South Station Expansion

Boston, MA

Having served for more than 100 years as the hub for rail service both to Boston’s western and southern suburbs and to eastern seacoast destinations, South Station is the second busiest transportation center in New England. VHB and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) partnered on the South Station Expansion project to explore creative, yet practical, solutions to further generate economic development and maximize livability and sustainability in Boston and nearby metropolitan areas. VHB engineers and planners assisted MassDOT and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in preparing for the critical expansion. Our team conducted extensive operations and systems analyses of South Station to assess existing commuter rail service and project future service when the South Coast Rail (SCR) comes online. We also analyzed existing and future service on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and the potential impacts of eight new tracks and platforms at the station. VHB’s work included platform analysis; planning to enable maximum train lengths, including the possibility of double berthing trains; and in-station circulation analysis. The team also considered operational requirements at other NEC stations and their impact on train frequencies and lengths at South Station. The South Station expansion benefits service on all commuter and intercity rail lines in Boston, including Amtrak NEC service to Washington, DC.

Historic South Station in Boston, Massachusetts. Amtrak trains on the platform at South Station in Boston. Aerial view of tracks and facilities at Boston’s South Station.

Client

  • Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)

Services

  • Funding​ Research & Application Support

  • Site Access & Circulation Design

  • Site/Civil Engineering

  • Transit Operations Simulation​

  • Urban Design & Planning

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