Watertown Yard

Last updated
MBTA 3125 at Watertown in 1967.jpg
An outbound train arrives at Watertown in 1967
Coordinates 42°21′51.45″N71°11′7.96″W / 42.3642917°N 71.1855444°W / 42.3642917; -71.1855444 Coordinates: 42°21′51.45″N71°11′7.96″W / 42.3642917°N 71.1855444°W / 42.3642917; -71.1855444
Owned by Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Platforms1 side platform (for buses)
Tracks2 (former)
Connections Aiga bus trans.svg MBTA Bus: 52, 57, 59, 193, 502, 504
ClosedJune 21, 1969 (Green Line) [1]
Preceding station MBTA.svg MBTA Following station
Terminus Green Line Newton Corner
toward Park Street

Watertown Carhouse is a bus maintenance facility and former streetcar carhouse located in the southern section of Watertown, Massachusetts, across the Charles River from Watertown Square. As Watertown Yard, the site also serves as a bus depot serving local and express routes, with additional connections available at Watertown Square on the opposite end of the Watertown Bridge.

Watertown, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Watertown is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and is part of the Greater Boston area. The population was 31,915 in the 2010 census. Its neighborhoods include Bemis, Coolidge Square, East Watertown, Watertown Square, and the West End. It is one of thirteen Massachusetts municipalities that retain the title of “town” while functioning under state law as cities.

Charles River river in Massachusetts, United States

The Charles River is an 80-mile-long (129 km) long river in eastern Massachusetts. From its source in Hopkinton the river's mouth is northeast of its headwaters, though it follows a highly meandering route, doubling back on itself several times and traveling through 23 cities and towns before reaching the Atlantic Ocean at Boston. The Native-American name for the Charles River was Quinobequin, meaning "meandering".

Watertown Bridge bridge in United States of America

The Watertown Bridge is a five-lane traffic bridge over the Charles River, carrying Rt. 16 and Galen Street. It connects Watertown Square on the north side and Watertown Yard on the south side of Watertown, Massachusetts. Pedestrian walkways line each side.



A PCC streetcar (left) and a work car in Watertown Yard in 1967 MBTA 3133 and 6131 at Watertown.jpg
A PCC streetcar (left) and a work car in Watertown Yard in 1967
Watertown Carhouse in 2013 Watertown Carhouse February 2013.JPG
Watertown Carhouse in 2013

In 1900, streetcar service was extended south from Watertown Square to Newton Corner, which served as a transfer point between the Boston Elevated Railway (BERy) and suburban operators. In 1912, the Watertown Line was created by extending the Newton Corner line along these tracks to a new transfer facility, yard, and maintenance facility, Watertown Yard. [2]

Boston Elevated Railway transport company

The Boston Elevated Railway (BERy) was a streetcar and rapid transit railroad operated on, above, and below, the streets of Boston, Massachusetts and surrounding communities. Founded in 1894, it eventually acquired the West End Street Railway via lease and merger to become the city's primary mass transit provider. Its modern successor is the state-run Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), which continues to operate in part on infrastructure developed by BERy and its predecessors.

Green Line "A" Branch Former Boston Massachusetts subway line

The "A" Branch or Watertown Branch was a streetcar line in the Boston, Massachusetts area, operating as a branch of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Green Line. In 1969 it was replaced by the 57 bus, though the tracks remained continuous until March 1994.

Watertown Yard formerly served as the terminus of the Green Line "A" Branch, with its heavy maintenance shops eventually handling most work for the remaining trolley routes by the 1950s. When the "D" Branch opened in 1959, the Riverside shops were opened to supplement the Watertown and Reservoir carhouses. Due to a rolling stock shortage created largely by the opening of the "D" Branch, as well as traffic problems at the poorly designed Newton Corner rotary, the "A" Branch was closed in 1969 and replaced by the #57 bus. [1] However, Watertown Carhouse continued to see frequent use. [3]

Green Line "D" Branch Boston Massachusetts subway line

The "D" Branch of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's Green Line, also known as the Highland Branch or the Riverside Line, is a light rail line in west Boston, Massachusetts, with stations also located in Brookline and Newton. It branches off near Kenmore Square from the Tremont Street Subway and Boylston Street subway from downtown shared with the other light rail lines. It then continues west for about ten miles on a private surface right of way, formerly the Highland Branch of the Boston and Albany Railroad. The right of way is double tracked throughout without express tracks. It is grade separated from roads and highways, though there are pedestrian crossings at stations and in Webster Conservation Area in Newton.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the line was kept open for maintenance moves to the carhouse at night. After the newly arrived Boeing LRVs began failing in the late 1970s, the MBTA was desperate for functional rolling stock. At Watertown, 15 out-of-service and wrecked PCC streetcars were rebuilt to as-new condition. [4] (Ten of these cars still run on the Ashmont–Mattapan High Speed Line). [5] Crews at the carhouse rebuilt trolleybuses serving the Harvard lines, converted other PCC cars into work cars, and salvaged trucks from pre-1924 Blue Line stock to build new work cars. [3] LRVs and even the still-in-use Type 7 cars were brought in for maintenance work, using LRVs equipped with trolley poles to tow the modern pantograph-equipped cars under the older trolley wire.

