Wonderland (MBTA station)

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WONDERLAND
Wonderland platforms.jpg
A Blue Line train approaches the platforms
Location 1300 North Shore Road (Route 1A)
Revere, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°24′49″N 70°59′30″W / 42.4135°N 70.9918°W / 42.4135; -70.9918Coordinates: 42°24′49″N 70°59′30″W / 42.4135°N 70.9918°W / 42.4135; -70.9918
Line(s)
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 2
Connections Bus transport MBTA Bus: 110, 116, 117, 411, 424W, 426W, 441, 442, 448, 449, 450W, 455
Construction
Parking 1,862 spaces (37 accessible)
Bicycle facilities

24 spaces

"Pedal and Park" bicycle cage
Disabled access Yes
History
Opened January 19, 1954[1]
Rebuilt June 24, 1995[1]
July 2008[1]
June 30, 2012[2]
Previous names Bath House (BRB&L)
Traffic
Passengers (2013) 6,105 (weekday average boardings)[3]
Services
Preceding station   MBTA.svg MBTA   Following station
toward Bowdoin
Blue Line Terminus

Wonderland is a rapid transit station on the MBTA Blue Line, located adjacent to Revere Beach in Revere, Massachusetts. It currently serves as the northern terminus of the line, as well as a major bus transfer station for the North Shore area. The station is fully handicapped accessible.

A previous station, Bath House, was open near the site on the Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn Railroad from approximately 1900 to 1940. Wonderland station opened in January 1954. It was rebuilt in 1995, repaired in 2008, and upgraded with a large parking garage and pedestrian bridge in 2012.

The station plays a role in the 1998 film Next Stop Wonderland as the eponymous destination of the main characters.[4]

History[edit]

BRB&L[edit]

Bath House station, probably in 1921

The narrow gauge Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn Railroad (BRB&L) opened from East Boston to Lynn on July 29, 1875.[5] The line ran directly adjacent to the beachfront, a popular summer destination, on the alignment of the modern Revere Beach Boulevard. The Eastern Railroad opened its Chelsea Beach Branch in 1881 along the modern Blue Line corridor slightly inland. A third line - the Boston, Winthrop, and Shore Railroad - shared the Chelsea Beach Branch alignment in 1884-5.[6] None of the three railroads initially stopped at the modern station site, which was then an unpopulated swampy area. The BRB&L had a stop named Atlantic (later renamed as Revere Street) at Revere Street some 2,000 feet (610 m) to the north of the modern station site from the beginning of its operations; the other railroads may have briefly had Revere Street stops as well.[5]

The Chelsea Beach Branch, which operated only during the summer, ended operations in 1891, although the rails remained in place until the 1920s.[6][7] In April 1897, the BRB&L was moved inland onto the modern right-of-way next to the abandoned Chelsea Beach Branch.[8] A new station, Bath House, was soon built on the east side of the tracks across from the new Revere Beach Bath House, just north of the modern station site.[9] By 1928 the line was electrified, with pre-pay stations - more a rapid transit line than a conventional railroad.[10] However, due to the Great Depression, the BRB&L shut down on January 27, 1940.[6]

M.T.A. and MBTA[edit]

A Blue Line train at Wonderland in 1967
Wonderland's platforms were rebuilt in 2008

In 1941, the Boston Elevated Railway bought the BRB&L right of way from Day Square to Revere Beach for use as a high-speed trolley line similar to the Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Line; these plans were delayed by the onset of World War II.[8] The 1926 Report on Improved Transportation Facilities and 1945–47 Coolidge Commission Report recommended that the East Boston Tunnel line, which had been converted to rapid transit from streetcars in 1924, be extended to Lynn via the BBRB&L route rather than using it for a trolley line.[11][12]

In 1947, the newly formed Metropolitan Transit Authority (M.T.A.) decided to build to Lynn as a rapid transit line, and construction began in October 1948.[8] The first part of the Revere Extension opened to Orient Heights in January 1952 and Suffolk Downs in April 1952; the second phase (cut short due to limited funds) opened to Wonderland on January 19, 1954 with intermediate stations at Beachmont and Revere Beach.[8][11][1] Wonderland was originally to be named Bath House after the former station, but instead was named after the Wonderland Greyhound Park - itself named after Wonderland Amusement Park, which operated at the site from 1906 to 1911.[12][13]

Wonderland has been in mostly continuous operation since 1954; however, service has been interrupted several times due to weather and construction. It was closed for flood damage from February 6 to March 13, 1978 after the Blizzard of '78, and from June 24 to September 10, 1983 for track work between Wonderland and Orient Heights.[1]

Renovations[edit]

Wonderland was closed for approximately one year starting on June 25, 1994 as the station was rebuilt along with Suffolk Downs, Revere Beach and Beachmont stations as part of the Blue Line Modernization Program. Blue Line service temporarily ended at Orient Heights and buses served the closed stations during the $467 million improvement project to upgrade four stations on the line.[14][1] Wonderland station was largely rebuilt at a cost of $9 million; it reopened along with the other stations on June 24, 1995.[15] The station was closed while additional platform repair work was performed from June 21 to July 3, 2008.[1]

Wonderland Intermodal Transit Center[edit]

New garage and under-construction pedestrian bridge viewed in September 2012

In 2006, the MBTA settled a lawsuit with the Conservation Law Foundation over emissions from increased auto traffic through downtown Boston due to the Big Dig. As part of the settlement, the MBTA was required to implement twenty transit improvements.[16] One of these projects was the Wonderland Intermodal Transit Center, which started construction in September 2010 and opened on June 30, 2012.[2][17]

