Winchester Center (MBTA station)
Winchester Center station in January 2013
|Location||29 Waterfield Road
Winchester, MA 01890
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Parking||237 spaces (town permit required)
2 accessible spaces
|Bicycle facilities||27 spaces|
|Passengers (2013)||789 (weekday inbound average)|
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.
The Boston and Lowell Railroad opened between its namesake cities in 1835; local stops including Winchester were added soon after. By the 1840s, service on the line was suitable for commuting to Boston.
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.
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. The work was completed in 2010; the MBTA intended to renovate the station before the 5-year life of the platform patches was reached.
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.
As of 2016[update], the MBTA is in the process of designing renovations to the station which will repair water damage and make it handicapped accessible. The station design was advanced to 15% in December 2011; Jacobs Engineering was then chosen as the contractor for final design in June 2012. 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. 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. Design of the station is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, with the $25.8 million construction beginning in 2017.
One MBTA Bus route serves downtown Winchester:
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- Berkowitz, Bram (15 July 2015). "Winchester Center MBTA stop partially closed". Wicked Local Winchester.
- "Winchester Center Commuter Rail Station Repair Plans and Future Improvements". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- LaRoche, Ryan (29 January 2016). "MBTA commuter rail project ongoing". Daily Times Chronicle. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
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