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Union Station (Worcester, Massachusetts) facts for kids

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Union Station, Worcester MA.jpg
Union Station in October 2011
Location 2 Washington Square
Worcester, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°15′40″N 71°47′42″W / 42.26111°N 71.79500°W / 42.26111; -71.79500
Owned by Worcester Redevelopment Authority
Line(s) Worcester Main Line
Worcester Branch
Providence and Worcester Railroad
Norwich and Worcester Railroad
Platforms 1 side platform (Worcester Main)
2 unused island platforms (Worcester Branch )
Tracks 4 (Worcester Main)
2 (Worcester Branch)
Connections Bus transport WRTA: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 14, 15, 16, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 33, 42
Bus transport Peter Pan Bus Lines
Bus transport Greyhound Lines
Parking 300 short-term spaces
Bicycle facilities Yes
Disabled access Yes
Other information
Station code WOR
Fare zone 8 (MBTA)
Opened 1911
Rebuilt 2000
Passengers (2019) 6,157 Decrease 5.39% (Amtrak)
Passengers (2018) 1,298 (weekday average boardings) (MBTA)
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
toward Chicago
Lake Shore Limited Framingham
Preceding station MBTA.svg MBTA Following station
Terminus Framingham/​Worcester Line Grafton
Former services
Preceding station New York Central Railroad Following station
toward Albany
Boston and Albany Railroad
Main Line
North Grafton
toward Boston
Worcester Union Station
U.S. Historic district
Contributing property
Location Worcester, Massachusetts
Built by Woodbury and Leighton Company, Boston
Architect Watson & Huckel
Architectural style Beaux Arts
Part of Blackstone Canal Historic District (ID71000030)
NRHP reference No. 80000617
Significant dates
Added to NRHP 1980
Designated CP August 15, 1995

Union Station is a railway station located at Washington Square in downtown Worcester, Massachusetts. It is the western terminus of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's Framingham/Worcester commuter rail line, with inbound service to Boston, and a station along Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited passenger line. It also services Peter Pan and Greyhound intercity bus routes as well as local Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) bus service.


Detroit Publishing - Union Station, Worcester, Mass
The 1875-built Union Station in 1906

The current station was built in 1911 by the New York Central Railroad along the Boston and Albany Railroad Main Line, during the heyday of railroading in the United States, replacing the previous 1875 station. As a union station, it also served the Providence and Worcester Railroad (which was acquired by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad or 'New Haven'), the Norwich and Worcester Railroad (acquired by the New York and New England Railroad), the Worcester, Nashua and Rochester Railroad and the Boston, Barre and Gardner Railroad (which both became part of the Boston and Maine Railroad).

Up to the late 1960s the New York Central ran the New England section of the Wolverine route to Chicago through southwestern Ontario and Detroit and the New England States. The daytime New York City - Maine East Wind (B&M with the New Haven Railroad) ended in 1955. The overnight New York City - Maine State of Maine (B&M/NH) used the routing until October 29, 1960.

The last pre-Amtrak service, on April 30, 1971, was an unnamed Penn Central successor to the New England States. Passenger service to Union Station lapsed between 1971 and 1975, and the abandoned station fell into disrepair.

Union Station, Worcester, Mass. No. 87-2
Union Station, circa 1920

Subsequently, Union Station was acquired by the Worcester Redevelopment Authority and completely renovated at a cost of $32 million. The station was restored and renovated by Finegold Alexader Architects of Boston, and re-opened in July 2000. An intercity and local bus terminal, with five bus ports, was added at a cost of $5.2 million and opened in August 2006.

Union Station's facilities include the Grand Hall, with original elliptical stained-glass ceilings, interior marble columns and mahogany wood trim, Luciano's Cotton Club, a 1920s gangster-themed restaurant, and the Union Station Parking Garage, which has 500 spaces and direct access to the station. The Cannabis Control Commission established their state headquarters in Union Station in 2019.

There are proposals to extend more frequent passenger service west to Springfield.

Second platform

Union Station is accessible and has a single high-level side platform several cars long. It is the only station on the line (other than the three limited-service Newton stations) that can only be served by one train at a time - all other stations have two side platforms or an island platform. This limits the number of daily trains that can serve Worcester, and causes frequent cascading delays. After years of discussion about adding a second platform and extending the side platform to full length, the MBTA approved a two-year, $4 million design contract in October 2018.

Design reached 30% in August 2019. The 820-foot (250 m)-long island platform will have an accessible footbridge at its east end, and stairs and an elevator into a converted storage room to provide direct access from the station building. A crossover east of the station will also be built. The full length of the new platform will have a canopy. Construction is estimated to cost between $40 and $48 million. As of March 2020, construction is expected to last from November 2020 to November 2022 if funding is found. A temporary platform east of the I-290 overpass would be used while the west half of the new platform is constructed; the west half would then be used while the east half is built. In October 2020, $29.3 million in federal funding for the project was announced.

Bus connections

Greyhound Bus Lines and Peter Pan Bus Lines operate intercity bus service from Worcester along major highways. OurBus service to New York City stops next to Union Station, on Franklin Street.

WRTA hub

In April 2012, the Worcester Regional Transit Authority broke ground on a new regional transit hub adjacent to historic Union Station:

When completed, the new 14,000 square foot facility will house the WRTA's administrative offices and its customer service center. Included in the design are a new bus pavilion with an enclosed public waiting area, restroom facilities, ticket vending machines and eight bus slips.

The cost was $14 million, with $10 million coming from the Federal Government and the rest coming from the state. The new hub opened in May, 2013.

The hub is served by routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 14, 15, 16, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 33, and 42.

  • Amtrak – Stations – Worcester, MA
  • Amtrak - Great American Stations: Worcester, MA (WOR)
  • TrainWeb — USA RailGuide: Worcester, MA (WOR)
  • Google Maps Street View: Front Street, Harding Street, I-290
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