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Pawtucket/Central Falls station

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Pawtucket/Central Falls
Pawtucket Central Falls station near completion (3), December 2022.JPG
The station nearing completion in December 2022
General information
Location300 Pine Street, Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Coordinates41°52′43″N 71°23′32″W / 41.8787°N 71.3922°W / 41.8787; -71.3922Coordinates: 41°52′43″N 71°23′32″W / 41.8787°N 71.3922°W / 41.8787; -71.3922
Line(s)Northeast Corridor
Platforms2 side platforms
Tracks3
ConnectionsBus transport RIPTA: 1, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 78, 80, QX, R-Line
Construction
Disabled accessYes
History
OpenedJune 16, 1916
January 23, 2023
ClosedFebruary 20, 1981
Services
Preceding station MBTA.svg MBTA Following station
Providence Providence/​Stoughton Line South Attleboro
Former services
Preceding station MBTA.svg MBTA Following station
Providence
Terminus
Providence/​Stoughton Line
Station closed 1981
Attleboro
Preceding station New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Following station
Providence
toward New Haven
Shore Line Attleboro
toward Boston
Providence
Terminus
Providence and Worcester Railroad Valley Falls
toward Worcester
Location

Pawtucket/Central Falls station is a commuter rail station in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. It opened for MBTA Commuter Rail Providence/Stoughton Line service on January 23, 2023. The station has two side platforms serving the two tracks of the Northeast Corridor. It is also a hub for RIPTA local bus service.

A former station, located slightly northeast on the border of Pawtucket and Central Falls, opened in 1916 to replace separate stations in the two cities. The station building was closed in 1959, and passenger service ended in 1981. The derelict station building, located above the Northeast Corridor tracks, is still extant.

Discover more about Pawtucket/Central Falls station related topics

Commuter rail

Commuter rail

Commuter rail, or suburban rail, is a passenger rail transport service that primarily operates within a metropolitan area, connecting commuters to a central city from adjacent suburbs or commuter towns. Generally commuter rail systems are considered heavy rail, using electrified or diesel trains. Distance charges or zone pricing may be used.

Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Pawtucket is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 75,604 at the 2020 census, making the city the fourth-largest in the state. Pawtucket borders Providence and East Providence to the south, Central Falls and Lincoln to the north, and North Providence to the west; to its east-northeast, the city borders the Massachusetts municipalities of Seekonk and Attleboro.

MBTA Commuter Rail

MBTA Commuter Rail

The MBTA Commuter Rail system serves as the commuter rail arm of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA's) transportation coverage of Greater Boston in the United States. Trains run over 398 mi (641 km) of track to 134 stations. It is operated under contract by Keolis, which took over operations on July 1, 2014, from the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company (MBCR).

Providence/Stoughton Line

Providence/Stoughton Line

The Providence/Stoughton Line is an MBTA Commuter Rail service in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, primarily serving the southwestern suburbs of Boston. Most service runs entirely on the Northeast Corridor between South Station in Boston and Providence station or Wickford Junction station in Rhode Island, while the Stoughton Branch splits at Canton Junction and terminates at Stoughton. It is the longest MBTA Commuter Rail line, and the only one that operates outside Massachusetts. The line is the busiest on the MBTA Commuter Rail system, with 17,648 daily boardings in an October 2022 count.

Side platform

Side platform

A side platform is a platform positioned to the side of one or more railway tracks or guideways at a railway station, tram stop, or transitway. A station having dual side platforms, one for each direction of travel, is the basic design used for double-track railway lines. Side platforms may result in a wider overall footprint for the station compared with an island platform where a single width of platform can be shared by riders using either track.

Northeast Corridor

Northeast Corridor

The Northeast Corridor (NEC) is an electrified railroad line in the Northeast megalopolis of the United States. Owned primarily by Amtrak, it runs from Boston through Providence, New Haven, Stamford, New York City, Trenton, Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore to Washington, D.C. The NEC closely parallels Interstate 95 for most of its length, and is the busiest passenger rail line in the United States both by ridership and by service frequency as of 2013. The NEC carries more than 2,200 trains daily.