Trolleybuses in Greater Boston

The Boston-area trolleybussystem forms part of the public transportation network serving Greater Boston in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. It opened on April 11, 1936, and since 1964 has been operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). It currently includes two physically isolated networks: one serving the towns of Cambridge, Belmont, and Watertown, the other – the Silver Line (Waterfront) – located in the city of Boston proper. Prior to 1964, several additional trolleybus lines were in operation in Boston proper. Measured by fleet size, the system was the third-largest trolleybus system in the United States at its peak, with only the Chicago and Atlanta systems having more trolleybuses than Boston's 463.

By the time the tracks to Watertown were removed in 1994, Watertown served primarily as the Green Line's scrapyard. [3] Several wrecked cars, including sections of cars 3648 and 3639 wrecked at Copley in 1989, still remain in the carhouse. [6] Tracks remain in the yard and in the carhouse itself.

Watertown Carhouse is now primarily used as a midday layover for buses, as a crew base, and for light maintenance work. Until January 2006, it was used for servicing, storage, and testing of new dual-mode buses and trolleybuses for the Silver Line Phase 2 BRT sets, which were tested under the wires used by the #71.

Dual-mode bus

A dual-mode bus is a bus that can run independently on power from two different sources, typically electricity from overhead lines or batteries, alternated with conventional fossil fuel.

Bus routes

A widened sidewalk with two bus shelters on the north side of the site serves as the boarding area at Watertown Yard. Buses entering the yard, especially those going out of service, may drop off passengers at the entrance to the yard. Three local MBTA Bus routes, two express routes, and a limited-service route stop at Watertown Yard; all terminate there except for the #59. As a rapid transit replacement service, the #57 is the most frequent and most heavily ridden of the routes. [6]

The 193 Watertown Yard - Haymarket via Kenmore Station route is a single early-morning trip. Created in September 1960 for fare collectors, in September 1999 it was added to public timetables. [1]

Connections to the 70, 70A, and 71 routes are available at Watertown Square just to the north.

Related Research Articles

Green Line (MBTA) Boston Massachusetts subway line

The Green Line is a light rail system run by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in the Boston, Massachusetts, metropolitan area. It is the oldest Boston subway line, and with tunnel sections dating from 1897, the oldest in America. It runs underground through downtown Boston, and on the surface on several radial boulevards and into inner suburbs. With an average daily weekday ridership of 169,600 in 2018, it is the second most heavily used light rail system in the country. The line was assigned the green color in 1967 during a systemwide rebranding because several branches pass through sections of the Emerald Necklace of Boston.

Kenmore station Boston, Massachusetts light rail station

Kenmore is a light rail station on the MBTA Green Line, located under Kenmore Square in the Fenway/Kenmore neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. The station opened on October 23, 1932 as a one-station extension of the Boylston Street Subway to relieve congestion in the square. Kenmore is the primary station for passengers wishing to visit Fenway Park, located just one block away. However, some sports fans exit at Fenway station despite its longer distance from the stadium, bypassing congestion in Kenmore Square.

Harvard station MBTA subway station

Harvard is a rapid transit and bus transfer station in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Located at Harvard Square, it serves the MBTA's Red Line subway system as well as MBTA Buses. The third-busiest MBTA subway station, Harvard averaged 23,199 entries each weekday in 2013, with only Downtown Crossing and South Station handling more passengers. It is also an important transfer point, with subway, bus, and trackless trolley (trolleybus) service all connecting at the station. Five of the fifteen key MBTA bus routes, with one extended late-night service, stop at the station.

Boston College station MBTA subway station

Boston College is a light rail station on the MBTA Green Line "B" Branch. It is located at St. Ignatius Square on the Boston College campus in Brighton, Boston, near the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Lake Street. Originally opened in 1896, it has been the terminus of the Commonwealth Avenue line since 1900. The current station is planned to be replaced by a new station located in the median of Commonwealth Avenue just east of Lake Street.

Lechmere station Light rail station in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Lechmere is a light rail station and the present-day northern terminus of the MBTA Green Line. It is located at Lechmere Square in East Cambridge, Massachusetts near the intersection of Cambridge Street and Monsignor O'Brien Highway. Green Line trains run around a balloon loop, inside which is a small yard used for midday and overnight storage. The station has two platforms, which are not connected within fare control; the outbound terminus is on the northeast side of the loop and the inbound platform is on the southwest side. Lechmere station is fully handicapped accessible.

Riverside station (MBTA) Boston subway station

Riverside is the western terminus of the MBTA Green Line "D" Branch light rail line. It is located at 333 Grove Street, off Exit 22 on Interstate 95, in Auburndale, a village of Newton, Massachusetts. Scheduled travel time to Park Street is 46 minutes. Riverside includes a parking lot with spaces for 925 automobiles and bicycle parking. A loop allows trolleys to reverse direction for the trip back to Boston and storage tracks and the Riverside Carhouse are connected to the loop. The station is fully handicapped accessible.

