Brockton station and the Anglim Building in 2017
|Location||7 Commercial Street|
|Owned by||Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority|
|Line(s)||Middleborough Main Line|
|Platforms||1 island platform|
|Connections||BAT: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14|
|Parking||266 spaces ($3.00 daily)|
10 accessible spaces
|Bicycle facilities||8 spaces|
|Opened||December 21, 1846 (original station)|
September 29, 1997 (modern station)
|Closed||June 30, 1959 (former station)|
|Previous names||North Bridgewater (until May 7, 1874)|
|Passengers (2013)||778 (weekday inbound average)|
Brockton is an MBTA Commuter Rail station in Brockton, Massachusetts. It serves the MBTA Middleborough/Lakeville Line and is a stop on the CapeFLYER seasonal line. The station consists of a single full-length high-level platform which is fully handicapped accessible. It is located adjacent to the BAT Centre, the primary hub for Brockton Area Transit Authority local bus service.
The first station in the town (then called North Bridgewater) opened in 1846 on the Fall River Railroad. The railroad helped Brockton grow into a major manufacturing center. In the 1890s, Brockton was the site of the state's first major grade crossing elimination program, which included the construction of a massive stone viaduct and a pair of station buildings designed by Bradford Gilbert. Passenger service ended in 1959, and the station was demolished during an urban renewal program in the 1960s. After two decades of planning, the modern station was opened for commuter rail service by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in 1997.
The Fall River Railroad opened from Myricks to South Braintree on December 21, 1846, including a stop at the town of North Bridgewater. The line went through several mergers and became part of the Old Colony and Fall River Railroad system in 1854. Unusually among larger cities in Massachusetts, Brockton was never a railroad junction; east-west branches were built from Bridgewater proper before North Bridgewater became a major manufacturing area. A charter for a branch from Stoughton to North Bridgewater was applied for in 1845 – before the railroad had even been completed – but nothing became of the plan.
The first North Bridgewater station was a one-story structure located south of Center Street on the west side of the railroad tracks. (Until 1893, most railroads in southeastern Massachusetts had left-hand running, with Boston-bound trains on the western track). It was replaced between 1880 and 1891 by a Victorian-style station located close by at Church Street, also west of the tracks.
Commuting from Brockton to Boston on the railroad was possible after 1854, and Brockton was the outer terminus of some trains in the late 1850s and early 1860s. The railroad became the Old Colony and Newport Railroad in 1863, and finally the Old Colony Railroad in 1872. The town was renamed Brockton in 1874, with the railroad station changing its name on May 7. The railroad was a key part of the town's burgeoning shoe industry and rapid growth, which caused Brockton's population to double from 1877 to 1887.
Grade crossing elimination
On June 21, 1890, the Massachusetts General Court passed An Act to Promote the Abolition of Grade Crossings, which allowed town officials or a railroad company to petition the state superior court to create an independent commission to determine whether a grade crossing could and should be eliminated. The costs of such eliminations were to be paid 65% by the railroad, not more than 10% by the town, and the remainder by the state.
The small local cost provided towns incentive to petition for crossing eliminations to prevent public thoroughfares from being blocked by trains. Numerous municipalities soon agitated for crossing eliminations, with Brockton's April 1891 petition the first of the lot. Shortly before then, the Old Colony Railroad announced plans to replace the aging and undersized Brockton station with a more appropriate structure. The station design was well-received, but its at-grade design – which would have precluded crossing eliminations – was seen as a threat to the economic future of the city. Brockton then had no fire station east of the railroad, adding fire safety concerns to the more widespread issue of pedestrian safety. Frequent delays for fire engines responding to calls caused higher insurance rates and lower land values in the eastern part of the city.
The 1890 law had only authorized municipalities to eliminate crossings with public roads; however, many crossings in Brockton were private roads that the city did not have the right to modify. On June 15, 1892, the General Court authorized Brockton to include private roads in its grade separation project.
