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MBTA opens new commuter rail station at Talbot Avenue in Dorchester on Fairmount Line

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  November 12, 2012 02:31 PM

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The MBTA opened a new, $15.9-million commuter rail station Monday at Talbot Avenue in Dorchester along the Fairmount Line.

The station is the first of four new stations along the Fairmount commuter rail line that are under construction or in design, officials said.

The 9.2-mile line had a total of four stations before Monday.

The railway runs from South Station through Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan and Hyde Park, where it ends at the Readville Station.

Among the MBTA’s dozen commuter rail lines, the Fairmount is the shortest distance-wise, has the lowest ridership and is the only one that exclusively serves Boston, according to the transit agency.

The T’s acting general manager Jonathan Davis said that each of the new stations, along with related improvement work along the line, will help boost ridership, providing an alternative for commuters who live and work around the Fairmount Corridor.

“It’s a very highly, densely populated corridor with a lot of heavy traffic and this will provide a more convenient and faster way to get around,” he said by phone Monday.

“We’ve worked very closely with the community to provide these improvements within that corridor,” Davis added. “We appreciate our customers and the community support during construction of that station and the others and we’re excited to have it open.”

Schedule changes for the Fairmount Line went into effect Monday with the opening of the newest station.

Construction of the Talbot Avenue Station began in June 2011 and also involved replacing the Talbot Avenue and Woodrow Avenue railroad bridges, officials said.

The station is located about six city blocks from the Codman Square business district, which T officials said makes the new station slightly closer to the square than the existing Ashmont Station on the Red Line.

The new station is a component of the Fairmount Commuter Rail Rehabilitation Project, which launched in 2005 and is expected to cost $135 million altogether, state officials have said.

The first phase of the project included rehabilitating Upham's Corner and Morton stations along with some the reconstruction of some bridges and other improvements.

The second phase involves building the Talbot Avenue Station and three other new stations.

The Four Corners / Geneva Station, located between Washington Street and Geneva Avenue in Dorchester, is expected to open in the spring.

The Newmarket Station, located just north of the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge and adjacent to the South Bay Shopping Center in Dorchester, is scheduled to open in the summer.

The Blue Hill Avenue Station, located between Blue Hill Avenue and Cummins Highway in Mattapan, is expected to break ground next year, T spokesman Joe Pesaturo said. A timetable for completion is expected to be announced within the next couple of months.

Each of the new stations will feature 800-foot-long, high-level platforms, canopies, benches, windscreens, a train approach warning system, electronic message signs, video surveillance cameras, emergency call box systems and public telephones.

The Boston and New York Central Railroad opened the Fairmount Line, then called the “Midland Railroad,” in 1855 as one of Boston's first passenger railroads. In 1944, passenger service was shut down due to competing railways that caused ridership to dip. Freight service continued on the line. The MBTA reopened it for passenger service in 1979.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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