Reservoir station (MBTA) Boston MBTA subway station

Reservoir is a light rail station on the MBTA Green Line "D" Branch, located in Brookline, Massachusetts near Cleveland Circle and the south edge of Brighton. The station is adjacent to Reservoir Yard and Carhouse, with the Cleveland Circle terminus of the "C" Branch just a block away. With a daily ridership of 3,395, Reservoir is the second-busiest surface stop on the "D' Branch.

MBTA key bus routes Wikimedia list article

Key bus routes of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) system are 15 routes that have high ridership and higher frequency standards than other bus lines, according to the 2004 MBTA Service Policy. Together, they account for roughly 40% of the MBTA's total bus ridership. These key bus routes ensure basic geographic coverage with frequent service in the densest areas of Boston, and connect to other MBTA services to give access to other areas throughout the region.

The Middlesex and Boston Street Railway (M&B) was a streetcar and later bus company in the area west of Boston, Massachusetts. Streetcars last ran in 1930, and in 1972 the company's operations were merged into the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).

Dudley Square station MBTA bus station

Dudley Square is a ground-level bus station located in Dudley Square, Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts, United States. It is a transfer point between 17 Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority bus routes, including two Silver Line bus rapid transit lines and 15 local MBTA Bus routes. Like all MBTA bus stops, Dudley is fully handicapped-accessible.

Green Line "E" Branch Boston Massachusetts subway line

The "E" Branch is a streetcar line in the Boston, Massachusetts area, operating as a branch of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Green Line. From 1985 to 2011, service beyond Heath Street was "temporarily" suspended, with the 39 bus providing service beyond; service restoration was officially canceled in 2011 after the defeat of a lawsuit. The segment of the line between Brigham Circle and Heath Street is the only remaining section of street-running tracks in revenue use by the MBTA; all other trackage is in tunnels and bridges, on private rights-of-way, in reserved medians, or is used for out-of-service trains.

Green Line "B" Branch Boston Massachusetts subway line

The "B" Branch, also called the Commonwealth Avenue Branch or Boston College Branch, is a branch of the MBTA Green Line light rail system which operates on Commonwealth Avenue west of downtown Boston, Massachusetts. One of four branches of the Green Line, the "B" Branch runs from Boston College station down the median of Commonwealth Avenue to Blandford Street. There, it enters Blandford Street Portal into Kenmore station, where it merges with the "C" and "D" branches. The combined services run into the Boylston Street Subway and Tremont Street Subway to downtown Boston. As of 2016, "B" Branch service terminates at Park Street. Unlike the other branches, the "B" branch runs solely through the city limits of Boston.

Andrew station MBTA subway station

Andrew is an intermodal transit station in Boston, Massachusetts. Located at Andrew Square in South Boston, it serves the MBTA Red Line and the MBTA Bus system. Named for John Albion Andrew, the square is at the intersection of several major thoroughfares: Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester Street, Southampton Street, and Boston Street. Andrew is the primary transfer point between the Red Line subway and the MBTA surface bus routes into South Boston. Opened in 1918 and renovated in 1994, it is fully wheelchair accessible.

Waltham station Railway station in Waltham, Massachusetts

Waltham is an MBTA Commuter Rail station in Waltham, Massachusetts. It serves the Fitchburg Line. It is located in downtown Waltham adjacent to Central Square. With 610 inbound boardings on an average weekday, it has the second highest ridership on the line, behind South Acton station).

Packards Corner station Boston MBTA subway station

Packards Corner is a station on the MBTA's Green Line "B" Branch located at Packard's Corner - the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Brighton Avenue - in Allston, Boston, Massachusetts. The station is located in a median between the westbound travel lanes and frontage road of Commonwealth Avenue.

Newton Corner station Former tram stop and railway station in Newton, Massachusetts

Newton Corner was a streetcar and passenger rail station in the Newton Corner neighborhood of Newton, Massachusetts, located near where Washington Street crosses the Massachusetts Turnpike. The Newton Corner station, known simply as Newton for much of its lifetime, served commuters on the Worcester Line from 1834 to 1959. The trolley stop, located on the surface streets, served a number of routes beginning in 1898, including the Green Line "A" Branch until 1969.

North Cambridge Carhouse

North Cambridge Carhouse is a bus garage for trolleybuses, and a former streetcar carhouse, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is owned and operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). It was first built in 1874. The current structure dates from 1979. It is located in the North Cambridge neighborhood and is one of two MBTA garages used in operation of the Boston-area trolleybus system.


  1. 1 2 3 Belcher, Jonathan (23 March 2013). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  2. "Boston Profits By Elevated Railway Station Improvements". Electric Railway Journal. McGraw-Hill. 48 (7): 258–263. 12 August 1916 via Internet Archive.
  3. 1 2 3 Moore, Scott. "The Watertown Line". NETransit. Archived from the original on 3 February 2002. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  4. Moore, Scott. "Boston's Green Line Crisis". NETransit. Archived from the original on 6 April 2004. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  5. "The MBTA Vehicle Inventory Page". Boston Transit eMuseum. 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  6. 1 2 "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2013.