Village is a train station that is located on Merchants Way in Wareham, Massachusetts. Service to Wareham formerly ran from 1848 until 1959. A shelter, built in 1985 for short-lived Amtrak and commuter service, is currently unused. A new platform constructed nearby for the CapeFLYER summer weekend service (and possible future MBTA Commuter Rail service) opened for the CapeFLYER on June 27, 2014.
The Cape Cod Railroad was completed from Middleborough to Wareham in January 1848, with later extensions to Buzzards Bay and onto Cape Cod itself. Stations were located at a number of locations in Wareham: Tremont (West Wareham) at the junction with the Fairhaven Branch at Pierceville Road, South Wareham (Burbanks) at Station Road, Parker Mills at Elm Street, Wareham on Main Street at Centre Street, Tempest Knob at Indian Neck Road, Onset (known by a variety of names) at Depot Street, and Cohasset Narrows at Onset Avenue. The line was taken over by the Old Colony Railroad in 1872, which itself became part of the New Haven Railroad system in 1893. The New Haven built a new station in 1900. Regular commuter and mainline service to Wareham lasted until 1959, with brief summer service revivals in the early 1960s. The 1900-built station was torn down in 1965.
A new Wareham station was built by the town of Wareham in 1985, consisting of an open air shelter and a set of restrooms. The station was served by Amtrak's Cape Codder from 1986 to 1996, and the Cape Cod & Hyannis Railroad from 1984 to 1988.
CapeFLYER and proposed commuter service
Original plans for the reopening of the Middleborough/Lakeville Line in the 1990s called for service to Wareham or beyond; however, plans were scaled back and the line was only opened to Middleborough/Lakeville in 1997. In 2007, the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization released a report evaluating the possibility of commuter rail service to Buzzards Bay including an intermediate stop at Wareham. Noting that parking is constrained in downtown Wareham, the report considered an additional station at County Road (continuation of MA-58) near West Wareham. This site would have more space for parking lots, and close access to I-495. However, other projects like the Greenbush Line received priority and the extension to Wareham and beyond was not advanced.
CapeFLYER summer weekend service between South Station and Hyannis began in 2013, though the stop at Wareham was not used to save travel time and because it was not handicapped accessible. After the first week of service,it was announced that Wareham would be a stop in 2014. All stations from Middleborough/Lakeville north were built with full-length high level accessible platforms in the mid 1990s as part of the Old Colony Lines restoration, while Buzzards Bay and Hyannis were retrofitted with mini-high platforms for the Cape Cod Central Railroad in 1999. Wareham only had a low-level platform built before modern accessibility standards, as laid out by the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, so a new platform was needed for CapeFLYER service to begin stopping at Wareham in 2014.
The 400-foot high-level boarding platform was built northwest of the 1985-built station in order to prevent riders from using up valuable downtown parking spots. An environmental notification form was filed with the state on March 12, 2014. The new platform, located across from Sawyer Street, was approved by the town's Conservation Commission that month and began construction in April. It was planned to be open for the resumption of CapeFLYER service in May, but the platform was not yet handicapped accessible by then.
The $500,000 project is funded by as part of a state bond bill; a separate effort by the town and GATRA will modify the parking lot with a bus loop. The CapeFLYER began stopping at Wareham Village station on June 27, 2014 after the completion of the handicapped accessible platform, following an opening event held on June 26.
In September 2013, the Wareham Chamber of Congress announced that based on the success of the CapeFLYER, the Chamber supported commuter rail extension to Buzzards Bay. The Buzzards Bay town selectmen similarly supported the idea later that year, and a public forum was held in January 2014. The building of the CapeFLYER platform is seen by state representatives as a step closer towards commuter rail service, though a station location at the Wareham Crossing shopping center in South Wareham was considered as well.
- Flaherty, Caitlin (17 June 2014). "CapeFLYER to stop in Wareham next week". Wareham Courier. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- "New Wareham CapeFLYER Stop Opens" (Press release). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- Karr, Ronald Dale (1995). The Rail Lines of Southern New England. Branch Line Press. pp. 337–341. ISBN 0942147022.
- Farson, Robert H. (1993). Cape Cod Railroads Including Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Joan Hollister Farson (First ed.). Yarmouthport, Massachusetts: Cape Cod Historical Publications. p. 143. ISBN 0-9616740-1-6.
- Belcher, Jonathan (28 December 2013). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- Roy, John H. Jr. (2007). A Field Guide to Southern New England Railroad Depots and Freight Houses. Branch Line Press. p. 256. ISBN 9780942147087.
- Humphrey, Thomas J. (January 2007). "Buzzards Bay Commuter Rail Extension Feasibility Study" (PDF). Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- Rebhan, Jaime (June 16, 2013). "First weekend of Cape train service successful, Wareham stop planned". Wareham Week. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- Russell, Caitlin (19 November 2013). "New CapeFlyer platform coming to Wareham". Wareham Village Soup. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- MassDOT Rail and Transit (12 March 2014). "Environmental Notification Form" (PDF). Commonwealth ofMassachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- Whelan, Bill (12 March 2014). "Cape Flyer service inching closer". Wareham Village Soup. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- Flaherty, Caitlin (20 May 2014). "CapeFLYER train service to Wareham delayed". Wicked Local Wareham. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "Chamber: Bring on commuter rail to Wareham, Buzzards Bay". Wicked Local Wareham. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- "Commuter rail return to Buzzards Bay: viable, or romantic notion?". Wicked Local Buzzards Bay. 16 December 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- Rausch, Michael J. (27 January 2014). "Pros And Cons of Bourne Commuter Rail Discussed At Forum". Cape News. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- Bill Whelan (6 February 2014). "Commuter rail: Next stop Wareham?". Wareham Village Soup. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- Buzzards Bay Commuter Rail Extension Feasibility Study, Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (January 2007)
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