Central Falls, Rhode Island

Central Falls, Rhode Island

Central Falls is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 22,583 at the 2020 census. With an area of only 1.29 square miles (3.3 km2), it is the smallest and most densely populated city in the smallest state, and the 27th most densely populated incorporated place in the United States. It is also one of only four incorporated places in New England that have a higher population density than the city of Boston. The city takes its name from a waterfall on the Blackstone River.

History

Combined station

The former station in August 2015
The former station in August 2015

The station was originally built in 1915-16 by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad as a replacement for two separate stations in both Pawtucket and Central Falls as part of a grade separation program.[1] The project was approved on April 29, 1912; grade crossings were eliminated on April 11, 1914, and trains began using the new alignment on December 20.[2] The new station opened for passengers on January 16, 1916.[1][2][3] It was originally built with two island platforms and four tracks, with each platform serving one center main track and one siding.[4]

In 1959, the station building itself was in disrepair and was closed. Thereafter passengers accessed the platforms via stairways from Barton Street.[4] The station was served by New Haven Railroad trains, then later by MBTA Commuter Rail, until Rhode Island stopped funding service past Attleboro on February 20, 1981.[5] The station building was considered for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, but this was deferred due to concerns about its structural integrity.[6] During the Northeast Corridor Electrification Project in the 1990s, the station tracks were relocated to increase clearances for the Acela Express to tilt when going around the curve. The center main tracks were replaced with a single southbound main track, while the northbound siding track was replaced with a new northbound main track. The southbound siding is now the "FRIP track" (Freight Rail Improvement Project) for the exclusive use of Providence and Worcester Railroad freight trains.[4]

New station

The new station site in 2018 prior to the start of construction
The new station site in 2018 prior to the start of construction
The station under construction in 2021
The station under construction in 2021

When Rhode Island resumed funding MBTA service to Providence in 1988, the Pawtucket/Central Falls stop was not resumed due to limited funding and the deteriorated condition of the station. The MBTA opened a new station at South Attleboro on June 20, 1990 to reach the Pawtucket/Central Falls market without adding a second stop in Rhode Island, which Rhode Island did not wish to pay for.[5] The station site at Route 1A is located less than a mile east of the point where the line enters Rhode Island, and offered room for a parking lot whereas the downtown Pawtucket location did not. However, it is too far from the old location to be walkable for most Pawtucket and Central Falls residents, and until 2013 RIPTA buses were prohibited by federal law from crossing the state line to deliver passengers to the station.[7][8]

In the early 1990s, Rhode Island began planning for a substantial increase in commuter rail service, with more service to Boston as well as Providence-focused intrastate service. With South Attleboro station open, the need for a downtown Pawtucket/Central Falls station was initially discounted. A 1994 RIDOT study of rail corridors in the state analyzed commuter rail service to Woonsocket, but a Pawtucket station was not included.[9] During the next decade, the state focused on adding additional Boston-Providence trains and extending service to the South County area with stations at T. F. Green Airport and Wickford Junction.[10][11] In 1998, RIDOT began planning a layover yard - but no station - in Pawtucket; the $18.5 million facility began construction in May 2003 and opened in July 2006.[12][13]

In 2005 the City of Pawtucket began discussions with RIDOT about adding a Pawtucket stop in addition to the South County service.[4] The city commissioned a $344,000 study, released in 2007, which estimated between 1080 and 1161 daily riders to Boston, 269 to 562 daily riders to Providence, and 27 to 45 daily riders to T.F. Green Airport.[4][14] The study considered reopening the former station with new platforms to the north, or building an all-new station at the P&W yard to the south. The renovated station was estimated to cost $58.5 million versus $45.1 million for an all-new station, but the former was recommended based on better walkability, fewer impacts to businesses, and concerns about toxic materials in the rail yard.[4]

Reusing the former station site was determined to be impractical after further analysis. The dilapidated condition of the building would markedly increase costs, and the track geometry was unsuitable for a modern station: there is insufficient room in the trench to add additional tracks to allow Amtrak trains to pass stopped commuter trains, and the sharp curve makes high-level handicapped accessible platforms impossible to build without large platform gaps.[15]

