Winter Street Concourse

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Winter Street Concourse
A pedestrian tunnel with brightly painted pillars
Winter Street Concourse, in the direction of Downtown Crossing.
SystemMassachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
CrossesWinter Street
StartDowntown Crossing (Summer Street and Washington Street, Boston)
EndPark Street (Park Street and Tremont Street, Boston)
No. of stations2
OpenedMarch 9, 1979 (1979-03-09)

The Winter Street Concourse is a pedestrian tunnel connecting the upper levels of the Downtown Crossing and Park Street subway stations in Boston, Massachusetts. It facilitates movement between the Green and Orange rapid transit lines operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, and consequently alleviates congestion on the Red line.


Upper level of the under-construction Winter Street Tunnel in July 1913
The tunnel in 2012 before the south half was renovated

The upper level of Park Street opened as part of the Tremont Street Subway - a streetcar tunnel now carrying the Green Line - in September 1897.[1] It was built as a cut-and-cover tunnel just below the surface of Tremont Street. From 1901 to 1908, the Main Line Elevated (now the Orange Line) shared the Tremont Street Subway. In November 1908, the Main Line was moved to the parallel Washington Street Tunnel under Washington Street. Similarly-constructed just below street level, it included a pair of one-way stations (Winter southbound and Summer northbound) one block southeast of Park Street.[1]

In March 1912, the Cambridge Tunnel (now the Red Line) opened from Harvard Square to Park Street Under, one level below the streetcar platforms at Park Street. The line was extended (as the Dorchester Tunnel) to Washington (a lower level at Winter/Summer, now Downtown Crossing) in April 1915, and to South Station Under in December 1916.[1] The tunnel was constructed on both levels at least as far as Devonshire Street. The bottom level carried rapid transit trains, while the upper level was constructed with potential to be a pedestrian passageway or carry surface streetcars similar to the Tremont Street Subway, through the latter role would have involved an at-grade crossing with the Main Line.[2][3]

The section of upper level tunnel under Summer Street between Washington Street and Devonshire Street was used as a non-paid area with entrances from Downtown Crossing department stores and as a turnstile repair area, while the section between Tremont Street and Washington Street under Winter Street was cordoned off as offices.[2] On March 9, 1979, that section was opened as an inside-fare-control pedestrian passageway to ease demand on the Red Line.[4]

A ticket counter was formerly located on the mezzanine level of Downtown Crossing station (outside fare control) under Winter Street east of Washington Street. On August 13, 2012, the MBTA combined customer services (formerly located in a booth at Back Bay station) into the Downtown Crossing location as the "CharlieCard Store".[5]

When opened in 1979, only the north half of the tunnel width was open to pedestrians. In 2017-2018, both halves were renovated to create a wider, better-lit passage.


  1. ^ a b c Belcher, Jonathan (22 March 2014). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b O'Regan, Gerry (2012). "MBTA Red Line". David Pirmann. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  3. ^ Belcher, Jonathan. "Remnants of Abandoned Stations, Tunnels, and Station Entrances found on the MBTA". NETransit. Archived from the original on 4 March 2005.
  4. ^ Clarke, Bradley H. & Cummings, O.R. (1997). Tremont Street Subway: A Century of Public Service. Boston Street Railway Association. p. 49. ISBN 0938315048.
  5. ^ Rocheleau, Matt (13 August 2012). "MBTA opens new CharlieCard Store inside Downtown Crossing Station". Boston Globe. Retrieved 24 September 2015.

External links[edit]

Media related to Winter Street Concourse at Wikimedia Commons