Yawkey (MBTA station)
An inbound train arrives at Yawkey in March 2014
|Location||85 Brookline Avenue
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Connections|| MBTA Bus: 8, 19, 60, 65
At Kenmore: MBTA Green Line, 57, 57A
|Opened||April 29, 1988|
|Rebuilt||March 10, 2014|
|Passengers (2012)||362 daily boardings|
Yawkey is a commuter rail station on the MBTA Commuter Rail Framingham/Worcester Line, located in the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts near Kenmore Square. The station sits below grade between Beacon Street and Brookline Avenue, next to the Massachusetts Turnpike. Yawkey station was originally opened as an infill station in 1988, for limited service to Boston Red Sox games at Fenway Park. Regular commuter service began in 2001 for riders headed to Boston University, Kenmore Square, and the Longwood Medical and Academic Area.
Inbound and outbound trains formerly shared a single two-car platform on the inbound track, requiring Yawkey passengers to embark or debark from the front two cars of outbound trains or the rear two cars of inbound trains. In 2012, work began on a new station, which includes two longer high-level platforms and an overhead pedestrian bridge. The bridge will eventually allow direct access from the Beacon Street and Brookline Avenue overpasses through the planned Fenway Center development. Passengers boarded from the east end of the new station until March 10, 2014; after delays, it opened fully that day.
The new station is served by all Worcester Line trains; it is expected to increase ridership at Yawkey from 585 total daily boardings and alightings to 937. By a 2012 count, there were 827 daily (362 boardings and 465 alightings). With the completion of the new station, Yawkey is fully handicapped accessible.
Game day service
Named in honor of long-time Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey, Yawkey was opened on April 29, 1988, and initially was only used for special service to Fenway Park for Boston Red Sox games. It was used by Framingham Line trains as well as special "Fenway Flyer" baseball trains from the Attleboro (now Providence/Stoughton) and Franklin lines. The "Fenway Flyer" trains had an annual ridership of 58,000 in 1990. The station became popular enough that the MBTA added regular commuter service. This largely obviated the need for "Fenway Flyer" specials, though certain weekend Providence trains ran to Yawkey as late as 2007. Similar special trains continue to serve Foxboro station during football and soccer games and special events at Gillette Stadium.
Yawkey was built with a low-level asphalt platform and was not initially handicapped accessible. After the 1990 passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a mini-high platform was added between 1990 and 1992. However, the mini-high platform only served one of the line's two tracks, limiting the number of trains that could stop at the station.
In early 2000, the MBTA released a study which analyzed the possibility of full-time commuter service to Yawkey to serve workers at nearby Boston University, Kenmore Square, and the Longwood Medical and Academic Area. An addendum released in August 2000 analyzed increased service (on all modes) to Fenway Park on game days. Possibilities studied included running game day service from the Plymouth/Kingston Line with an unused trainset, a South Station-Yawkey shuttle, increased Green Line service, and bus shuttles to the Red Line in Cambridge and to Ruggles station. Consideration was given to building a dedicated terminal spur and station on the remains of the former Highland Branch.
Regular weekday commuter service to the station began on January 2, 2001 with 4 daily round trips. Weekend service was still initially limited to game days. Regular weekend service was added on April 30, 2001. From 2001 to 2014, not all trains stopped at the station; most peak-direction trains stopped, but many off-peak trains did not. Before the rebuilding began in 2012, some trains stopped at Yawkey only on game days during the Red Sox season.
In August 2007, the MBTA published a feasibility study exploring the possibility of rebuilding Yawkey as a full-service station. The study concluded that doing so would increase ridership by 60%, from 585 daily boardings and alightings to 937. On November 15, 2010, Governor Deval Patrick and other officials broke ground on a major rebuilding of the station, originally expected to be completed in the spring of 2012. The new station has two full-length high-level platforms that provide level, handicapped-accessible boarding for all passengers; the old platform had only a wooden ramp for accessibility. The two 700-foot-long platforms (a side platform between the tracks plus a side platform on the south side of the tracks) are connected with an overpass, and passengers no longer have to cross the tracks to access certain outbound trains.
