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 inbound 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 arena. The arena is also used for concerts and other events, taking advantage of the extensive transportation connections at the site.

North Station
F40 in N Station.JPG
MBTA Commuter Rail and Amtrak Downeaster trains at North Station
Location126 Causeway Street, Boston, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°21′57″N 71°03′40″W / 42.3657°N 71.061°W / 42.3657; -71.061Coordinates: 42°21′57″N 71°03′40″W / 42.3657°N 71.061°W / 42.3657; -71.061
Owned byMassachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Platforms6 island platforms (Commuter Rail and Amtrak; only 5 active)
2 side platforms and 1 island platform (Orange Line and Green Line)
Tracks12 (Commuter Rail and Amtrak; only 10 active)
2 (Orange Line)
2 (Green Line)
ConnectionsBus transport MBTA Bus: 4
Bus transport CRTMA: EZRide
Parking1275 spaces (privately owned garage)
38 accessible spaces
Bicycle facilities20 spaces
Bluebikes dock
Disabled accessYes
Other information
Station codeBON (Amtrak)
Fare zone1A (MBTA Commuter Rail)
OpenedSeptember 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)[1]
ClosedApril 4, 1975 (Orange Line elevated)
March 28, 1997 (Green Line surface)
June 25, 2004 (Green Line elevated)[1]
Rebuilt1995, January 2007 (commuter rail)
Passengers (2013)17,079 daily boardings[2] (MBTA subway)
Passengers (2012)18,427 daily boardings[3] (MBTA Commuter Rail)
Passengers (2017)448,483 annual boardings and alightings[4]Increase 5.62% (Amtrak)
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
Terminus Downeaster Woburn
toward Brunswick
Preceding station MBTA.svg MBTA Following station
toward Wachusett
Fitchburg Line Terminus
Terminus Lowell Line West Medford
toward Lowell
Haverhill Line
Limited service
West Medford
toward Haverhill
Haverhill Line Malden Center
toward Haverhill
Newburyport/​Rockport Line Chelsea
Haymarket Green Line Terminus
Haymarket Green Line Science Park
toward Lechmere
Haymarket Orange Line Community College
toward Oak Grove
Former / future services
Preceding station MBTA.svg MBTA Following station
Starting 2021
toward Riverside
Green Line Science Park
Haymarket Green Line Science Park
Former services
Cambridge Central Mass Branch
Closed 1971
toward Bedford
Lexington Branch
Closed 1977
Terminus Lowell Line
Woburn Branch
Closed 1981
West Medford
toward Woburn
Preceding station Boston Elevated Railway Following station
Battery Street Atlantic Avenue Elevated
Closed 1938


Rail stationEdit

North Station is located on the first floor of the TD Garden, with its platforms extending to the north (lower right)

North Station facilities include:

  • Terminus for MBTA Commuter Rail northern routes and Amtrak's Downeaster service
  • Staffed ticket windows
  • Small food court and waiting area
  • Direct access to adjacent TD Garden for sporting and other events
  • Parking garage (privately operated)

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 14 miles (2 km) 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.

Subway stationEdit

An Orange Line train at North Station in 2006

Station layoutEdit

G Street Level Exit/Entrance
B1 Outbound      Green Line – "E" Branch toward Lechmere (Science Park)
     Green Line short turn →
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Mezzanine One-way faregates, ticket machines, station agent
Connection to MBTA Commuter Rail/Amtrak platforms
B2 Inbound      Green Line toward Cleveland Circle or Heath Street (Haymarket)
Island platform, doors will open on the left for Green Line trains and right for Orange Line trains
Inbound      Orange Line toward Forest Hills (Haymarket)
Outbound      Orange Line toward Oak Grove (Community College)
Side platform, doors will open on the right


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.

Bus connectionsEdit

MBTA Bus route 4 runs on Causeway Street, with stops near Canal Street. The EZRide Shuttle loops on Red Auerbach Way with a stop near the secondary entrance to North Station.[5]

Lovejoy WharfEdit

Water taxi and former ferry dock at Lovejoy Wharf in 2014

Lovejoy Wharf, located off Beverly Street northeast of North Station, is the head of navigation of the Charles River due to the adjacent Charles River Dam.[5] It is served by water taxi services to Logan Airport and the Boston waterfront by two private companies.[6]

Scheduled ferry service was formerly operated to Lovejoy Wharf as well. Two MBTA Boat routes - the F3 Lovejoy Wharf - Boston Navy Yard and F5 Lovejoy Wharf - World Trade Center via Moakley Courthouse - began operation in 1997 during Big Dig construction.[7] They were discontinued on January 21, 2005 due to low ridership.[7][8] The F5X Lovejoy Wharf - World Trade Center Express route, which did not rely on MBTA funding, was run until February 24, 2006.[8]


Early historyEdit

North Union StationEdit

North Union Station, circa 1897

Before North Union Station opened on the spot in 1893, there were four separate stations in the area:[9]

Just south of North Station was the Canal Street Incline through which the Tremont Street Subway (now part of the Green Line) went from surface to subway, and later the Washington Street Tunnel connected to the Charlestown Elevated (both later part of the Orange Line).