As the petition to consider elimination of all grade crossings in the city was under way, city engineer F. Herbert Snow prepared a preliminary plan. The proposal called for tracks to be raised and streets lowered through the city center, and the tracks lowered and streets raised in the Campello village to the south. Brockton station and Montello station to the north would be completely replaced and relocated, while Campello station would be replaced on its existing site. The railroad was initially opposed to the expense of the plan; however, city engineers made a convincing case that grade separation would only be more expensive in the future, and the two parties reached an agreement in June 1893. The New Haven Railroad leased the Old Colony Railroad in 1893 and continued with the project. The Massachusetts Board of Railroad Commissioners approved the grade separation project on April 21, 1894, allowing construction to proceed.
Snow oversaw the design and construction of the project until its completion. The final quadruple-tracked stone viaduct was 0.7 miles (1.1 km) long, with stone arch bridges spanning five downtown streets; seven new bridges over the railroad were built near Montello and Campello. A total of 9,000 feet (2,700 m) of track was raised up to 15 feet (4.6 m); an additional 5,100 feet (1,600 m) was lowered up to 12 feet (3.7 m). A pair of massive stone passenger stations were constructed north of Centre Street in Brockton, with a smaller station pairs at Campello and Montello – each with a pedestrian tunnel connecting the two buildings. The stations were designed by Bradford Gilbert, who had previously designed a number of other Old Colony stations including those still standing at Bridgewater, Canton Junction, and North Abington. The pair of Brockton stations was built of Milford pink granite with brown trim and slate roofs in the Richardsonian Romanesque style then common for railroad stations in the area. A platform next to each building served the outer tracks, while the inner pair of tracks was fenced off to allow express trains to safely pass at speed. The western two tracks and stations were constructed first, allowing service to continue without interruption on existing tracks until that half of the modified tracks were completed. A massive new freight yard was constructed just north of downtown Brockton; smaller yards were built at Montello and Campello to handle local freight.
The grade separation and station construction were completed by early 1897. The finished project, with its stone stations and bridges, was well-received; a number of other cities modeled their grade separation efforts on Brockton's success. However, the work cost $2,236,411 (equivalent to $67,350,000 in 2018), of which the railroad paid the majority. Despite the operational benefits, railroads thereafter became much more wary of large grade separation projects:
Brockton ought to be more than satisfied, for no other city will get so complete a work in abolishing grade crossings. A prominent official of the railroad recently told me that the railroad company made a mistake in being induced to expend $2,000,000 in a little city like Brockton, to abolish crossings. He said that the railroad company would never again be induced to engage in such an elaborate expenditure in a like undertaking
Closure and revival
Passenger rail service around Boston began declining in the 1920s, starting with branch lines. By 1954, Brockton was served by 13 daily round trips, for six of which it was the outer terminus. Only two of the four tracks remained at the station. After the completion of the parallel Southeast Expressway, remaining passenger service on the Old Colony Division was ended by the New Haven Railroad on June 30, 1959. The bridge over the Neponset River was destroyed by fire in 1960; the need for a replacement bridge drastically increased the cost of restoring passenger service. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) was founded in 1964 to subsidize suburban commuter rail service; the agency restored service on several other lines, but southeastern Massachusetts remained without passenger service. The line continued to be used for freight service by the New Haven and its successors Penn Central and Conrail. The station buildings were torn down in the late 1960s during an urban renewal project. A new police station, which lacked the grandeur of both the former railroad buildings and the former police station, was constructed on the eastern site in 1967. It was built atop the retaining walls of the former station; the walls and several stone stairwells to the street remain intact.
In the 1970s, calls began to restore service on the former Old Colony Division. On January 27, 1973, the MBTA purchased most of Penn Central's commuter rail rights-of-way in southeastern Massachusetts, including the Middleborough main line from Braintree to Campello. A 1974 state analysis of restoring commuter rail service indicated that the Brockton platforms were still extant, but would need refurbishing for use. From 1984 to 1988, Cape Cod and Hyannis Railroad excursion seasonal commuter and excursion service stopped in Brockton at the former station site.
