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BOSTON
 Massachussetts . USA

Boston Rapid Transit Map © UrbanRail.Net

ATTENTION: Government Center station on Green & Blue Lines closed until spring 2016!

 System

Boston is the capital of Massachusetts; with 620,000 inhabitants in the city proper, it is the centre of a large metropolitan area with some 4 million inhabitants.

The Boston Subway network (the 'T') consists of three colour-coded full metro lines (red, orange and blue), plus a light rail line (green line) with four western branches and an underground section in Central Boston (actually America's oldest subway opened in 1897). The three metro lines are underground in the city centre but elevated or at grade in outer areas, partly using former railway corridors. Like the Green Line, the Red Line crosses the Charles River on a bridge (Longfellow Bridge) towards Cambridge (Harvard University), whereas the Blue line dives under the Boston Harbor to the Airport station (from where a shuttle bus links all the terminals) and further east to Wonderland. From the Red Line's southern terminus at Ashmont, a tram line continues to Mattapan. The subway is operated by MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority) and has a total length of 101.5 km:

 

   Green Line  Lechmere - Boston College/Cleveland Circle/Riverside/Heath

- 36.4 km (7.2 km underground, 1.2 km elevated) - 65 stations/stops:
B Branch: Government Center - Boston College
C Branch: North Station - Cleveland Circle
D Branch:
Government Center - Riverside
E Branch: Lechmere - Heath

ClevelandCircle Hynes Convention Center Riverway
Cleveland Circle | Hynes Convention Center | Riverway

01 Sept 1897: underground tram tunnel along Tremont street now still used by the Green Line (Park St and Boylston stations)
03 Sept 1898: Park Street – Haymarket – portal to North Station

12 Nov 2005: Green Line relocated into new underground station at North Station

 

   Red Line  Alewife - Braintree/Ashmont

- 33 km (14 km underground) - 22 stations - 37 minutes to Ashmont and 46 min to Braintree.
- Light rail service from Ashmont to Mattapan (4.7 km, 8 stops)

Harvard Charles Fields Corner
Harvard | Charles | Fields Corner

23 Mar 1912: Harvard - Park Street (Cambridge - Dorchester Line)
04 April 1915: Park Street - Washington (now Downtown Crossing)
03 Dec 1916: Washington - South Station
15 Dec 1917: South Station - Broadway
29 June 1918: Broadway - Andrew
02 Nov 1927: Andrew - Fields Corner
01 Sept 1928: Fields Corner - Ashmont (Dorchester branch completed)
04 Feb 1932: Charles station finished
01 Sept 1971: Andrew - Quincy Center
22 Mar 1980: Quincy Center - Braintree
10 Sept 1983: Quincy Adams station added
1983: new Harvard station
1985: Harvard - Alewife

   Ashmont–Mattapan High Speed Line  Ashmont - Mattapan

Shown on maps like an extension of the Red Line, the Mattapan Line (built in 1929) is similar to the Riverside branch of the Green Line and runs on a railway-type alignment with some level crossings. Since 1985, it has been operated with ex-Green Line PCC cars.

 

   Blue Line  Bowdoin - Wonderland

- 9.5 km (3.4 km underground) - 12 stations - 23 minutes

Suffolk Downs Beachmont Aquarium
Suffolk Downs | Beachmont | Aquarium

30 Dec 1904: tram tunnel downtown - Maverick under Boston Harbor
21 April 1924: Blue Line (East Boston Line) changed to subway operation
05 Jan 1952: Maverick - Orient Heights
21 April 1952: Orient Heights - Suffolk Downs
19 June 1954: Suffolk Downs - Wonderland

 

   Orange Line  Oak Grove - Forest Hills

- 18 km (3 km underground, 7.5 elevated) - 20 stations - 33 minutes

Malden Center State Tufts Medical Center
Malden Center | State | New England Medical Center (now Tufts Medical Center)

10 June 1901: elevated Orange Line sharing Tremont street tunnel (outer tracks) (Sullivan Sq - Dudley St)
01 Sept 1908: Washington street tunnel for Orange Line (parallel to Tremont street)
1975: Orange Line northern elevated structure demolished and put underground to Community College and at grade to Wellington
19 March 1979: Wellington - Oak Grove
1983-1987: Orange Line relocation of southern section between Chinatown and Forest Hills and demolition of original elevated structure
June 2004: new joint North Station for the Green Line and the Orange Line allowing cross-platform transfer on inbound trains
02 Sept 2014: Assembly station added

March 2010: New England Medical Center station renamed Tufts Medical Center

   Silver Line  

In spring 2000, the construction of the MBTA Silver Line began, this is an innovative rubber-tired rapid transit service (i.e. a trolleybus) which will ultimately link the Washington Street Corridor and the South Boston Piers Transitway together providing a direct link to Logan Airport. This new system consists of a reserved bus lane plus a 1-mile tunnel between South Station and the piers with 3 underground stops.


 

 Projects

After platform lengthening concluded in 2009, on the Blue Line might be extended north from Wonderland to Lynn along a disused rail alignment, and from Bowdoin to Charles station to create a connection to the Red Line.

The Green Line is currently being extended from Lechmere, its current northern terminus, to West Medford via Somerville and Tufts University, alongside the existing suburban rail right-of-way: 5.4 km (+ 1.4 km spur to Union Sq) (Project Website).

 Photos
Park Street Government Center Arlington
Park Street | Government Center | Arlington
 Books

Simms, Wilfrid F.: RAILWAYS OF BOSTON. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority System, 1999 (ISBN 1902822021)

 Links

MBTA - Official Page

MBTA Subway at Wikipedia

Boston Transit at nysubway.org

Boston Metropolitan Planning Organisation (MPO)

FutureMBTA - interesting private site which discusses possible extensions

 

Subways & Light Rail in the USA 1: East Coast

SUBWAYS & LIGHT RAIL
in the U.S.A.
Vol.1 - East Coast

Click here for more info!

 

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2007 © Robert Schwandl (UrbanRail.Net)