In April 2016, RIDOT submitted an application for a $14.5 million TIGER grant, which would part of the $40 million construction cost of the new station. If the grant is approved, the state would contribute $3.6 million and the two cities $3.0 million, with federal funding expected to cover the remaining half.[16] Environmental review and preliminary design are to be completed by September 2016, with a $3.0 million design contract awarded in December. The TIGER application lowered the expected ridership to 519 daily boardings, of which all but 89 would be diverted from Providence and South Attleboro.[16]

In October 2016, state and city officials unveiled a sign marking the site of the planned station.[17] Ground for the new station was broken in November 2018.[18][19] After construction delays, the station opened on January 23, 2023.[20][21] RIPTA bus routes in Pawtucket were also moved to the new station.[22][21]

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New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad

New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad

The New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, commonly known as The Consolidated, or simply as the New Haven, was a railroad that operated in the New England region of the United States from 1872 to December 31, 1968. Founded by the merger of the New York and New Haven and Hartford and New Haven railroads, the company had near-total dominance of railroad traffic in Southern New England for the first half of the 20th century.

Central Falls, Rhode Island

Central Falls, Rhode Island

Central Falls is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 22,583 at the 2020 census. With an area of only 1.29 square miles (3.3 km2), it is the smallest and most densely populated city in the smallest state, and the 27th most densely populated incorporated place in the United States. It is also one of only four incorporated places in New England that have a higher population density than the city of Boston. The city takes its name from a waterfall on the Blackstone River.

Island platform

Island platform

An island platform is a station layout arrangement where a single platform is positioned between two tracks within a railway station, tram stop or transitway interchange. Island platforms are popular on twin-track routes due to pragmatic and cost reasons. They are also useful within larger stations where local and express services for the same direction of travel can be provided from opposite sides of the same platform thereby simplifying transfers between the two tracks. An alternative arrangement is to position side platforms on either side of the tracks. The historical use of island platforms depends greatly upon the location. In the United Kingdom the use of island platforms is relatively common when the railway line is in a cutting or raised on an embankment, as this makes it easier to provide access to the platform without walking across the tracks.

MBTA Commuter Rail

MBTA Commuter Rail

The MBTA Commuter Rail system serves as the commuter rail arm of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA's) transportation coverage of Greater Boston in the United States. Trains run over 398 mi (641 km) of track to 134 stations. It is operated under contract by Keolis, which took over operations on July 1, 2014, from the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company (MBCR).

Attleboro station (Massachusetts)

Attleboro station (Massachusetts)

Attleboro station is a commuter rail station on the MBTA's Providence/Stoughton Line located in Attleboro, Massachusetts. By a 2018 count, Attleboro had 1,547 daily riders, making it the fourth busiest station on the system outside Boston.

National Register of Historic Places

National Register of Historic Places

The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance or "great artistic value". A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred in preserving the property.

Providence and Worcester Railroad

Providence and Worcester Railroad

The Providence and Worcester Railroad (P&W) is a Class II railroad operating 612 miles (985 km) of tracks in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, as well as New York via trackage rights. The company was founded in 1844 to build a railroad between Providence, Rhode Island, and Worcester, Massachusetts, and ran its first trains in 1847. A successful railroad, the P&W subsequently expanded with a branch to East Providence, Rhode Island, and for a time leased two small Massachusetts railroads. Originally operating on a single track, its busy mainline was double-tracked beginning in 1853, following a fatal collision that year in Valley Falls, Rhode Island.

Massachusetts Route 1A

Massachusetts Route 1A

Route 1A is a north–south state highway in Massachusetts. It is an alternate route to U.S. 1 with three signed sections and two unsigned sections where the highway is concurrent with its parent. Due to the reconfiguration of tunnel interchanges brought on by the completion of the Big Dig, Route 1A is discontinuous in the downtown Boston area. Vehicles entering Downtown Boston via the Sumner Tunnel must take I-93 north to the exit for Government Center and make a U-turn to access the entrance ramp to I-93 south and vice versa.

