The Montachusett Region (also known as North County) is a region comprising several cities and towns in the north-central area of Massachusetts surrounding Fitchburg. As it has no legal standing in state government, definitions of the region vary.
The terms, which are used interchangeably, are usually understood to refer to the area economically tied with the cities of Gardner, Fitchburg and Leominster. The "North County" label—the county referred to is Worcester County—is often used to emphasize the area's distance and separate political identity from the county seat at Worcester.
The region is sometimes defined as including Fitchburg suburbs in the northwestern corner of Middlesex County, Massachusetts. The region's leading daily newspaper, the Sentinel & Enterprise , is published in Fitchburg.Another, the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester, publishes a "North County" daily edition and Montachusett T&G semiweekly insert, both of which cover most of the areas usually considered parts of the North County and Montachusett regions.
Montachusett–North County towns include (towns in Middlesex County marked with *):
Worcester County is a county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the population was 798,552, making it the second-most populous county in Massachusetts while also being the largest in area. The estimated population as of July 1, 2019 is 830,622. The largest city and traditional county seat is the city of Worcester.
Ashburnham is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. At the 2010 census, the town population was 6,081. It is home to Cushing Academy, a private preparatory boarding school.
Fitchburg is a city in northern Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The third-largest city in the county, its population was 40,318 at the 2010 census. Fitchburg is home to Fitchburg State University as well as 17 public and private elementary and high schools.
Gardner is a city in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 20,228 at the 2010 census. Gardner is home to Dunn State Park, Gardner Heritage State Park, Lake Wampanoag Wildlife Sanctuary, and Mount Wachusett Community College.
Leominster is a city in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. It is the second-largest city in Worcester County, with a population of 40,759 at the 2010 census. Leominster is located north of Worcester and northwest of Boston. Both Route 2 and Route 12 pass through Leominster. Interstate 190, Route 13, and Route 117 all have starting/ending points in Leominster. Leominster is bounded by Fitchburg and Lunenburg to the north, Lancaster to the east, Sterling and Princeton to the south, and Westminster to the west.
Westminster is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, in the United States. At the 2010 census, the town population was 7,277.
The Fitchburg Line is a branch of the MBTA Commuter Rail system which runs from Boston's North Station to Wachusett station in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. The line is along the tracks of the former Fitchburg Railroad, which was built across northern Massachusetts, United States, in the 1840s. It is one of the MBTA's more scenic commuter rail lines, passing by Walden Pond between Lincoln and Concord. Weekend service includes a specially equipped seasonal "ski train" to Wachusett Mountain during the winter.
Massachusetts's 4th congressional district is located mostly in southern Massachusetts. It is represented by Democrat Joe Kennedy III.
The George R. Wallace Jr. Civic Center, more commonly known as the Wallace Civic Center, or just simply the Civic Center, is a 1,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Fitchburg, Massachusetts and has an end-stage concert capacity of 3,200. It hosts various local concerts and sporting events for the area. First opened in 1970, the Wallace Civic Center consists of the Gaetz Arena, the Landry Arena, a planetarium, and several multi-use banquet rooms.
The Sentinel & Enterprise is a morning daily newspaper published in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, with a satellite news bureau in Leominster, Massachusetts. The newspaper covers local news in Fitchburg, Leominster and several nearby towns in northern Worcester County and northwest Middlesex County, Massachusetts. It is owned by MediaNews Group of Colorado.
The Gardner News is a daily newspaper serving seven cities and towns in northwest Worcester County, Massachusetts. In addition to the city of Gardner, where it is headquartered, it also covers the rural towns of Ashburnham, Hubbardston, Phillipston, Templeton, Westminster, and Winchendon, Massachusetts.
South County is a region comprising several towns in the south-central area of Massachusetts. As it has no legal standing in state government, definitions of the region vary.
Ayer station is an MBTA Commuter Rail station located off Main Street in the Ayer Main Street Historic District of Ayer, Massachusetts. It serves the Fitchburg Line. There are three tracks through the station, two of which are served by a pair of low-level side platforms, which are not accessible. There is a shelter on the inbound platform.
Central Massachusetts is the geographically central region of Massachusetts. Though definitions vary, most include all of Worcester County and the northwest corner of Middlesex County. Worcester, the largest city in the area and the seat of Worcester County, is often considered the cultural capital of the region. Other populous cities include Fitchburg, Gardner, Leominster, and arguably Marlborough.
The Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART) is a public, nonprofit organization established under Chapter 161B of the Massachusetts General Laws to provide public transportation to the Montachusett Region. MART is one of Massachusetts' 15 regional transit authorities and provides public transportation to 21 communities within the Montachusett region consisting of the cities of Fitchburg, Leominster and Gardner, and the towns of Athol, Ashburnham, Ashby, Ayer, Bolton, Boxborough, Hardwick, Harvard, Hubbardston, Lancaster, Littleton, Lunenburg, Royalston, Shirley, Sterling, Stow, Templeton, Westminster, and Winchendon.
North Leominster is an MBTA Commuter Rail station in Leominster, Massachusetts. It serves the Fitchburg Line. It is located at 34 Nashua Street, east of Main Street. The station, which is fully handicapped accessible, has two side platforms to serve the line's two tracks. There is a small freight yard adjacent to the parking lot and mainline tracks on the south end of the inbound platform. A garage opened in 2014 to nearly triple parking capacity at the station, which serves as a park-and-ride stop for Route 2 and I-190, to a total of 436 spaces.
Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, also known as Monty Tech, is a grade 9 to grade 12 public, secondary, vocational, open enrollment school in Fitchburg and Westminster, Massachusetts, United States. It provides training in 21 different trades and is the second largest vocational technical school in Massachusetts.
Wachusett is a commuter rail station on the MBTA Commuter Rail Fitchburg Line. It is northwest of the intersection of Massachusetts Route 2 and Route 31 in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. It serves as the northwestern terminus for Fitchburg Line trains. The opening of Wachusett extended service 4.5 miles (7.2 km) west from Fitchburg on the Pan Am Southern main line, lengthening the Fitchburg Line to 54 miles (87 km). The station is expected to draw 400 daily riders.
Shirley is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. It is approximately thirty miles west-northwest of Boston. The population was 7,211 at the 2010 census. The town has a well-preserved historic New England town center.
Gardner is a former station stop on the MBTA Commuter Rail Fitchburg Line, located in Gardner, Massachusetts. Passenger service to Union Station ran from 1851 until 1960, and commuter service also briefly ran from 1980 to 1986. Restoration of passenger service was considered in the early 2000s, but was rejected due to low cost-effectiveness.
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