Route 128 station

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Route 128
MBTA Commuter Rail train at Route 128 station in 2012
Location50 University Avenue
Westwood, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°12′37″N 71°08′50″W / 42.2102°N 71.1472°W / 42.2102; -71.1472
Latitude and Longitude:

42°12′37″N 71°08′50″W / 42.2102°N 71.1472°W / 42.2102; -71.1472
Owned by Amtrak (station and platforms)
MBTA (parking garage and tracks) [1]
Line(s) Northeast Corridor
Platforms2 side platforms
Parking2,589 spaces ($7.00 fee)
Disabled accessYes
Other information
Station codeRTE (Amtrak)
Fare zone2 (MBTA)
OpenedApril 26, 1953 [2]
Rebuilt1965, 2000 [1]
Passengers (FY2016)450,301 (Amtrak alightings + boardings) [3]
Passengers (2018)1,721 (MBTA daily boardings) [4]
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
Providence Acela Boston Back Bay
Providence Northeast Regional
Preceding station MBTA.svg MBTA Following station
Canton Junction Providence/​Stoughton Line Hyde Park
Former services
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
toward New Haven
Beacon Hill Boston South
Preceding station New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Following station
Canton Junction
toward New Haven
Shore Line Readville
toward Boston

Route 128 station (also Westwood – Route 128 [1], and sometimes subtitled Dedham-Westwood or University Park) is a passenger rail station in Westwood, Massachusetts. It is located at the crossing of the Northeast Corridor and Interstate 95/ US Route 1/ Route 128 at the eastern tip of Westwood and Dedham. It is served by most MBTA Commuter Rail Providence/Stoughton Line commuter trains, as well as by all Amtrak Northeast Regional and Acela Express intercity trains. The station area and platforms are owned by Amtrak, but the MBTA owns the parking garage and tracks. [1]

Route 128 station opened in 1953 as a park-and-ride facility and was rebuilt in 2000 with a large parking garage. The station has no bus connections and low walkability to Westwood, Dedham, or the nearby towns of Norwood and Canton, however substantial development has occurred just south of the station. It is one of only a few MBTA stations that permits overnight parking. [5] A separate entrance to the garage is used for overnight parking, which is intended for Amtrak customers. Unlike most MBTA stations, credit cards and even E-ZPass transponders are accepted for payment of parking fees.

The station has full-length high-level platforms serving both tracks and is fully accessible.


Early history

A station named Green Lodge was located on Green Lodge Street (later part of the original Circumferential Highway) from the 1860s to the 1920s. The New Haven Railroad opened Route 128 station on April 26, 1953, on the same site, so that intercity rail passengers could park off the (then under construction) Route 128 expressway rather than having to drive into downtown Boston. [2] Built at the direction of New Haven president Frederic C. Dumaine, Jr., Route 128 station was among the first dedicated park and ride stations built in the country. [1] It quickly became a preferred station for suburban commuters, who now represent a majority of station traffic. [6] The bridge that carried Green Lodge Street over the tracks was removed in the 1980s; the abutments still flank the platforms. Some local commuters park on the east side of the station to avoid parking fees, though the MBTA has attempted to curtail this. [7]

Operator changes

A southbound Amtrak train at Route 128 in 1974. The 1965-built station building and 1971-added pedestrian bridge (moved from Wickford Junction) are visible.

The station originally had two small prefab shelters, manufactured as garages, as waiting rooms. [1] These were replaced in 1965 with brick buildings; a pedestrian overpass originally from Wickford Junction was added in 1971. [1] [8] [9] The New Haven Railroad folded into Penn Central at the end of 1968; Amtrak took over intercity service on May 1, 1971, while the MBTA (formed in 1964 to subsidize suburban commuter service) gradually took over local trains. [10]

The MBTA bought Penn Central's southside lines and stations on January 27, 1973, and began subsidizing service as far as Canton Junction on the Stoughton Branch and Sharon on the Providence Line in June 1973. [10] Conrail took over Penn Central on April 1, 1976; beginning on March 12, 1977, the MBTA contracted the Boston and Maine Railroad to run all southside service. [10] Both Amtrak and the B&M continued to use the 1965-built station facilities for the remainder of the 20th century.

Rebuilt station

Amtrak waiting room
2000-built platforms and pedestrian bridge

Conceptual designs for a replacement station were completed in June 1991. [11] In November 1997, the MBTA Board approved a $42.5 million plan to replace the aging station. [12] The new station opened in 2000, with a $30 million, multi-level 2,000-space parking garage; bicycle racks; staffed ticket windows; a small concession and vending area; and an enclosed, well-lit waiting area. [13] [14] The new station included new full-length high-level side platforms, which are designed to be converted to island platforms when third and fourth tracks are eventually added to the station. The new platforms and the elevators connecting them were necessary to meet ADA rules for handicapped accessibility, as well as to allow the Acela Express (which can only board at high-level platforms) to begin running in December 2000. [1] The new parking garage at the station was a source of controversy due to the financing plan that relies heavily on customer revenues, which initially failed to meet expectations. [13] The financing plan causes parking fees to be higher than other MBTA Commuter Rail stations. [15]