The $53.5 million project, partially funded by the 2009 Stimulus Act, included the 1465-space South Parking Garage as well as a new sheltered busway, bicycle storage, and improved pedestrian connections.[2][18] The $20 million Christina and John Markey Memorial Pedestrian Bridge opened on July 4, 2013 from the station area to Revere Beach, allowing access to the station without crossing busy Ocean Avenue.[19][20]

Future plans[edit]

Ever since the 1954 Revere extension was cut short to Wonderland, a further extension to Lynn has been planned. Various state and federal reports in 1966, 1969, 1973, 1978, and 1983 all recommended extensions of the Blue Line to Lynn or even Salem, Massachusetts, but funding was instead given to the Haymarket North Extension and Southwest Corridor projects on the Orange Line and the Alewife and Braintree extensions of the Red Line.[11] The extension is still continually discussed, but due to the lack of an identified funding source it has not received priority.[21] The Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which has been under development since 2002, will include several possible projects. They include extending the Blue Line directly to Lynn, a shorter extension to a new Revere Center commuter rail station, or a direct transfer from Wonderland via people mover to the new commuter rail station.[22]

In March 2012, the MBTA announced plans to place solar panels on the roof of the new South Garage. The panels would be installed and maintained by an outside contractor.[23] A winning bidder was chosen in June 2012 and approved by the board in September, with expected completion by June 2013.[24] However, as of 2015, the solar panels have not been installed.

Bus connections[edit]

As the terminus of the Blue Line, Wonderland serves as a major bus transfer station. All routes except southbound route 411 buses (which run on Ocean Avenue) use a busway in the garage off Route 1A, which opened on June 30, 2012.[2][25] Previously, several routes used a two-lane busway off Ocean Avenue.[1]

Buses on routes #117 and #455 boarding passengers in the Wonderland garage busway in September 2014

The 424W, 426W, and 450W routes operate weekends only. On weekdays, the 424, 426, and 450 routes operate instead to Haymarket. The 441, 442, and 455 routes formerly operated in this manner as well; however, Wonderland became their full-time terminus as part of systemwide changes on July 1, 2012.[1]

Platform layout[edit]

Platform level Side platform, doors will open on the right
Southbound Blue Line toward Bowdoin or Government Center (Revere Beach)
Northbound Blue Line termination platform →
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Ground - Exit/Entrance

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Belcher, Jonathan (27 June 2015). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district 1964-2015" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 24 December 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Patrick-Murray Administration Celebrates Opening of Wonderland Intermodal Transit Center". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 30 June 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14 ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "MGH makes cameo appearance in "Next Stop, Wonderland"". MGH Hotline. 25 September 1998. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. 
  5. ^ a b Bradlee, Francis Boardman Crowninshield (1921). The Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn Narrow Gauge Railroad. Essex Institute. p. 4-5 – via Google Books. 
  6. ^ a b c Karr, Ronald Dale (1995). The Rail Lines of Southern New England. Branch Line Press. p. 262, 268-272. ISBN 0942147022. 
  7. ^ Karr, Ronald Dale (2010). Lost Railroads of New England (Third ed.). Branch Line Press. p. 91. ISBN 9780942147117. 
  8. ^ a b c d Cheney, Frank (2003). Boston's Blue Line. Arcadia Publishing. p. 8, 74, 83. ISBN 9780738535760. 
  9. ^ "Plan for Improvement of Ocean Avenue in City of Revere, Mass.". Metropolitan Park Commission. 6 January 1916 – via WardMaps. 
  10. ^ ""Narrow Gage" Electrified for Economy". Electric Railway Journal 72 (23): 991–998. 8 December 1928. Retrieved 24 December 2015 – via Internet Archive. 
  11. ^ a b c Central Transportation Planning Staff (15 November 1993). "The Transportation Plan for the Boston Region - Volume 2". National Transportation Library. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  12. ^ a b Boston Elevated Railway and Boston Department of Public Utilities (1945), Boston Rapid Transit System & Proposed Extentions 1945 - Metropolitan Transit Recess Commission Air View 
  13. ^ "History Overview". RevereBeach.com. Retrieved 24 December 2015. 
  14. ^ Blake, Andrew (20 March 1994). "MBTA to begin $467 million Blue Line project". Boston Globe. Retrieved 26 January 2014 – via Highbeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  15. ^ Blake, Andrew (18 June 1995). "Blue Line Stations Set to Reopen After $467M Upgrade". Boston Globe. Retrieved 4 July 2015 – via Highbeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  16. ^ "Case Law Updates Details: Conservation Law Foundation v. Romney". Center for Environmental Excellence. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  17. ^ Rosenberg, Steven A. (24 June 2012). "Projects to ease parking crunch". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  18. ^ "T Projects: Wonderland TOD". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  19. ^ Daniel, Seth (10 July 2013). "Wondy Pedestrian Bridge, Plaza Opens Quietly". Revere Journal. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  20. ^ Christina and John Markey Memorial Pedestrian Bridge at Structurae
  21. ^ Rosenburg, Steven (6 April 2008). "Blue Line Blues". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 26 July 2008. 
  22. ^ "North Shore Transit Improvements". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  23. ^ Young, Colin A. (27 March 2012). "MBTA wants solar companies to build plants at Wonderland in Revere and Readville Yard 5 in Dedham". Boston Globe. Retrieved 24 December 2015. 
  24. ^ Stevens, Chris (15 September 2012). "MBTA to launch solar energy program at Wonderland". Daily Item. Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  25. ^ "Wonderland Station Neighborhood Map" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. April 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 

External links[edit]