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North Station

MBTA Commuter and Amtrak Downeaster trains at North Station
Location 126 Causeway Street
Boston, MA 02114
Owned by Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority


MBTA Commuter Rail:

MBTA Subway

  Green Line "C" Branch
  Green Line "E" Branch
  Green Line "D" Branch (non-peak hours)
Platforms 6 island platforms (Commuter Rail and Amtrak; only 5 active)
2 side platforms and 1 island platform (Orange Line and Green Line)
Tracks 12 (Commuter Rail and Amtrak; only 10 active)
2 (Orange Line)
2 (Green Line)
Connections Bus transport MBTA Bus: 4
Parking 1275 spaces (privately owned garage)
Bicycle facilities Bicycle lockers
Disabled access Yes
Other information
Station code BON (Amtrak)
Opened September 3, 1898 (Green Line surface)
June 19, 1901 (Orange Line elevated)
June 1, 1912 (Green Line elevated)
1928 (commuter and intercity rail)
April 7, 1975 (Orange Line subway)
June 28, 2004 (Green Line subway)
Closed April 4, 1975 (Orange Line elevated)
March 28, 1997 (Green Line surface)
June 25, 2004 (Green Line Elevated)
Rebuilt 1995 (commuter rail)
Passengers (2013) 17,079 daily boardings[1] (MBTA subway)
Passengers (2012) 16,436 daily boardings[2] (MBTA Commuter Rail)
Passengers (2013) 475,447 annual boardings and alightings[3] (Amtrak)
Preceding station   Amtrak   Following station
Terminus Downeaster
toward Brunswick, ME
MBTA Commuter Rail
toward Fitchburg
Fitchburg Line Terminus
Terminus Lowell Line
toward Lowell
Haverhill Line
toward Haverhill
Haverhill Line
Rush hours only
toward Haverhill
Newburyport/Rockport Line
toward Newburyport or Rockport
MBTA Subway
toward Heath Street
Green Line
toward Lechmere
toward Riverside
Green Line
Off-peak service only
Green Line Terminus
toward Forest Hills
Orange Line
toward Oak Grove
  Former services  
toward South Sudbury
Central Mass Branch
Closed 1971
toward Forest Hills
Orange Line
Closed 1975
toward Everett
toward Bedford Depot
Lexington Branch
Closed 1977
Terminus Lowell Line
Closed 1981
toward Concord, N.H.
Terminus Lowell Line
Closed 1981
toward Woburn
toward Gardner
Fitchburg Line
Closed 1986
  Proposed services  
toward South Station
North–South Rail Link Terminus
North Station is located in Boston

North Station is a major transportation hub located at Causeway and Nashua Streets in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. It is one of the city's two terminals for Amtrak and MBTA Commuter Rail trains, the other being South Station. The main concourse of North Station is located at the street level, immediately below TD Garden, a major sports venue in Boston, home of the Boston Bruins hockey team and the Boston Celtics basketball team. The arena is also used for rock concerts and other events, taking advantage of the extensive transportation connections at the site.


  • Description 1
  • History 2
    • Former interstate service 2.1
  • Bus connections 3
  • Accessibility 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Commuter rail locomotives at North Station
Outbound Green Line platform on the mezzanine

North Station facilities include:

Several MBTA commuter rail lines, plus Amtrak's Northeast Corridor service to New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and beyond, originate from South Station, about 1-1/4 miles around the Boston peninsula from North Station. No direct link exists between the two stations, although MBTA subway connections are available. Transfers to Amtrak and the MBTA Commuter Rail's Providence/Stoughton, Needham, Franklin, and Framingham/Worcester Lines may also be made at Back Bay, a one-seat ride on the Orange Line from North Station. Additionally, transfers from the Fitchburg Line to the South Station lines can be made at Porter, a one-seat ride on the Red Line. A North–South Rail Link is proposed to link North and South Stations, but as of May 2006 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has withdrawn its sponsorship of the proposal due to its high cost.


Before North Union Station opened on the spot in 1893, there were four separate stations in the area:

  • The Boston and Maine Railroad terminal was just north of Haymarket Square, between Canal Street and Haverhill Street, stretching most of the way to Traverse Street. This approach was later used by the Green Line and Orange Line. The other three were all on the north side of Causeway Street, with the first two in the area where North Station is now.
  • The Boston and Lowell Railroad terminal was on the east side of Nashua Street, stretching east for about a block.
  • Next was the Eastern Railroad terminal, across Causeway Street from Friend Street.
  • The Fitchburg Railroad station was on the other side of the Boston and Maine Railroad approach, right next to Beverly Street, the approach to the Warren Bridge.