Construction of the subwaysEdit

The Tremont Street Subway was extended north from Park Street in 1898. It rose to the surface at the Canal Street Incline, with a surface terminal at Causeway Street. The Main Line Elevated opened in 1901 with an elevated station at North Union Station. Elevated trains ran south through the Tremont Street Subway, north on the Charlestown Elevated, and east along the waterfront on the Atlantic Avenue Elevated. The elevated moved into its own tunnel in 1908.[1]

The Causeway Street Elevated opened in 1912, with an elevated streetcar station over Causeway Street. The project included a single-track platform for Atlantic Avenue Elevated shuttle trains.[10]

North StationEdit

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.

The Atlantic Avenue elevated was reduced to a North Station-South Station shuttle by 1928 after an accident at Beach Street, and closed entirely in 1938. It was demolished in 1942, but the shuttle platform remained intact.

1959 bombingEdit

Aftermath of the June 1959 bombing

In 1959, a bomb exploded in a locker in the Main Line Elevated station, killing one M.T.A. worker. Operations were suspended the rest of the day, and the track was up and running the next day, contrary to public expectations. Further bomb threats were phoned in, but no other bombs were found.[11]

End of intercity serviceEdit

North Station in the early 1960s

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.[12][13][14] Service cutbacks began in the 1950s, and service soon dwindled down to commuter rail operations. The last intercity service to Portland, Maine and to north of Concord, New Hampshire ended on January 4, 1965.[1] By this point, the intercity train itineraries consisted of self-propelled Budd Rail Diesel Cars, often just one or two cars for the trip. Single commuter-oriented daily round trips on these routes to Concord and Dover, New Hampshire lasted until June 30, 1967.[1]

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

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, Massachusetts and Greenfield, Massachusetts New York Central Chicago, Illinois 1960
The Cheshire Bellows Falls, Vermont via Fitchburg, Massachusetts and Keene, New Hampshire - - 1958
Green Mountain Flyer Bellows Falls, Vermont Rutland Railway Burlington, Vermont, Montreal, Quebec 1953
Ambassador[15] White River Junction, Vermont via Lowell, Massachusetts and Concord, New Hampshire Central Vermont Railway Essex Junction, Vermont, Montreal, Quebec 1966
Alouette[16] Wells River, Vermont via Lowell, Massachusetts and Concord, New Hampshire Canadian Pacific Railway Montreal, Quebec 1965
Connecticut Yankee Travelling via Concord, New Hampshire, then connecting with main route from New York City at White River Junction, Vermont Central Vermont Railway
Quebec Central Railway
Quebec City, Quebec via Sherbrooke, Quebec ca. 1953
Flying Yankee Portland, Maine via Dover, New Hampshire Maine Central Railroad Bangor, Maine 1957
Kennebec Limited Portland, Maine Maine Central Railroad Vanceboro, Maine 1958
Penobscot Portland, Maine Maine Central Railroad Bangor, Maine 1957
Pine Tree Limited Portland, Maine Maine Central Railroad Bangor, Maine 1958
The Gull[16] Portland, Maine Maine Central Railroad
Canadian Pacific Railway
Canadian National Railway
Halifax, Nova Scotia via Saint John, New Brunswick 1960

MBTA eraEdit

Subway stationEdit

In 1975, the Orange Line was moved underground as part of the Haymarket North Extension project. The Orange Line station was made accessible in 2001.[17] The elevated Green Line station (which already had elevators) was outfitted with portable lifts around that time for temporary accessibility while the new underground station was constructed.[17][18]

New stationEdit

The FleetCenter (now the TD Garden) replaced Boston Garden in 1995, including a redesigned North Station.

