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Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

MBTA Subway
MBTA

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The Blue Line is one of the four subway lines of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. It extends from Wonderland Station in Revere in the north to Bowdoin Street near Beacon Hill in Boston in the south. It meets the Green Line at Government Center and the Orange Line at State Street. It also provides mass-transit service to Logan International Airport. The line is designated "Blue" because for much of its length it uses the old Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn Railroad right-of-way along the seacoast in Revere and East Boston, and the tunnel to East Boston runs under the Atlantic Ocean. Boston's Blue Line was the first subway in the world to run underneath a section of the ocean.

Blue Line cars are unique among rapid transit vehicles in Boston in that they use both third rail and overhead pantograph current pickup. The line switches between the two at the Logan Airport station where it transitions between running in a tunnel and running above ground. (The Silver Line waterfront switches between overhead and diesel power.) The overhead pantograph was implemented to avoid the third rail icing that frequently occurs in winter.

These cars are also shorter than otherwise similar ones running on the Orange Line, as the Blue Line (known as the East Boston Tunnel before the MBTA was formed) was initially designed to carry streetcars. The subway portion of the line was retrofitted with raised station platforms and rapid transit cars in the 1920s, with the surface portion between East Boston and Revere (known pre-MBTA as the Revere Extension) added in the 1950s.

As of 2005, there is currently a proposal to extend the Blue Line northward to Lynn, Massachusetts; the land to extend the line was purchased during initial construction, but due to budgetary constraints, Wonderland was designated the northern terminus. The northward extension project would either run on the ex-Boston and Maine Railroad Eastern Route Main Line or the ERML in combination with narrow gauge.

In addition, the MBTA has committed to designing an extension of the line's southern end west to Charles/MGH, where it would connect with the Red Line.[1] This was one of the mitigation measures the Commonwealth of Massachusetts agreed to as part of the Big Dig, originating from planning of the Boston Transportation Planning Review.

The Blue Line Modernization Program begun in the late 1990s includes renovating stations to increase the length of trains from four to six cars, make all stations wheelchair accessible, and improve cosmetic appearance. Bowdoin Station is likely to be closed due to the difficulty of accommodating 6-car trains inside the wedge-shaped track, unless the extension to Charles Street is constructed. (Bowdoin is the western terminus, where inbound trains follow a tight loop to the outbound side.)

Station listingEdit

Station Time to Government Center Opened Transfers and notes
Wonderland 21 minutes January 19, 1954 former BRB&L station (as Bath House)
Revere Beach 19 minutes January 19, 1954 former BRB&L station (as Crescent Beach)
Beachmont 17 minutes January 19, 1954 former BRB&L station
Suffolk Downs 15 minutes April 21, 1952 former BRB&L station (as Belle Isle)
Orient Heights 13 minutes January 5, 1952 former BRB&L station
Wood Island 11 minutes January 5, 1952 Formerly Day Square, renamed Wood Island Park October 21, 1954, renamed Wood Island 1967
Airport 9 minutes June 3, 2004 Old station opened January 5, 1952 and closed June 2, 2004
Maverick 7 minutes April 18, 1924 Streetcar portal opened December 30, 1904
Aquarium 4 minutes April 5, 1906 Formerly Atlantic, renamed February 13, 1967
Had a transfer to the Atlantic Avenue Elevated
State 2 minutes December 30, 1904 Orange Line
Formerly Devonshire, renamed January 25, 1967
Government Center 0 minutes March 18, 1916 Green Line
Formerly Scollay Square Under, renamed October 28, 1963
Court Street opened December 30, 1904 and closed March 17, 1916

Closed March 22, 2014 - March 21, 2016 for reconstruction

Bowdoin 2 minutes March 18, 1916

AccessibilityEdit

From approximately 1998-2011, the MBTA made most Blue Line stations fully accessible as part of a larger effort to accommodate 6-car trains on the line. As of 2016, the only station in service on the Blue Line which is not fully accessible is Bowdoin.

See MBTA accessibility.

EquipmentEdit

Like the MBTA Orange Line and Red Line, the Blue Line is standard gauge[1] heavy rail. The Green Line uses Light Rail (Streetcar) which can run in mixed traffic in city streets. Its current fleet is the 0700 series, with stainless steel bodies from Siemens, with each car 48 feet (15 m) long and 9 feet 3 inches (2.82 m) wide, with two pairs of doors per side. The cars are of a similar design to those built for the Tren Urbano system in San Juan, Puerto Rico, also designed by Siemens. Originally scheduled to be delivered beginning in January, 2004, the development of the trains had been beset with problems,[33] and the delivery was pushed back numerous times. The cars were eventually delivered beginning in January, 2007. The contract price of the cars is $174 million, with a total cost to the MBTA (including engineering and other related services) of $200 million.

Previously, all of the fleet consisted of the 0600 series, built 1978-1980 by Hawker Siddeley Canada Car and Foundry (now Bombardier Transportation) of Fort William, Ontario, Canada. They are 48.5 feet (14.8 meters) long and 111 inches (2.8 meters) wide, with two pairs of doors on each side. They are based on the PA3 model used by PATH in New Jersey. There are originally 70 Hawker cars, numbered 0600-0669.

By 2011, most of the 600-series cars were retired because of severe corrosion, mainly caused by the salty air that results from much of the line being very close to the ocean. Several 600-series cars were retained MBTA property but no longer usable. Parts of scrapped cars are used to maintain Orange Line 1200 series rolling stock, which were built at the same time by Hawker Siddeley and used many of the same components.

Around 2009, the Seashore Trolley Museum received retired Hawker set 622-623 for their collection.

TriviaEdit

The 1998 romantic comedy Next Stop Wonderland features some scenes from the Blue Line.

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (official site)
Red Line AlewifeAshmont / Braintree ––– Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Line: AshmontMattapan
Green Line LechmereBoston College ("B") / Cleveland Circle ("C") / Riverside ("D") / Heath Street ("E") ––– Arborway ("A")
Orange Line Oak GroveForest Hills ––– Charlestown ElevatedAtlantic Avenue ElevatedWashington Street Elevated
Blue Line WonderlandBowdoin
Silver Line Dudley SquareDowntown Crossing; South Station – various points
Buses List - Crosstown Buses - Former Streetcars - Trackless Trolleys - Key Routes - East Boston Area - South Boston - Urban Ring
Commuter Rail GreenbushPlymouth/KingstonMiddleborough/LakevilleNew Bedford/Fall RiverFairmountProvidence/StoughtonFranklinNeedhamFramingham/WorcesterFitchburgLowellHaverhill/ReadingNewburyport/Rockport - North-South Rail Link
Miscellaneous AccessibilityBoat serviceCharlieCardNomenclature
Predecessors Boston Elevated RailwayEastern Massachusetts Street RailwayMiddlesex and Boston Street Railway
 v  d  e 
Currently operating heavy rail rapid transit systems in the United States
Atlanta · Baltimore · Boston · Chicago · Cleveland · Honolulu · Los Angeles · Miami · New York City/Staten Island/PATH · Philadelphia/PATCO · San Francisco · San Juan · Washington

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://world.nycsubway.org/us/boston/blue.html

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