In 1984, a state-directed MBTA study found that restoration of commuter rail service would be feasible. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was released in May 1990, followed by a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) in 1992. Both the DEIS and FEIS included conceptual plans placing Brockton station between Crescent Street and Lawrence Street, south of the former location and just outside the downtown core. However, the station was instead constructed at the previous site, accessed behind the police station. The accessible full-length island platform occupies the former inner track spaces, with the line's two current tracks location where the outer tracks originally were. The Middleborough/Lakeville Line and Kingston/Plymouth Line opened for commuter service on September 29, 1997.
On February 15, 1999, the Brockton Intermodal Centre (BAT Centre) opened one block away as a terminal for Brockton Area Transit Authority local bus service. The $4 million bus station was designed to imitate the architecture of the former railroad station. The project also included a 250-space surface parking lot. In December 2001, the state congressional delegation secured $1 million to support construction of a parking garage at the bus terminal. The garage opened on April 30, 2004.
- Route 1 Montello Street Via North Main Street
- Route 2 S. Plaza/Campello Via Main Street
- Route 3 VA Hospital Via Belmont
- Route 4 Westgate Via Pleasant
- Route 4A Westgate Mall Via N. Warren
- Route 5 Brockton Hospital Via Centre St.
- Route 6 Massasoit Via Crescent St.
- Route 8 Southfield Via Warren & Plan St.
- Route 9 Pearl Via W. Elm & Torrey
- Route 10 Lisa & Howard Via N. Quincy & Court
- Route 11 Cary Hill and the Village
- Route 12 Ashmont
- Route 14 Stoughton
- "Brockton". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
- Belcher, Jonathan. "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit.
- "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14th ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014.
- Kingman, Bradford (1895). History of Brockton, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, 1656–1894. D. Mason & Company. pp. 19–20, 570 – via Internet Archive.
- Karr, Ronald Dale (2017). The Rail Lines of Southern New England (2 ed.). Branch Line Press. pp. 379, 401–405. ISBN 9780942147124.
- Kingman, Bradford (1866). History of North Bridgewater: Plymouth County, Massachusetts, from Its First Settlement to the Present Time, with Family Registers. Innes and Niles. pp. 303–304 – via Google Books.
- "First railroad station west of railroad south of Centre St". Brockton: The Early Years as a City in Photographs, 1881–1950. Digital Commonwealth. 1880s.
- "City of Brockton". Atlas of Massachusetts. Walker Lithograph & Publishing Company. 1891 – via Ward Maps.
- Humphrey, Thomas J.; Clark, Norton D. (1985). Boston's Commuter Rail: The First 150 Years. Boston Street Railway Association. pp. 95–96. ISBN 9780685412947.
- Jacobs, Warren (October 1928). "Dates of Some of the Principal Events in the History of 100 Years of the Railroad in New England. 1826-1926". Railway and Locomotive Historical Society Bulletin. Railway and Locomotive Historical Society. 17: 15–28. JSTOR 43504499.
- Bennett, Lola (September 1996). "PHOTOGRAPHS: WRITTEN HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE DATA" (PDF). FIELD STREET BRIDGE Spanning the Old Colony Railroad at Field Street, Brockton, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. Historic American Engineering Record. pp. 4–6.
- "Chapter 428: An Act to Promote the Abolition of Grade Crossings". Acts and resolves passed by the General Court. Secretary of the Commonwealth. 1890. pp. 463–468.
- Snow, F. Herbert; Rollins, James W., Jr. (1895). "III. Abolition of Grade Crossings in the City of Brockton". Journal of the Association of Engineering Societies. 14. pp. 435–446.
- "The Abolition of Grade Crossings in Brockton, Mass". Railroad Gazette. Vol. 26. April 13, 1894. pp. 260–261 – via Google Books.