In 2001, intercity service returned to North Station with Amtrak's Downeaster to Portland, Maine (later extended to Brunswick), using the Lowell and Haverhill lines to the New Hampshire border. It has become one of the more popular routes in New England. Due in part to this, North Station was the 23rd busiest Amtrak station in the country in fiscal 2018, and the fifth busiest in New England (behind South Station, Providence, New Haven Union and Back Bay).[19]


A southbound Green Line train at the "superstation" in February 2006

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.[1]

On June 24, 2019, the MBTA Board awarded a $29.7 million, 16-month contract for full cleaning, wayfinding signage repacement, and other improvements at North Station, Haymarket, State, and Downtown Crossing stations.[20]


Expanded waiting area for commuter rail and Amtrak trains

In April 2006, the MBTA announced plans for an enlargement of the waiting area at North Station.[21] The project covered over the southern 80 feet (24 m) of the platforms, adding 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) of waiting and retail space. The $5 million project was completed in February 2007.[22][23] Two large train information displays, with electronic noises to imitate Solari boards, were added in November 2007.[24]

Boston Garden Towers changesEdit

Beginning in early 2016, Boston Properties is building 'The Hub On Causeway', a mixed-use development including two towers, on the former Boston Garden site. The development will include a new entrance to the rail station from Causeway Street opposite Canal Street, plus an underground passageway from the rail station to the subway station.[25][26] The MBTA subway headhouse on the north side of Causeway Street was permanently closed on January 2, 2016; the underground connection which replaced it opened on January 6, 2019.[27][28]

New elevators are also planned to be added to the Valenti Way headhouse to improve accessibility.[29]

Drawbridge replacementEdit

The two aging two-track drawbridges at North Station are planned to be replaced by two new three-track spans, which will be more reliable and have higher capacity. A sixth platform will be added to serve new tracks 11 and 12, the Fitchburg mainline will be slightly relocated to provide more layover space near the maintenance facility, and FX interlocking will be reconfigured.[30] As of October 2016, bidding for a $75 million contract on the drawbridge work is expected to begin in December 2016.[31]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Belcher, Jonathan. "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit.
  2. ^ "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14 ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  3. ^ Central Transportation Planning Staff (2019). "2018 Commuter Rail Counts". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
  4. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2017, State of Massachusetts" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b "North Station Neighborhood Map" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. April 2012. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  6. ^ "Water Transport: Water Shuttles and Water Taxis". Massachusetts Port Authority. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Lovejoy Ferry Service Ends" (PDF). TRANSreport. Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization: 3. January 2005. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  8. ^ a b Ridership and Service Statistics (PDF) (13 ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 13, 2011.
  9. ^ See map: History of the West End - Key Locations
  10. ^ Cheney, Frank; Sammarco, Anthony M. (2000). When Boston Rode The El. Arcadia Publishing. p. 71. ISBN 9780738504629.
  11. ^ "North Station Explosion, 1959". Celebrate Boston. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  12. ^ Boston & Maine September 1937 timetable
  13. ^ Boston & Maine April 1946 timetable
  14. ^ 'Official Guide of the Railways,' June 1961, Boston & Maine section
  15. ^ "White River Junction, Vt. and Area, 1964-65 and 2000". September 2002.
  16. ^ a b VanBokkelen, James. "Run-Through Passenger Trains in New England". Far Acres Farm. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Executive Summary" (PDF). Program of Mass Transportation. Boston Regional Metropolitan Planning Organization. January 2004. p. 2-9. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 20, 2012.
  18. ^ "Before the El Came Down: Photographs by John Woolf". West End Museum. 2004.
  19. ^ "Amtrak National Facts" (PDF). Amtrak. 2019. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  20. ^ "MBTA Contract No. A01CN01: Wayfinding and Station Improvements - Four Stations (Downtown Crossing, State, Haymarket, and North Station)" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. June 24, 2019.
  21. ^ "North Station Concourse To More Than Double In Size" (Press release). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. April 26, 2006.
  22. ^ "North Station Improvement Project". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Archived from the original on February 16, 2007.
  23. ^ "North Station Concourse Doubles In Size" (Press release). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. February 7, 2007.
  24. ^ "New Train Announcement Boards Activated at North Station" (Press release). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. November 14, 2007.
  25. ^ Carlock, Caroline (November 5, 2015). "Boston Properties clears major hurdle for ambitious Boston Garden project". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  26. ^ Epsilon Associates, Inc. (September 6, 2013). "Expanded Project Notification Form: The Boston Garden". Boston Redevelopment Authority. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  27. ^ "Subway Service Alerts: Green Line". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. November 25, 2015. Archived from the original on November 26, 2015.
  28. ^ Smyth, Sean (January 6, 2019). "Underground tunnel connecting North Station commuter rail, T stations is now open". Boston Globe.
  29. ^ Brelsford, Laura (June 5, 2019). "SWA Initiatives—June 2019" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Department of System-Wide Accessibility. p. 9.
  30. ^ "Commuter Rail Schedules Initiative: North Side" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. October 6, 2015. p. 13.
  31. ^ "Future Construction Contract Bid Solicitations". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. October 2016. Archived from the original on October 14, 2016.

External linksEdit