Just south of North Station was the Canal Street Incline through which the Green Line and Orange Line originally went from elevated to subway.

North Station circa 1928

The original North Union Station was demolished in 1928 to make way for the Boston Garden, which included a new North Station as part of the design. This was in turn replaced by the FleetCenter (now the TD Garden) in 1995, which also necessitated a redesigned North Station.

In 1959, a bomb placed in a locker blew up the elevated Orange Line Station, killing one MTA worker. Operations were suspended the rest of the day, and the track was up and running the next day, contrary to what most people expected. Further bomb threats were phoned in, but no further bombs were found.[5]

In November 2005, the MBTA completed construction of its "North Station Superstation" project, which placed the Green Line underground, offering inbound cross-platform transfers between the Green and Orange Lines. Outbound Green Line trains arrive on the mezzanine level, still within fare control. The project was done primarily to improve transfer between the two lines but also to tear down the old elevated North Station Green Line stop and the old Causeway Street Elevated structure.

In April 2006, the MBTA announced plans to enlarge the cramped waiting area in the aboveground portion of the station, by building over the south end of the tracks and platforms. The expansion was substantially completed by the end of January 2007 and was paid for by Delaware North Companies, owners of the TD Garden, who struck a deal for sharing revenue from concessions and advertising with the MBTA. The redesigned station was built for 12 tracks, but only 10 are in service as of 2013.

Former interstate service

Until the 1960s, the station was the hub for long-distance B&M service to multiple locales north and west of Boston, usually in conjunction with other railroads. Service cutbacks began in the 1950s, and service soon dwindled down to commuter rail operations. The sole interstate routes remaining after 1965 were single daily round trips to Concord and Dover, New Hampshire, which lasted until June 30, 1967.[6] By this point, the interstate train itineraries consisted of self-propelled Budd Rail Diesel Cars, often just one or two cars for the trip.

Limited service to Concord was run from January 28, 1980 to March 1, 1981 as part of a federally funded experiment.[6]

Name Final B & M station at peak level Partner railroad in continuing joint train service Final destination Year discontinued
The Minute Man Troy, New York via Fitchburg and Greenfield New York Central Chicago, Illinois 1960
The Cheshire Bellows Falls, Vermont via Fitchburg and Keene - - 1958
Green Mountain Flyer Bellows Falls Rutland Railway Burlington, Vermont, Montreal, Quebec 1953
The Ambassador[7] White River Junction, Vermont via Lowell, Massachusetts and Concord, New Hampshire Central Vermont Railway Essex Junction, Vermont, Montreal 1965
Alouette[8] Wells River, Vermont via Lowell, Massachusetts and Concord, New Hampshire Canadian Pacific Railway Montreal 1965
Flying Yankee Portland, Maine via Dover Maine Central Railroad Bangor Union Station 1957
Aroostook Flyer Portland, Maine Maine Central Railroad
Bangor and Aroostook Railroad
Bangor, Maine, Presque Isle, Maine 1961
The Gull[8] Portland Maine Central Railroad
Canadian Pacific Railway
Canadian National Railway
Halifax, Nova Scotia via St. John, New Brunswick 1960

Bus connections


North Station is wheelchair accessible on all modes. There is a cross-platform connection between the inbound Orange Line and the inbound Green Line; transferring in other directions is accessible but requires the use of elevators. All other Orange Line stations are accessible as well, but not all Green Line stations are wheelchair accessible.

Most major stations on the MBTA Commuter Rail routes are accessible with full-length high or mini-high platforms, but some stations are not accessible. All Downeaster stations are accessible with high platforms or low platforms with wheelchair lifts.


  1. ^ "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14 ed.).  
  2. ^ Humphrey, Thomas J. (21 December 2012). "MBTA Commuter Rail Passenger Count Results" (PDF). Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2013, Commonwealth of Massachusetts" (PDF).  
  4. ^
  5. ^ "North Station Explosion, 1959". Celebrate Boston. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Belcher, Jonathan (12 November 2012). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "White River Junction, Vt. and Area, 1964-65 and 2000"
  8. ^ a b "Run-Through Passenger Trains in New England"

External links

  • Amtrak – Stations – Boston North Station
  • MBTA: Boston North Station
    • Commuter Rail
    • Green and Orange Lines
  • Boston North Amtrak Station (USA RailGuide -- TrainWeb)
  • Causeway Street and Accolyn Way entrance from Google Maps Street View
  • Commuter Rail and Amtrak platforms from Google Maps Street View
  • Boston-North Station, MA (BON) (Amtrak's Great American Stations)
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