Woonsocket, Rhode Island

Woonsocket, Rhode Island

Woonsocket, is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 43,240 at the 2020 census, making it the sixth largest city in the state. Being Rhode Island's northernmost city, Woonsocket lies directly south of the Massachusetts state line and constitutes part of both the Providence metropolitan area and the larger Greater Boston Combined Statistical Area.

T. F. Green Airport station

T. F. Green Airport station

T. F. Green Airport is a train station and intermodal facility in Warwick, Rhode Island, on the Northeast Corridor, adjacent to T. F. Green Airport. It extends the MBTA Commuter Rail Providence/Stoughton Line from Boston, which previously only went as far as the Providence train station. The station was completed in October 2010 and MBTA service began on December 6, 2010. On November 14, 2011, service expanded to 10 weekday trains in each direction. Trips to and from Boston's South Station take 75 to 90 minutes.

Platform gap

Platform gap

A platform gap is the space between a train car and the edge of the station platform, often created by geometric constraints, historic legacies, or use of partially compatible equipment.

Source: "Pawtucket/Central Falls station", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 26th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pawtucket/Central_Falls_station.

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References
  1. ^ a b Roy, John H. Jr. (2007). A Field Guide to Southern New England Railroad Depots and Freight Houses. Branch Line Press. pp. 287–88. ISBN 9780942147087.
  2. ^ a b 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 (17): 15–28. JSTOR 43504499.
  3. ^ Annual Report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners. Vol. 5. Wright & Potter Printing Company. January 1918. p. 398 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (June 2007). "Pawtucket/Central Falls Commuter Rail Facility: Feasibility Study & Site Analysis" (PDF). City of Pawtucket Department of Planning and Redevelopment. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 16, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Belcher, Jonathan. "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). Boston Street Railway Association.
  6. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form" (PDF). City of Central Falls. October 31, 1984. p. 62.
  7. ^ Barrett, Chris (December 24, 2009). "RIPTA buses may stop near Mass. trains". Providence Business Journal. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  8. ^ Landis, Bruce (May 21, 2013). "RIPTA prepares to reorganize routes to improve service". Providence Journal. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  9. ^ "Rail Corridor Feasibility Study" (PDF). Rhode Island Department of Transportation. November 1994. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 24, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  10. ^ Edwards and Kelcey, Inc (July 2001). "South County Commuter Rail Service Plan" (PDF). Rhode Island Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 16, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  11. ^ "South County Commuter Rail Environmental Assessment" (PDF). Rhode Island Department of Transportation. February 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 16, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  12. ^ Castellucci, John (April 25, 2006). "Planned rail yard will expand routes, relieve neighbors". Providence Journal. Archived from the original on September 24, 2009.
  13. ^ "MBTA, U.S. Senator Jack Reed, RI Governor Carcieri, RIDOT Officially Open Pawtucket Layover Facility" (Press release). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. August 2, 2006.
  14. ^ Sayles, Justin (November 4, 2006). "Study finds rail stop makes sense in Pawtucket". Providence Business News. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  15. ^ "Public Outreach Meeting: June 13, 2013" (PDF). Pawtucket Commuter Rail Station Preliminary Engineering and Environmental Assessment. Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. June 13, 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  16. ^ a b Nesi, Ted (May 17, 2016). "RI seeks $14.5M from feds for new Pawtucket train station". WPRI 12 Eyewitness News. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  17. ^ AP (October 29, 2016). "Sign to be planted at site of future MBTA station". Boston Globe. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  18. ^ Heim, R.J. (November 2, 2018). "Ground breaks on new $40M Pawtucket/Central Falls Transportation Hub". WJAR-TV. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  19. ^ Paul Edward Parker (February 6, 2021). "COVID doesn't stop Pawtucket train station construction". The Providence Journal. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  20. ^ Zack Deluca (August 3, 2022). "Construction delays push train station opening to December". The Valley Breeze. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  21. ^ a b "Governor McKee, RIDOT Announce January 23 Opening Date for Pawtucket-Central Falls Transit Center" (Press release). Office of the Governor of Rhode Island. January 9, 2023.
  22. ^ "Major Transit Centers". Rhode Island Public Transit Authority. Archived from the original on January 23, 2023.
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