- "Chapter 393: An Act Related to The Abolition of Grade Crossings in the City of Brockton". Acts and resolves passed by the General Court. Secretary of the Commonwealth. 1892. pp. 439–440.
- Massachusetts Board of Railroad Commissioners (1895). "C. Orders Relating to Railroads". Annual Report [including Railroad and Street Railway Returns] of the Board of Railroad Commissioners. Wright and Potter. p. 187 – via Google Books.
- "IX. LATE INDUSTRIAL PERIOD (1870–1915)". MHC Reconnaissance Survey Town Report: Brockton (PDF). Massachusetts Historical Commission. 1981. p. 11.
- Roy, John H. Jr. (2007). A Field Guide to Southern New England Railroad Depots and Freight Houses. Branch Line Press. p. 135. ISBN 9780942147087.
- "Track Elevation at Brockton, Mass.: N.Y., N.H. & H. R.R." Engineering News and American Railway Journal. Vol. 37 no. 12. March 25, 1897. pp. 178–179 – via Google Books.
- Benson, James E. (2010). Brockton (Images of America). Arcadia Publishing. pp. 43, 92–93, 108. ISBN 9780738573083 – via Google Books.
- Liljestrand, Robert A. (2000). The New Haven Railroad's Old Colony Division. Bob's Photo. pp. 26–27.
- "Executive Summary". Old Colony Railroad Rehabilitation Project from Boston to Lakeville, Plymouth and Scituate, Massachusetts: Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report. United States Department of Transportation Urban Mass Transportation Administration. March 1992. p. ES-4 – via Internet Archive.
- Benson, James E. (2015). Brockton (Images of Modern America). Arcadia Publishing. p. 67. ISBN 9781467133951.
- Benson, James E. (2012). Brockton Revisited (Images of America). Arcadia Publishing. p. 86. ISBN 9780738576688 – via Google Books.
- Massachusetts General Court Legislative Research Council (1974). Report relative to railroad service from Boston to Brockton and cape cod. p. 31 – via Internet Archive.
- Pillsbury, Fred (June 30, 1984). "Passenger train service to Cape Cod begins anew: Hyannis, Falmouth—All aboard!". The Boston Globe. p. 1 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers.
- Cape Cod & Hyannis Railroad Spring Schedule, Cape Cod and Hyannis Railroad, May 27, 1988 – via Wikimedia Commons
- "Figure VIII-B4: Brockton Station Conceptual Site Plan". Old Colony Railroad Rehabilitation Project from Boston to Lakeville, Plymouth and Scituate, Massachusetts: Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Report. 3. United States Department of Transportation Urban Mass Transportation Administration. May 1990 – via Google Books.
- "Figure VIII-B4: Brockton Station Conceptual Site Plan". Old Colony Railroad Rehabilitation Project from Boston to Lakeville, Plymouth and Scituate, Massachusetts: Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report. 3. United States Department of Transportation Urban Mass Transportation Administration. 1992 – via Google Books.
- Held, Patrick R. (2010). "Massachusetts Bay Colony Railroad Track Charts" (PDF). Johns Hopkins Association for Computing Machinery. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 8, 2013.
- Reid, Alexander (February 14, 1999). "New Brockton bus terminal fuels hope for downtown". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on September 17, 2017 – via Highbeam Research.
- "SENATORS KENNEDY AND KERRY ANNOUNCE CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL OF $1 MILLION FOR BROCKTON'S TRANSPORTATION CENTER" (Press release). Office of Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts. December 4, 2001. Archived from the original on December 22, 2001.
- "bat intermodal centre". Brockton Area Transportation Agency. April 30, 2004. Archived from the original on June 3, 2004.
- "CapeFLYER Service Begins Memorial Day Weekend" (Press release). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. May 13, 2015.
- "Brockton Routes". Brockton Area Transit Authority.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Brockton station (MBTA).|