Elevator and escalator issues

The elevators and escalators installed in 2000, which are necessary for many passengers to reach the Boston-bound platform, have proved unreliable. In early 2013, the escalator serving the outbound platform failed and was not repaired due to lack of funding for replacement. [16] The inbound platform escalator and one elevator failed in early 2015, prompting Amtrak to initiate replacement of both escalators and both elevators. The replacement process was originally expected to require both elevators to be out of service until the project is complete in early 2016. [17] The elevators were taken out of service on July 20, 2015; Amtrak provided an accessible shuttle service between both platforms and the station building. [18] The elevators returned to service on September 1, 2015, though the escalators remained out of service for several months longer. [19] However, elevators and escalators inside the station building suffered similar issues for the next several years. Because Amtrak is except from state and local building laws, it circumvented normal rules that require regular elevator inspections. [20]

Proposed Orange Line extension

As a major park-and-ride ten miles from downtown Boston, Route 128 station is a candidate for rapid transit service rather than conventional low-frequency commuter rail service. The 1966 Program for Mass Transportation recommended a bifurcated Orange Line, with one branch to West Roxbury or Hersey and another to either Readville or Route 128 via Hyde Park. [21] Various reports over the next two decades continued to recommend various combinations of the extensions; however, due to cost, the 1987 relocation of the Orange Line to the Southwest Corridor was terminated at Forest Hills. [22] Hyde Park, Readville, and the Needham Line instead received limited upgrades like handicapped accessible platforms.

The extension is still periodically discussed. The 2004 Program for Mass Transportation listed an extension to Route 128 with intermediate stops at Mount Hope, Hyde Park, and Readville at a cost of $342.8 million. The extension was listed as low priority due to environmental issues with crossing the wetlands south of Readville, and because the corridor already has commuter rail service. [23]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Westwood - Route 128 Station, MA (RTE)". Great American Stations. Amtrak. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b Baer, Christopher T. "PRR Chronology: 1953" (PDF). Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society.
  3. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2016, Commonwealth of Massachusetts" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  4. ^ Central Transportation Planning Staff (2019). "2018 Commuter Rail Counts". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
  5. ^ "Overnight Parking". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
  6. ^ Humphrey, Thomas J. & Clark, Norton D. (1985). Boston's Commuter Rail: The First 150 Years. Boston Street Railway Association. p. 31. ISBN  9780685412947.
  7. ^ "T CHANGES ITS PLAN FOR ROUTE 128 STATION". Boston Globe. March 14, 2000 – via open access
  8. ^ Humphrey, Thomas J. & Clark, Norton D. (1986). Boston's Commuter Rail: Second Section. Boston Street Railway Association. p. 54.
  9. ^ Haskel, Donald (September 1966). "NH 2059 New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad EMD FL9 at Kingston, Rhode Island". RailPictures.Net. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  10. ^ a b c Belcher, Jonathan. "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit.
  11. ^ Sanborn, George M. (1992). A Chronicle of the Boston Transit System. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority – via Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  12. ^ Palmer, Thomas C., Jr. (November 10, 1997). "MBTA approves plan to revamp Route 128 station". Boston Globe – via open access
  13. ^ a b Palmer, Thomas C., Jr. (January 13, 2001). "T Garage's Unpopularity Spurs Bond Watch". Boston Globe. p. C2 – via open access
  14. ^ Middleton, William D. (August 1, 2001). "Bean town boom; projects planned by Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority". Railway Age.
  15. ^ Forman, Judith (October 9, 2003). "T promotes benefits of low-use stations". Boston Globe – via open access
  16. ^ Powers, Martine (2 November 2015). "Going up? For one escalator, not anytime soon". Boston Globe. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  17. ^ Dungca, Nicole (1 May 2015). "Amtrak taking steps to fix Route 128 Station in Westwood". Boston Globe. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  18. ^ "Commuter Rail Service Alerts: Providence/Stoughton Line". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 21 July 2015. Archived from the original on 28 July 2015.
  19. ^ "Commuter Rail Service Alerts: Providence/Stoughton Line". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 1 September 2015. Archived from the original on 2 October 2015.
  20. ^ Donnelly, Ally (January 25, 2018). "Escalating Frustration: Years Later, Amtrak Station Still in Disrepair". New England Cable News.
  21. ^ MBTA planning staff (3 May 1966). "A Comprehensive Development Program for Public Transportation in the Massachusetts Bay Area: 1966". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. p. V-9. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  22. ^ Central Transportation Planning Staff (15 November 1993). "The Transportation Plan for the Boston Region - Volume 2". National Transportation Library. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  23. ^ Central Transportation Planning Staff (January 2004) [May 2003]. "Chapter 5C: Service Expansion" (PDF). 2004 Program for Mass Transportation. Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization. p. 5C-83. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2013.

External links