Winchester Center (MBTA station)

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Winchester Center platforms, January 2013.JPG
Winchester Center station in January 2013
Location 29 Waterfield Road
Winchester, MA 01890
Coordinates 42°27′06″N 71°08′16″W / 42.4516°N 71.1378°W / 42.4516; -71.1378Coordinates: 42°27′06″N 71°08′16″W / 42.4516°N 71.1378°W / 42.4516; -71.1378
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 2
Parking 237 spaces (town permit required)
2 accessible spaces
Bicycle facilities 27 spaces
Other information
Fare zone 1
Passengers (2013) 789 (weekday inbound average)[1]
Preceding station   MBTA.svg MBTA   Following station
Lowell Line
toward Lowell
Haverhill Line
limited service
toward Haverhill
  Former services  
Lowell Line
Woburn Branch
Closed 1981
toward Woburn

Winchester Center is a passenger rail station on the MBTA Commuter Rail Lowell Line, located on a viaduct in the downtown area of Winchester, Massachusetts. It is served by all Lowell Line trains, as well as a limited number of Haverhill Line trains which run via the Wildcat Branch.

Winchester Center station is not handicapped accessible, but the MBTA plans to renovate the station and add accessible high-level platforms beginning in 2017.


This outbound platform is accessible via long ramps which dominate the visual appearance of the station
The 1957-built station building, as seen in 2013

The Boston and Lowell Railroad opened between its namesake cities in 1835; local stops including Winchester were added soon after.[2][3] By the 1840s, service on the line was suitable for commuting to Boston.[2]

In 1955, the Boston and Maine Railroad began a project to raise the tracks of the New Hampshire Main and the southern end of the Woburn Branch for a mile through Winchester, eliminating troublesome grade crossings in the downtown area. Boxy two-story brick stations were opened at Wedgemere and Winchester Center in 1957.[3][4]

Until 1981, the Woburn Branch diverged from the main line just north of the Winchester Center platforms. A short stub is still in place.[5]

Repair work[edit]

One of the ramps to the inbound platform in January 2013, showing water damage to concrete and metal structures

Winchester Center station has not been substantially renovated since the viaduct was completed in 1957. In September 2008, the MBTA approved $1.4 million in platform and ramps repairs, as well as electrical and lighting work, at the station.[6] The work was completed in 2010; the MBTA intended to renovate the station before the 5-year life of the platform patches was reached.[7]

On July 7, 2015, the Winchester Department of Public Works discovered a hole in the inbound platform, which prompted the closure of the northern 500 feet (150 m) of the platform and one ramp due to concrete deterioration. One ramp and the remaining section of the platform remained open for service. The MBTA planned to make temporary repairs before the end of the year.[7]

Rebuilt station[edit]

As of 2016, the MBTA is in the process of designing renovations to the station which will repair water damage and make it handicapped accessible.[8] The station design was advanced to 15% in December 2011; Jacobs Engineering was then chosen as the contractor for final design in June 2012.[8] The 15% design level was reached in early 2016, with 30% design under way. The rebuilt station will have 724-foot (221 m)-long high-level platforms; although shorter than the 800-foot (240 m) MBTA standard, they will still be able to platform 9 cars. A gauntlet track may be installed to allow Pan Am Railways freight trains to pass.[9] A new interlocking may be built south of the station, which will allow greater flexibility during construction and allow the retirement of the former Woburn Branch interlocking north of the station after completion. Although early designs only had ramps for accessibility, the 15% design added a pair of elevators for easier access.[9] Design of the station is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, with the $25.8 million construction beginning in 2017.[9] By October 2016, bidding was expected to begin in December 2016.[10]

As of November 2017, bidding had not yet begun; the projected cost had increased to $54 million. The station will be closed for two years during construction.[11]

Bus connections[edit]

One MBTA Bus route serves downtown Winchester:


  1. ^ "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14 ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Karr, Ronald Dale (1995). The Rail Lines of Southern New England. Branch Line Press. pp. 229–231. ISBN 0942147022. 
  3. ^ a b Humphrey, Thomas J. & Clark, Norton D. (1985). Boston's Commuter Rail: The First 150 Years. Boston Street Railway Association. pp. 55–57. ISBN 9780685412947. 
  4. ^ Roy, John H. Jr. (2007). A Field Guide to Southern New England Railroad Depots and Freight Houses. Branch Line Press. p. 260. ISBN 9780942147087. 
  5. ^ Belcher, Jonathan (22 March 2014). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "Agenda for September 11, 2008 Board Meeting". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 11 September 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2008. 
  7. ^ a b Berkowitz, Bram (15 July 2015). "Winchester Center MBTA stop partially closed". Wicked Local Winchester. 
  8. ^ a b "Winchester Center Commuter Rail Station Repair Plans and Future Improvements". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c LaRoche, Ryan (29 January 2016). "MBTA commuter rail project ongoing". Daily Times Chronicle. Retrieved 24 February 2016. 
  10. ^ "Future Construction Contract Bid Solicitations". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. October 2016. Archived from the original on October 14, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Town in good shape as 2018 approaches". Daily Times Chronicle. November 8, 2017. Retrieved November 9, 2017. 

External links[edit]