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The "C" Branch, also called the Beacon Street Branch or Cleveland Circle Branch, is one of the streetcar/light rail lines that runs into the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's Green Line subway in the Boston, Massachusetts area. The surface section is in the median of Beacon Street, splitting from the "B" and "D" Branches at Kenmore before surfacing onto Beacon Street via the St. Marys Street Incline. At the other end of the route is Cleveland Circle, a short walk from Reservoir on the "D" Branch and Chestnut Hill Avenue on the "B" Branch. On the other side of Kenmore, "C" trains run through the Boylston Street Subway and Tremont Street Subway, reversing direction at North Station as of November 2005.
The first tracks on Beacon Street were laid in 1888, running from Massachusetts Avenue west to Coolidge Corner. The next year the rest of the line to Cleveland Circle opened, with access to the Reservoir Carhouse. In 1889, the first electric streetcar route (see Green Line "A" Branch) used Beacon Street from Coolidge Corner east to Massachusetts Avenue, then ran south on Massachusetts Avenue and east on Boylston Street to Park Square. That same year the line on Beacon Street to Cleveland Circle was electrified.
Another connection to the Beacon Street line was provided at Washington Square; streetcars came from Brookline Village along Washington Street and turned west on Beacon Street. This line was later extended north on Chestnut Hill Avenue and west on Commonwealth Avenue to Boston College, and was the predecessor of the 65 bus route.
On September 1, 1897, the Tremont Street Subway opened, and then or soon after Beacon Street service began to run into it via the Boylston Street Portal at the Public Garden, turning around at Park Street. On October 3, 1914, the Boylston Street Subway extended the underground portion to the Kenmore Incline just east of Kenmore Square, and the underground Kenmore and the St. Marys Street Incline extended it west on October 23, 1932.
Until 1967, when it was named the "C" Branch, the Beacon Street route had the map number 61.
Beacon Street service was extended from Park Street to Lechmere on February 7, 1931. Since then, Beacon Street service has had the following east terminals:
- November 20, 1961: cut back from Lechmere to North Station all but Sundays
- March 25, 1967: extended to Lechmere all times
- June-September 1968: cut back to Government Center Sundays, restored to Lechmere afterwards
- March 21, 1980: cut back to Government Center all but rush hours
- June 21, 1980: extended to Lechmere all times
- April 4, 1981: cut back to Park Street
- June 26, 1982: extended to Government Center
- July 30, 1983: extended to North Station
- March 28, 1997: cut back to Government Center
- January 1, 2005: extended to North Station
|Station||Location||Time to Park Street||Opened||Transfers and notes|
|St. Marys Street||19 minutes (sign said 10 )|
|St. Paul Street|
|Coolidge Corner||24 minutes|
|Cleveland Circle||32 minutes|
- Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district (PDF)
- U.S. Urban Rail Transit Lines Opened From 1980 (PDF)