The rebuilt station was intended to be the first component of a larger, mostly private development called Fenway Center. The new station, which cost about $13.5 million, is planned to be powered entirely by solar panels after the development opens. Although the developer, Meredith Management Corporation, wished to close the station during rebuilding, the MBTA elected to keep it open. Fenway Center, which was to be built on the air rights over the adjacent Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90), would eventually cover much of the station. As part of the development, walkways would be built above the station, allowing passengers to walk directly to the pedestrian bridge and platforms from Beacon Street and Brookline Avenue rather than passing through private parking lots. After lengthy negotiations, an air-rights deal between the city and the developer regarding Fenway Center was reached in May 2013. As of June 2016[update], construction on the new buildings had still yet to begin, while financing and staging negotiations for the section not located over the station and highway were underway.
The Framingham/Worcester line schedule was changed slightly in April 2012 to allow for temporary single-tracking through the station for construction. Actual station construction activity started in June 2012, and in August one track was cut, reducing the line to one track through the station. The platforms were installed in late November 2012; construction of the elevator shafts began in February 2013. A temporary ramp opened in June 2013 for passengers to use the east end of the future outbound platform; the old platform was demolished soon afterwards to make room for the west ends of the new platforms. The pedestrian bridge was lifted into place in August 2013, followed by the various roof and canopy elements. The second track was rebuilt in late September, followed by the remaining platform segments.
The new station fully opened on March 10, 2014, coinciding with planned service increases on the Framingham/Worcester Line. Before the reconstruction, 17 trains stopped at Yawkey each weekday; after, all 48 daily trains (24 round trips) stopped. The opening was first planned for January 13, then January 27, but was delayed due to problems with the Yawkey elevators and adjustments to the schedule based on public comment. The walkway between the new station and Fenway Park includes large lit statues of the uniform numbers retired by the Red Sox.
After special events like concerts at Fenway Park, the MBTA sometimes runs special commuter rail shuttles from Yawkey to South Station.
Yawkey Station was a proposed stop on the MBTA's proposed Urban Ring Project. The Urban Ring was to be a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Line designed to connect the current MBTA Lines to reduce strain on the downtown stations. Under the most recent plan, the Urban Ring would access Yawkey via Mountfort Street to the north and a new tunnel paralleling the Green Line "D" Branch to the southwest, with a turnoff and station at Overland Street. The Urban Ring project is currently shelved due to the MBTA's financial difficulties.
|Overpass||Overpass between platforms|
|Outbound||← Framingham/Worcester Line toward Worcester|
|Side platform, doors will open on the left|
|Inbound||Framingham/Worcester Line toward South Station →|
|Side platform, doors will open on the right|
The station is fully handicapped accessible, with two full-length high-level platforms and elevators to cross from one track to another. The overhead pedestrian bridge is designed to connect to a future deck between Brookline Avenue and Beacon Street as part of the Fenway Center project. The main entrance to the station is on Overland Street between the two major streets; staircases to Beacon Street are also available from the west ends of the platforms.
The station has an extremely unusual platform layout, where the outbound side platform is between the tracks rather than to the side. This is because the station is located on a tight curve; doors located on the end of passenger cars would have gaps next to a convex platform.
- 8 Harbor Point/UMass – Kenmore Station via B.U. Medical Center & Dudley Station
- 19 Fields Corner Station – Kenmore or Ruggles Station via Grove Hall & Dudley Station
- 60 Chestnut Hill – Kenmore Station via Brookline Village & Cypress Street
- 65 Brighton Center – Kenmore Station via Washington Street, Brookline Village & Brookline Avenue
Kenmore station, located 0.25 miles (0.40 km) to the northeast along Brookline Avenue, provides connections to the "B", "C", and "D" branches of the MBTA Green Line, as well two additional bus routes:
- 57 Watertown Yard – Kenmore Station via Newton Corner & Brighton Center
- 57A Oak Square – Kenmore Station via Commonwealth Avenue
MASCO, a consortium of medical facilities and universities, runs a number of private and semi-private bus routes that serve its member organizations. Two private routes, the HSPH Landmark Shuttle and the Fenway Combined Shuttle, stop at Yawkey station on Overland Street.
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